Fam­i­lies linked by foot­ball, not phones

Otago Daily Times - - FRONT PAGE - EDDY BRAMLEY eddy.bramley@odt.co.nz

THE All Blacks may have the Bar­rett broth­ers, but a women’s foot­ball team in Dunedin has gone one bet­ter.

The Morn­ing­ton Dragons women’s foot­ball team has three sets of moth­ers and daugh­ters in this year’s squad, but they say it was just a co­in­ci­dence.

Jess Hill­McLean and her mother Fiona McLean, Han­nah Fox and her mother, Becky McLach­lan, and Shannon Sealy and her mother, Leeanne Jack, all play for the same team, which was formed at the start of the year.

‘‘We came out of nowhere, re­ally. None of us knew each other be­fore this and now all of a sud­den we’ve got a whole bunch of moth­ers and daugh­ters kick­ing a foot­ball around,’’ Ms Jack said.

The team was formed af­ter an over­whelm­ing re­sponse to a post that was shared across a ‘‘Mums in Dunedin’’ Face­book page look­ing for women to get in­volved play­ing foot­ball.

This sea­son is the first time the moth­ers and daugh­ters have played foot­ball to­gether, and half the team have never played foot­ball be­fore, but are just fo­cused on im­prov­ing.

‘‘We’re play­ing against teams that all have heaps of ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether and we’ve all come to­gether as a team with no ex­pe­ri­ence.

Most of us don’t even have ex­pe­ri­ence in foot­ball, so it’s a big chal­lenge that we’re all en­joy­ing,’’ Ms Jack said.

De­spite their lack of ex­pe­ri­ence, Mrs McLach­lan said they had been im­prov­ing — helped in part by their op­po­nents.

‘‘What’s re­ally nice is that other teams we play against will often help coach us dur­ing the games and give us point­ers, and their coaches are re­ally sup­port­ive.

‘‘Be­cause the grade is ro­ta­tional, we’re com­ing up against the same teams a lot. As we go through the sea­son, the other teams have been com­ment­ing on how much im­prove­ment they’ve seen in us, which is re­ally nice.’’

And, far from moth­ers and daugh­ters fight­ing on the pitch, Mrs McLach­lan said the ex­pe­ri­ence had been a great way for the fam­i­lies to bond.

‘‘It’s re­ally nice in the age of tech­nol­ogy to have some­thing with the kids that we can do with them that’s not sit­ting on phones and com­put­ers and we’re get­ting out there do­ing stuff, which is awe­some.’’.

The team takes on Roslyn Wakari Kaimanawas at the Oval this af­ter­noon.

PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Mum’s the word . . . The Morn­ing­ton Dragons’ three mother­daugh­ter com­bos are (from left) Jess Hill­McLean, Fiona McLean, Becky McLach­lan, Han­nah Fox, Leeanne Jack and Shannon Sealy.

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