Cup games spur girls to greater heights
Tokoroa High School’s girl’s football team have been enjoying the chance to learn from the future Messis, Neymars and Suarezs at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup by attending the games at Waikato Stadium.
The experience seems to be paying off, with the team in the last eight of the Waikato Secondary Schools knockout cup after beating Forest View 3-0, in the second division for the first time and surprising the usual powerhouses by sitting top of the table unbeaten after Saturday’s 5-2 win over St Paul’s Collegiate.
The girls then watched the world cup games, accompanied by three teachers – coach Jason Jowett, technical director Dean Tereu and systems strategist Chris Teague. The passion of these three seems to be rubbing off on the girls who were amazed by the skills, pace and fit- ness of the future super stars.
Captain Ahere Hapi loved all the ball skills and tricks on show, while sisters Trena and Anahera HunapoMoetu were amazed by the heading ability and power of the central defenders.
Meanwhile the Tokoroa men’s side suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to visitors Te Puke in their Federation Championship game at Strathmore Park on Saturday.
On the back of a creditable 1-1 with table-topping Cambridge the week before, hopes were high for the home team.
After a bright start by both teams, Tokoroa took a deserved lead after a clever exchange of passes as Billy Manthey produced a composed finish from just inside the box.
At this stage Tokoroa had a stranglehold on the game and pressed for a crucial second goal, which was denied by a very tight offside call. Despite creating several chances, it was Te Puke who equalised after Tokoroa’s defence failed to win the first header from a long free kick and the rebound was buried.
A lack of concentration then saw Te Puke score the match winner with a long straight ball catching out the Tokoroa defence. The home team then pressed for an equaliser and after Connor Wood was crudely brought down were given the chance of a late penalty.
Captain Chris Teague stepped up, only to see his spot kick saved by former Tokoroa player Charles Hall.
Best on show were Keegan Willis, Cody Chesterman and Zac Cosgrove, while Billy Manthey picked up player of the day honours.