U17 stars boost WaiBOP side keen to end on high

Rotorua Daily Post - - Sport - Foot­ball — Sup­plied con­tent

The Loaded WaiBOP women’s team may be out of grand fi­nal con­tention, but they can still have a say in who hosts the big dance.

WaiBOP com­plete their 2018 Na­tional Women’s League cam­paign against North­ern Lights in Hamil­ton to­day, the one side who have al­ready claimed a spot in the fi­nal.

While WaiBOP have lit­tle to play for in terms of ta­ble po­si­tion, a win for North­ern could se­cure them top spot and a home fi­nal, so there is plenty of in­ter­est in the match.

WaiBOP head coach Michael Mayne was part of the record­break­ing New Zealand Un­der-17 Women’s team’s World Cup cam­paign and was look­ing for­ward to bring­ing a flavour of what took place in Uruguay to Hamil­ton’s Gower Park.

“The past month has ob­vi­ously had some no­table mo­ments of in­ter­est and you will see some of the play­ers on show on Satur­day. We wel­come back Ge­or­gia Candy, Grace Wis­newski and Kelli Brown to our play­ing squad af­ter a mas­sively suc­cess­ful time in Uruguay. The achieve­ment of this team has not been lost on any­body in this coun­try and I know the high these play­ers have been on this week won’t be any less dull to­day. Both teams will want to put out a per­for­mance to be happy with.

“For my­self and Max [Tommy, WaiBOP’s goal­keep­ing coach who also trav­elled with the un­der-17 squad], who were able to be there and wit­ness his­tory be­ing made, it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to see these play­ers go and do things on the world stage that were un­prece­dented. They come back to the squad to­day as na­tional he­roes in the game. As much as they will deny it, they have re­ally sparked a move­ment in the fe­male game.”

Mayne was hope­ful the re­solve his side showed in their last per­for­mance, a 1-all draw at grand fi­nal-chas­ing Auck­land — would be ev­i­dent again this week.

“We come into this game off the

"The achieve­ment of this team has not been lost on any­body in this coun­try."

Michael Mayne, WaiBOP head coach

back of a mas­sively chal­leng­ing en­counter with Auck­land last week in which, for a num­ber of rea­sons, we had only one avail­able sub­sti­tute.

“In the con­text of the sea­son, a point away from home against a top team in the league was mas­sive. The play­ers showed a great deal of ex­e­cu­tion around the game plan and, while we con­ceded late again, I was to­tally proud of what they did that day and the way they stuck to­gether.

“Un­for­tu­nately this sea­son we have had to learn some of the tough­est and cru­ellest les­sons the game can throw at you, but we have spo­ken to the group about what this does in terms of our per­sonal de­vel­op­ment and that the ben­e­fits of these les­sons are to come.”

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