WaiBOP opened their campaign with a 3-1 loss to defending champions Northern Football in Auckland last Sunday, a result which WaiBOP Head Coach Peter Smith says the young side was disappointed with.
“Considering the way we played, and the amount of possession we had, we were disappointed not to pick up any points,” said Smith.
“However, on the flip side we can take a degree of confidence of how we preformed against a team of that calibre, considering the young squad we have.”
Northern included 8 – 9 players with international experience, while 15 players in the WaiBOP squad are 18 years-old or younger.
The age disparity will be in Smith’s favour this Sunday as WaiBOP look to take advantage of the “top draw” facilities they’ll enjoy at St Peter’s School Cambridge.
“We’re looking forward to playing in the WaiBOP region and hopefully enjoying some good home town support.”
However, not all locals will be cheering for the home team with five of the Northern-based NZF U-17 squad coming from the WaiBOP region. Sophie Stewart-Hobbs and Emma Cawte play for Papamoa Football Club, Tessa Leong and Roberta Wigglesworth are members of the Claudelands Rovers Club, while Melville United’s Tayla Christensen was in the Young Football Ferns squad which played at the U-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan in September.
“We’re well aware of the talent and technical range of these players and we now have to combat it.”
“They’ll be a technically good team which will be well set up under Aaron’s (McFarland) guidance as coach. They’ll be well disciplined and tough to beat.”
Only two changes have been made to the WaiBOP squad from the team which played last weekend. Tayla Forward and Chantelle Leban have made way for Kylie Jens and Nicole Christensen.
“Kylie was unavailable for our last game due to exams, while Nicole’s attitude and work ethic at training have resulted in her forcing her way into the game day squad.”
Smith says with their home ground advantage WaiBOP will be looking to chalk up their first win and take the valuable three competition points on offer.
“We’re looking to win with a style of play which is attractive and flowing.”
“If we play attractive football and apply ourselves like we did last weekend then the score will take care of itself.”
WaiBOP Football v Northern-based NZF U-17
St Peter's School Cambridge
WaiBOP Football (from): 1-Naomi-Beth CARTER (gk), 4-Kylie JENS, 5-Kate CARLTON, 6-Eileish HAYES, 7-Trudi GREIG, 8-Libby WILLIAMS, 9-Emma BAKER, 10-Rachel PORTEOUS, 11-Jackie PRETSWELL, 13-Keri O’CONNELL, 15-Helen COLLINS, 16-Issy COOMBES, 17-Ella GOLDING, 18-Nicole CHRISTENSEN, 21-Megan ANDERSON, 22-Jess CLARK
Coach: Peter SMITH
Northern-based NZF U-17 (from): 1-Emma TAYLOR (gk), 2-Courtney VAN LIESHOUT, 3-Chloe WILSON, 4-Daisy CLEVERLEY, 5-Kristen MOLLOY, 6-Megan LEE, 7-Hannah CARLSEN, 8-Tessa LEONG, 9-Martine PUKETAPU, 10-Chloe KNOTT, 11-Jessica INNES, 12-Emily OOSTERHOF, 13-Sophie STEWART-HOBBS, 15-Roberta WIGGLESWORTH, 17-Tayla CHRISTENSEN, 18-Jolene MUIR
Coach: Aaron MCFARLAND