WaiBOP ready for new national league

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STEP UP: The National Women's League is a major incentive for bay of Plenty club players. PHOTO/FILE
STEP UP: The National Women's League is a major incentive for bay of Plenty club players. PHOTO/FILE

Loaded WaiBOP enters the 2016 National Women's League season with much optimism in the playing ranks.

The start of a new campaign is always exciting as everyone starts with a clean slate and on an even footing.

While it's important to take a wider view, for Loaded WaiBOP Football the current focus is purely on tomorrow's visit of Capital. Head coach Barry Gardiner said his interest hasn't gone past the season opener.

"Like every other side in the league we want to start well, so it's important we get our preparation and performance right," said Gardiner during the week.

"While the pre-season's been quite short, we've been able to work on and start implementing our tactical approach. Hopefully some of that will shine through against Capital.

"We have a reasonably experienced squad this season, with quality and depth in our playing ranks. Against Capital we want the players to be brave, passionate and play with spirit.

If they trust in their ability and we can win the key moments then we'll do well.

"Capital will have a game plan and their own tactical approach, so I expect we'll be in for a decent game."

If last year's encounter between the two sides is anything to go by, fans should expect a thriller.

On that occasion WaiBOP raced out to a 3-0 lead inside 21 minutes thanks to two goals from Paige Satchell and one from Issy Coombes. Capital's Emma Main got one back almost immediately, before Maggie Jenkins scored a second right on half time.

The equaliser from Jaymee-Lee Hunter came in the final 10 minutes to make it 3-all.

The women's game in the Waikato Bay of Plenty region, as it is across the country, is getting stronger as the seasons go by.

WaiBOP Football expects tomorrow'smatch will not only be a highly skilled contest but, as importantly, will be watched by a large crowd of budding young female footballers - the next generation of Loaded WaiBOP players.

WaiBOP Football will be hosting a free Girls Only Football Festival prior to kickoff to help fans get in the mood for the big match.

In other games tomorrow , Auckland host Canterbury United Pride, while 2015 champions, Northern, travel to Palmerston North to play Central. Southern United have the round 1 bye.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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