Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

What's On: Women's football

The Waikato-Bay of Plenty women's football team are playing in Rotorua for the first time on Sunday and they're hoping for a large crowd.

The team are playing the Northern Football Federation, whom they faced in last season's finals.

Coach Peter Smith said this was the first time the women's national league had played in Rotorua.

"It's the highest level of competing within the female game in the country. It's good for us to bring that level of competition to Rotorua for the first time."

Mr Smith said their philosophy was to get around the region, not just Hamilton and Tauranga, where the games are usually played.

"There is a huge football fraternity in Rotorua, especially the female side. It will give some of the locals a chance to view our players, plus it's a fantastic opportunity for our players to play in a world-class stadium."

The last time the team played Northern, which incorporates Northland, North Harbour and West Auckland, they lost 3-1.

Mr Smith said Northern was filled with international-level players, unlike the Waikato-Bay of Plenty team which lost four players to Australia and the United States this year.

He said the team was a youthful one, with players as young as 15.

"We matched them for long periods of time in that last game. We will be trying to get that margin a little bit tighter. I think Rotorua will see some of the best female players in the country and some very exciting local talent."

The game will be played at the Rotorua International Stadium from 1pm to 3pm this Sunday. There is no charge to watch the game.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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