Wairarapa girls for international stage

By Gary Caffell


Futsal

Exciting plans have been revealed for the Wairarapa girls Futsal team who have been making such a huge impact in recent weeks.

Wairarapa Futsal development officer Dennis Tapp says the side could be heading to either Australia or the United States next year to contest major tournaments.

"We haven't confirmed anything yet but we are certainly aiming to give them a trip away, they would be very competitive wherever they go," Tapp said.

The Wairarapa squad of Sophie George, Radha McGlashan, Emily Morison, Renske Van Steengel and Te Aniwa Hurihanganui took the limelight when five Australian teams visited Wairarapa about a fortnight ago and took part in a mini-tournament.

They won the girls section in convincing style while the tourists were triumphant in the boys.

The same five Wairarapa players then contested the Oceania Futsal Cup in Auckland last Saturday and were eliminated in the semifinals after holding their Auckland opponents to a 3-3 draw.

No extra time was played and under the countback system the Aucklanders were declared the winners because they had scored the first goal.

"It was frustrating to lose like that but those were the rules and we couldn't do a lot about it," Tapp said.

The next day saw the Wairarapa girls - plus Arnon Tapp - contest the under-16 boys grade in the Te Akokura 5 by 5 Football Challenge and despite being up against many physically older and stronger players they went through their pool undefeated and came fourth in the main championship.

Wairarapa had also hoped to field a team in the 10-year grade at this tourney but just one player, Dylan Maisey, was available and he played with a group of other "ring-ins" in a side who won the plate section.

Futsal is a variant of football played on a smaller pitch (often indoors) between teams of five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. It is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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