Otumoetai Football Club had double reason to celebrate after receiving two doses of positive news last week.

The club was awarded the prestigious QCM (Quality Club Mark) by New Zealand Football for the second consecutive year and three talented juniors were selected in the under-15 national training camp to be held on April 24 in Masterton.

Lily Muspratt, Courtney Bennett and Lisa Evans have all been selected for the prestigious camp operated by New Zealand Football.

They all attend Otumoetai College where all the players are affiliated to Otumoetai Football Club in a rare association between a major secondary school and football club.


Youngest of the three Lisa, 13, is in Year 9 at Otumoetai College and, when not practising her goal scoring, likes to referee rippa rugby and is into the martial art of aikido.

The two camps she attended last year were eye openers in many ways, which she says has helped her game on the pitch this season.

"Everyone is at the same level and so you are all working in like a professional environment I guess and it is fun as well. It is easier to train and stuff," Lisa said.

Like Lisa, fullback Lily, 15, will be attending her third camp later this month. She says learning different playing styles is a challenge.

"It is interesting learning how New Zealand women's team play in a game and their tactics. They would prefer us to do the same so we can work on what they do and try to get into a women's team later," Lily said.

"Women's football, it is in an all right place. It has good structure and is pretty good at the moment but it could be better."

Lily is happy to talk about her liking for Otumoetai Football Club, to which she owes much of her success.

"I think some clubs they want the team to be amazing and only pick you if you are a good player. With Otumoetai it is based on you and building you individually instead of just scouting for the best players."

Otumoetai club president Paul Thomas is delighted with having three players selected for the national training camp.

"We are the sixth biggest club in New Zealand so we have always had a massive base of junior players coming through so have had those top level kids coming through each age group as well," he said.

"We hope we have nurtured them through their junior football and got them to this point with the help of all our coaches and committee."

Thomas says the club volunteers deserve credit for the club gaining the QCM for another year.

"We have a great group of volunteers and committee who get stuck in, know their roles and know what it takes to make it all happen. We have the right people in the right places and it makes it all work," he said.

■Courtney Bennett was overseas.