Story courtesy of College Sport Media
The 2023 Premier Girls Football competition is shaping as one of the more competitive college sports leagues this winter. With the FIFA Women’s World Cup is also coming to the capital, it all adds up to a busy and exciting season for women’s football.
The league itself kicks off later this month, with grading matches having got underway this past Wednesday and continuing for another two weeks to confirm the eight schools contesting the Regional Premier 1 Capital Football Trophy.
The Premier 1 and 2 senior football leagues continue through to next term, with the finals set down for the end of August and the NZF secondary school tournaments in Winter Tournament Week in early September.
Who will win this year? Hutt Valley High School are the defending champions, beating Wellington East Girls’ College in a dramatic penalty shootout in last year’s final.
As the season gets underway, some selected players to watch are noted below (schools in alphabetical order):
Alyssha Eglinton (Hutt Valley High School): Dominates midfield. Great sense of the game in being able to spread the ball and lead her team into attack. Nice ball control. All round talent. She even assumed goalie responsibilities in the deciding penalty shootout in last year’s final, saving two and scoring her penalty to win. Alyssha is part of the Wellington Phoenix programme and was in last season’s Capital Under 18 squad where she scored six goals in six games.
Phoebe Gray (Marsden Collegiate School): Playing right wing for school, year 12 Phoebe Gray is one of the key play makers in the 1st XI team. She has been in the team since year 8. Phoebe has a strong determination to do well and is a tireless worker on and off the field. Phoebe’s vibrancy and enthusiasm makes her an excellent role model for the team. She recently co-captained and co-coached her school’s senior futsal team to take the regional title during term 1. Representative honours include being selected for the NAGT U15 girls’ team, the capital women’s futsal super league team and has just made her debut for the Wellington United Diamonds’ top team.
Greer Wilson (Queen Margaret College): Great composure and balance. Very clean striker of the ball. Normally plays midfield but is also a strong defender. Very capable in being able to bring the ball up from the back and connecting with her forwards. Not the biggest player in the league but Greer is incredibly strong in the tackle, often winning 50/50 contests. The Year 11 has been part of the First XI since Year 9, and is currently in both the Miramar Rangers top team and the Miramar U14/U15 mixed academy team. Greer has enjoyed recent success in Futsal as part of the Wellington Women’s Futsal squad and with the QMC team that finished in National Futsal Championships.
Liv Dean (Wellington East Girls’ College): Attacking flair. Competitive nature. Poised on the ball but also strong in the challenge. Liv has a real knack for scoring goals. She has been part of the 1stXI squad throughout her years at WEGC. Has plenty of experience in playing football and futsal finals so knows how to manage pressure situations. This has seen her assume an important role as team captain providing guidance and encouragement to her team. This is witnessed with her doing an awesome job in leading her team to win the recent National Futsal tournament.
Olivia Catherwood (Wellington Girls’ College): Year 13 Olivia has been watched over several seasons now, used in various playing positions, but centre back has become her home. Olivia’s form has grown over the past few years particularly Olivia which has contributed to increasing confidence on the ball. She also has had to deal with a nasty injury last year putting her out of tournament play. Her determination to come back from that reflects shows her individual character. The team values her toughness, deceptive pace and those wonderful long range passes. A younger player on the rise at WGC is Izzy Ismail-Saunders. Quiet in nature but highly competitive, she was utilised for tournament last year where she showed real potential. So much so she now is a member of a Women’s Central League team.
Article added: Tuesday 16 May 2023
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