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NZF: National Women's League match Week Two Preview

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The second match week of a historic National Women’s League season takes place this weekend, find out what’s in store with the official preview. One match is set to take place on Saturday with the Canterbury United Pride hosting WaiBOP while there are two matches in store on Sunday with Northern Lights welcoming Southern United and Capital making the short trip to neighbours Central. Auckland sit out the action with the bye.

Canterbury United Pride vs WaiBOP

English Park, Christchurch

Saturday 22 September, 12pm


Referee: M Killick

Assistant Referees: C Downes, C Bremner

Fourth Official: H Cook


Canterbury United Pride: 1. Victoria Esson (GK), 2. Marisa Van Der Meer, 4. Arna Roberts, 5. Annabel Gilchrist, 6. Chloe Jones, 7. Gabrielle Rennie, 8. Tahlia Herman-Watt, 9. Jayda Stewart, 10. Annalie Longo, 11. Macey Fraser, 12. Amelia Abbott, 13. Whitney Hepburn, 14. Jasmine Donald, 15. Monique Barker, 17. Cody Taylor, 22. Una Foyle (GK)

Coach: Alana Gunn

WaiBOP: 1. Georgia Candy (GK), 4. Olivia Hooper, 6. Jayden Watts, 7. Emma Cawte, 8. Stella Neems, 9. Helen Talbot, 10. Ella Golding, 11. Lilly Muspratt, 12. Kelli Brown, 13. Tiana Hill, 15. Grace Cox, 16. Grace Wisnewski, 17. Kim Maguire, 19. Ashley Weld, 20. Chelsea Elliott

Coach: Michael Mayne


With defending champions Auckland not able to add to their points tally due to the bye and Southern facing a very testing trip to Northern, Canterbury have an ideal opportunity to open up some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack early on. They will go in as heavy favourites after watching WaiBOP be swept aside 4-0 by Auckland on the opening day and then matching that with a victory of their own by the same scoreline over Capital. Widely regarded as the best player in the league, Annalie Longo lived up that reputation with a match-winning display against Capital, scoring twice and setting up another. If she gets going again on the English Park turf then it could be a long afternoon for Michael Mayne’s young WaiBOP side, who face the prospect of going through the first three weeks without a point as they have the bye next.


Annalie Longo (Canterbury United captain): "It was a fantastic start and just what we wanted. We worked hard in pre-season so it was nice for the girls to pick up the result and actually put in a really good performance. We’re still in our conditioning phase of trying to get fit for the season so we’re working hard in that space. We’ve had a look at WaiBOP and I think they’ll cause some interesting threats against us but we’re more focused on ourselves and how we can improve our own performance from last week."

Michael Mayne (WaiBOP coach): "I was pleased with a lot of our performance against Auckland but they were too strong and they took their goals really well. Canterbury are another strong and powerful team and we’re going down to their ground so it’s not going to be easy. But we’ve discussed the need to make sure we improve on last week’s performance and make sure we’re putting those individual performances in first. Each player has worked quite hard this week to analyse their own performance and how they can be more effective for the team."

Northern Lights vs Southern United

McFetridge Park, Auckland

Sunday 23 September, 12pm


Referee: L Robinson

Assistant Referees: H Simons, D Neville

Fourth Official: N Browning


Northern Lights: 1. Anna Leat (GK), 2. Arabella Maynard, 3. Kate Loye, 4. Emma Turnbull, 5. Claudia Bunge, 6. Nicole Stratford, 7. Malia Steinmetz, 8. Dayna Stevens, 9. Samantha Tawharu, 10. Maggie Jenkins, 11. Helen Kelderman, 12. Liz Savage, 14. Hannah MacKay-Wright, 15. Laney Strachan, 16. Greer MacIntosh, 18. Emily Couchman (GK)

Coach: Gemma Lewis

Southern United: 16. Jordan Woodward (GK), 3. Kelsey Kennard, 4. Mikaela Hunt, 5. Lena De Ronde, 7. Shontelle Smith, 8. Renee Bacon, 9. Chelsea Whittaker, 10. Kirsty Hayr, 11. Coral Seath, 12. Emily Morison, 14. Lara Wall, 15. Tahlia Roome, 21. Mikayla Gray, 23. Georgia Brown, 24. Jade Middleditch (GK)

Coach: Ignacio Sande


This will be a rather historic occasion for the Northern Lights as they are set to tick off a number of firsts. After sitting out last weekend with the bye, this is their opening match of the campaign but it is also the first under new coach Gemma Lewis, the first since their naming rebrand and the first at their new home ground of McFetridge Park. They will be keen to mark all that with a fitting display but will face an interesting challenge from Southern. Traditionally among the whipping sides of the competition until last season, any suggestion that tag still applies was well and truly stamped out in the first round as Southern put six past Central. A side of Northern’s class will provide much sterner resistance but, with the momentum that’s been built recently in the deep south, an upset is certainly not out of the question. Any lingering scores from the Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup final may be settled as Southern feature 10 players who took part in that game while Northern have five.


Gemma Lewis (Northern Lights coach): "Having the bye in the first week was an advantage to us, it gave us an extra week to look over the opposition and see Southern play their first game. So we’ve used that to our advantage but it doesn’t mean that people can’t change what they do on the day so we’ll see what happens. Southern have some good technical players and came on a lot last season. Their set plays are dangerous, they’re defensively organised and they have some pace up top and some threats in behind. They have ability all over the field and are not an opposition to be taken lightly."

Renee Bacon (Southern United): "It was pretty good last weekend, we played the way we had planned to play. We played to our advantages and scored goals when we could. We don’t have anything to go on really because Northern had a bye in the first round so we’re just going off what we saw from them last year. I guess they’ll have a bit of an upper hand having watched us play on the weekend but I think we’ll just go into it as hard as we can and play the way we know we can play."

Central vs Capital

Massey University, Palmerston North

Sunday 23 September, 2pm


Referee: B Rattray

Assistant Referees: B Walker, D Crawford

Fourth Official: A Turner


Central: 1. Aoife Gallagher-Forbes (GK), 2. Kate Watson, 3. Mackenzie Barry, 4. Jenna Barry, 5. Aimee Atkins, 6. Florence MacIntyre, 7. Lydia Bamford, 8. Sophie Crewe, 9. Michaela Boxall, 10. Anna Robson, 11. Casey Ralph, 12. Freya Partridge-Moore, 13. Maggie Pedersen, 14. Tyler Wood, 15. Jendi Frank, 20. Carina Flannagan (GK)

Coach: Matt Kilsby

Capital: 1. Courtney Norman (GK), 2. Sarah Alder, 3. Zoe Barrott, 4. Jemma Robertson, 5. Molly Woodhead, 6. Tory Schiltgen, 7. Kelsi Rutene, 8. Katie Barrott, 9. Emma Main, 10. Sarah Gregorius, 11. Kennedy Bryant, 12. Charlotte Wilford-Carroll, 14. Asha Strom, 15. Anna Green, 16. Meisha Boone, 18. Ronisa Lipi (GK)

Coach: Emma Evans


Both these sides will be hurting after finding themselves on the receiving end of comprehensive scorelines last weekend but will take comfort from the newly-expanded nature of the competition, meaning early defeats are not the death knell they once were. Capital in particular will be keen to bounce back as soon as possible though as their expectations are significantly loftier than those of Central, who were forced to hand debuts to ten players in their opening day defeat to Southern. And there could be a real need for Capital to claim all three points as their next two matches are against Northern and Auckland, two of last season’s playoff-making sides. Even if they can’t get anything on the table from this encounter, the Central coaching staff will at least want to see signs of development and progress from their young charges. They will hope to take advantage of a re-jigged Capital defence, missing Rosie Wild and Tessa McPherson due to moderate ankle injuries.


Donald Piper (Central team manager): "I think the whole squad learned a lot against Southern and it will hold them in good stead for the rest of the season. Obviously, the result was a difficult one to take but, having ten debutants out there, the experience they gained will keep them positive and focused for the rest of the season. We’re looking forward to hosting Capital and the ground is looking amazing. The weather is due to be really good so it should be a fantastic opportunity, we look forward to going out and trying to get our first points of the season."

Emma Evans (Capital coach): "Coming off the back of losses, both teams will have worked on things this week at training and we’re really ready to go. I think Central will come out firing, they’re our closest neighbour and it’s always a strong, physical game against them. We’ve been working this week on some of the areas we didn’t perform so well in against Canterbury but we’ve also really looked at areas we know we can be dominant in going forward. We can’t wait to show everyone what we can be capable of and hopefully we’ll see that this weekend."

BYE - Auckland

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