Glenfield score Berger

Glenfield Rovers have picked up one of the signings of the summer in the form of Tessa Berger who last year turned out for Rovers’ rivals Forrest Hill Milford.

It was very much like a home coming for the Rodney Local Board member, with Rovers’ coach Andrew Clay having played a big role in her football career to date.

Clay coached Berger for a number of years at both school and club level and was happy to have his former Centre back back amongst his squad.

“I’ve coached Tessa at school and club since she was 13 at Epsom Girls Grammar and Three Kings United,” says Clay.

“There I converted her from a centre mid to a centre back where she’s spent best part of a decade and has of course done very well there.

“We went our separate ways for a couple of years until the start of this season when she talked to me about having a new challenge in football and that being wanting to play number nine.

“I’d played her there few times in the past in emergencies and she’s done well and since I had centre back covered at Glenfield and was looking who might play nine for me I thought it was worth inviting her over.”

Three games into the season, Berger has netted twice, and Clay expects that form to keep going.

“I expect her to be near the top of the goal scoring charts by the end of the season.

“She brings a physical presence, is very strong in the air and has proved to be confident in front of goal which I was fairly sure she would be.

“We’ve worked on her movement off the ball and combining with midfielders and we’ll continue to do that.”

Berger admits having Clay at Glenfield has made her transition a lot easier, with the former Three Kings United coach having played a big role in her football career to date.

“It has very much felt like coming home. Three Kings is and always will be, my home club.

“I have spent the majority of my time playing there and Andy was a significant part of my love for the club and that team,” says Berger

“He’s been there throughout my career and watched me develop both as a player and as a person. So, having him at Glenfield has definitely made the transition that much easier, but I have to say, everybody here has been so welcoming and accommodating.”

Berger had a successful season captaining Forrest Hill in 2016, one that included winning the New Zealand Football National Women’s Knockout Cup, but admits she wanted to be in a more senior environment this year.

“I think for me, moving clubs was based on wanting to be in a more senior environment, with a focus learning towards results rather than development,” says Berger.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for my time at Forrest Hill and with the success we had last season, it was a fitting note to part on.”

Glenfield are another successful club in the National Women’s Knockout Cup and Clay’s side have their eye on reversing last year’s final result.

“As a collective, we’ve got our eye on the Knockout Cup. This team has a rich history in the national competition, so I want to contribute as best I can to see the club succeed in that regard.

“Given the outcome of last year’s final, I think the girls will be on my case about going all the way in 2017,” she adds.

Rovers currently sit fourth in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier division and this weekend have the rounds bye.