Local rivalry motivates Forrest

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Forrest Hill aim to stop a red-hot Glenfield Rovers side in their tracks this weekend as the pair are set meet at Becroft Park in what will be a bitter sweet local rivalry.

With neither team yet to lose in the first two rounds of the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League, Rovers have enjoyed the better run in results, beating last year’s league champions, Three Kings United in their opening match 5-2 and then slaughtering newly promoted Papakura 7-0 last week.

Forrest Hill on the other hand, look to continue a suitable track of results, drawing with Papakura 2-2 in their round one, and edging a 3-2 win over Claudelands last week.

With the pair clashing on Sunday at Becroft Park, Forrest Hill coach Ben Bate wants his side to pull off a good result against Rovers and aims to drop the little sister tag his side may have in the eyes of some in the rivalry.

“It’s always good to play against Glenfield, it’s a local rivalry, we’re only separated by less than two kilometres and we know each other very well, we play each other frequently, even in pre-season, so we’re quite aware of their strengths and what they bring to the game.”

“Our girls are hyped and ready to go, whether they’ll be premier players or reserves players doesn’t matter, because they all love playing against Glenfield.”

“It would mean just that little bit more to beat Glenfield, they’ve obviously got a dedicated team this year, they’ve got very few FFDP (Football Ferns Development Programme) players, which means they’ll have a good 10 or 11 that are going to start in every game, which is a huge advantage in any league.”

“There’s a lot of people on twitter saying Glenfield is going to go all the way, and they may do that, but we will certainly do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen, because we don’t see ourselves as the little sister of the two.”

With Glenfield hosting many experienced and talented players within their squad, Forrest Hill on the other hand is concentrated on the development of youth and is progressing a young team to compete well in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

As well as focusing on the development of his own team, Bate is aware of the dynamic talent Rovers possess and is readying his players to the challenge of battling against last year’s Kate Sheppard Cup Winners.

“Kate Loye and Liz Savage are always huge threats, but there’s also several others that can be match winners for them in any moment, we have to be aware of that, we’ve been punished by those players in the past and previously Katie Rood when she was playing for them (Rovers).”

“We’ve been stung a few times by them, especially Liz (Savage) who can put the ball in the top corner from 40 metres out.”

“But in terms of our players, we aspire to be just as good as their (Glenfield) first team in years to come, we’ve got a great underpinning in youth.”

“Every season we ideally just want to do better than we were last season, so we’re building something on a three to five-year time scale.”

“Last year was all about getting in a group of youngsters and developing them into a position where they can compete week in and week out in the league, which I feel we did and we’ve obviously been rewarded by that and a number of the players have been called up in the NZ U-17s and U-20s as well.”

The match will kick off at Becroft Park at 1pm on Sunday.

Other Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier Fixtures:
Eastern Suburbs vs Claudelands Rovers – Madills Farm
Three Kings United vs Western Springs – Keith Hay Park
Papakura vs Hamilton Wanderers – McLennan Park

*All matches are scheduled to kick off at 1pm