Papakura face challenging task

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Currently placed sixth on the league table, Papakura gaffer, Liam Martin has set his sights on a top five finish by the end of the season, but a challenging task lies ahead when his side takes on league leaders, Glenfield Rovers in their next match of the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

With the match holding high stakes for both sides, Martin is hoping an upset is on the cards following Glenfield’s first defeat of the season where Rovers went down to Three Kings United by 2-1.

“For them to finally get a defeat is a good thing for the league and other teams will be feeling they can catch them, but I am sure they’ll be ready to go especially after the first result against us and they’ll be pushing for the title, so they won’t want to drop anymore points.”

“They’ve obviously got a very talented and experienced side and obviously with not having many players in FFDP, they’ve got the pick of the bunch each week.”

“Any team would struggle to play against their midfield combinations of Kate Loye and Liz Savage each week, but in their last two matches, with Three Kings getting their victory against them and Suburbs getting a draw as well, they’re going to try and bounce back, so it’s going to be tough for us, but we will definitely do our best to string out at strong performance.”

With the next round of fixtures in full flow, several additions to the squad saw Papakura bolster with talent at the start of the season.

“It’s been pretty positive having those players come into the squad, there’s a few with a handful of NRFL experience, but they haven’t played for a couple of years” Martin said.

“They’ve certainly brought a different kind of attitude to it, they’ve shown what it should be like in training and pre-match and things like that.”

One of the new additions, Hannah Kraakman has played an influential role in the heart of Papakura’s midfield, playing a solid 703 minutes so far this season.

Papakura City’s Hannah Kraakman in action.

Squaring up against Glenfield this weekend, the Papakura midfielder is hoping her side can break down the Glenfield back line and prevent the threatening long ball to forwards, Dayna Stevens and Geena Gross.

“The last time we played them they were really good in the air, they were superb going forward, the long ball coming in from their back line it made it difficult for us to adjust defensively, but I think if we can stop them from sending the long balls down the pitch, it’ll definitely break them down.”

“We’re definitely looking to improve on that score line, we were quite poor in the air, and that’s how they got a lot of their goals in the first game, so we were definitely going to look to be a lot stronger in the air, winning balls and building from the back.”

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

Other Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League fixtures:

Eastern Suburbs v Western Springs – Madills Farm
Three Kings United v Hamilton Wanderers – Keith Hay Park
Forrest Hill United v Claudelands Rovers – Becroft Park

All matches are scheduled to kick off at 1pm.

Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League Table: