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Suburbs undefeated at half way point

Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier Division Leaders Eastern Suburbs have had a stellar start to the 2017 season, remaining undefeated at the half way point of the competition.

Mauro Donoso’s side have recorded seven wins from eight matches, their only blemish being a scoreless draw against Claudelands Rovers in round eight.

Suburbs’ Captain Rebekah Van Dort puts her sides success largely down to the team showing more drive this year towards winning games then in the past, but also credits Donoso and the club for their support.

“I think this year we have shown in the games just how much more we really want it, and that’s showing in the results.

“We have an awesome bunch of players, including some incredibly talented ones who bring a lot to the team and this is backed up by a really positive team culture to support each other.

“A lot is also down to Mauro [Donoso] and the style he has us playing along with the support we get from the club.”

The talent Suburbs boast include the likes of Grace Jale, Jacqui Hand, Nicole Mettam and Aimee Phillips, all of whom are members of the Football Ferns Development Programme.

Being involved in such a program means there is a lot of players coming in and out of the squad, with the FFDP squad members unavailable some weeks.

“It is really hard having players coming in and out of the team, especially as they are all extremely beneficial to how we play.

“The programme is important to them, but it’s always nice to have them back in the team when they are available.

“When they’re not, it enables other players in the squad a chance to play and develop which is a good experience for them.”

The absence of the talented quartet on a regular basis has provided the likes of Amy Waters, Hannah Pilley and Lizzie Ellis the chance to step into Premier Women’s football.

“I’m really impressed with how well the young girls have stepped up,” Van Dort admits.

“It is a huge leap from age group and school football, but they have all developed so much and are able to get experience from the game time.”

Despite the impressive start to the season, Van Dort and her team mates aren’t getting to ahead of themselves.

“If we want to do better than last season, we have to try and get points from every game we play.

“We’re taking each game as it comes and focussing on playing well and implementing our style of play.”

Suburbs have a break from Lotto NRFL action this week, with a trip to Hamilton on the Cards to face the Wanderers in the New Zealand Football Women’s Knockout Cup.

League action recommences for Suburbs on Friday 16 June where they will face Western Springs under lights at Seddon Fields.

Photo courtesy www.phototek.co.nz