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TCU, Papakura targeting promotion

Tauranga City United and Papakura City go head to head in a home and away play off for a spot in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier Division next season.

The first of the two matches takes place tomorrow at Papakura’s McLennan Park and the home side is remaining confident after their successful first place finish in the AFF/NFF Conference League.

“I am confident in our abilities coming up against a team we are not familiar with,” Papakura’s Captain Sophie Leidh said.

“We just need to remain focussed on our game and ensure we put everything we have trained into practice.”

The South Auckland outfit last graced the Northern League in 2013, which unfortunately lasted no more than a season. To be back in the top flight would be something special for the club that is continuing to grow in the Girls and Women’s space.

“We have had a huge amount of support this year and the club has worked really hard to develop Women’s football, from the junior and youth grades right through to the senior women,” Leidh said.

“It would really mean a lot to the club to see us back in the Premier League, performing at our best and being role models for the younger girls at the club.”

For their opponents, Tauranga City, gaining promotion to the Northern League would be a first for the club, and, come off the back of an impressive season in the Bay of Plenty.

“Tauranga City didn’t have a senior women’s team last year,” Pat Wigley, Head Coach of Tauranga explained.

“A whole cross section of good girls came to the club and basically I sat down with the girls and asked them what they wanted; We only train one night a week. We just started to mould a good team culture and we started winning.

“We won the Bay League earlier this year, which is the best of the Bay of Plenty region. We only lost one game in that league. We then got promoted to the WaiBOP Premier League which we won with a game to spare.”

When asked what it will mean to the club if they gain promotion, Wigley highlighted the important of it to the wider region, rather than a single club.

“I think it’s more what does it mean to the region.

“We’ve got girls from the wider Tauranga region in our side so this is not about one club pushing forward I think we need it on behalf of the region.”

To check out more on TCU’s first season together as a team, head to www.tcuwf.co.nz

Extra Information

Tauranga City United: Alice COTTER, Amanda WILSHIER, Angel CHEGWIDEN, Ayla PRATT, Emma ROBERTS, Grace HAVLER, Grace NELSON, Harina MARKS, Hope LAWSON, Jade McLAURIN, Kelly PHIPPS, Monique LOWRY, Nicola HINGSTON, Rachel YOUNG, Rebecca HOLWERDA, Sheyanne COLLOM, Theresa RHEIN, Tyler Chelsea DAVIDSON.

Papakura City: Sarah MVIMBI, Meripa SEUMANUTAFA, Amanda WILSON, Sophie LEIDH, Matina RICKARD, Sarah FROMONT, Sammy BUTLER, Sophia FROMONT, Marnie VAN DAALEN, Jasmin ELSON, Libby WILLIAMS, Marlies JAMES, Hannah LITTLEWOOD, Jessica PECKETT, Jax DAVID, Georgia IRVINE, Elizabeth TAKEREI, Kirsty MACKAY.

Leg 1 – Sunday 10 September – McLennan Park, Papakura, 1pm.
Leg 2 – Sunday 17 September – Wharepai Domain, Tauranga, 2.30pm.