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Wood re-joins Springs

Chelsey Wood is back.

Western Springs’ centre back Wood has re-joined the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier Division side. Wood missed the 2016 season due to being unable to commit, after being a starting centre back for Rico Wilson’s sides at Springs and previously Eastern Suburbs for a number of years.

Wood returns this year after a season off which saw her get married, travel overseas and support her husband’s first year as a doctor.

“It was a hard decision to step back from all football last year,” Wood admits.

“My decision centred around the fact that I couldn’t commit 100% to trainings and games as I had a busy year in store.

“Looking at the amount of time I would miss away from football, I made a decision that it wasn’t fair to the squad and the coaches to only be half committed.

“I believe the Lotto NRFL is a tough league that requires regular contact with your team mates and coaches to have a successful season, and unfortunately I couldn’t promise that.”

Having played the game since a five-year-old, Wood admits she missed playing more than she thought she would.

“I am back playing because I missed it more than I thought I would.

“I hadn’t had a season off since I was five years old, and I really missed the social interaction with people I have known for 10+ years and the athletic and competitive environment that this league provides.”

In between stepping away from the game and now, Wood believes the depth of the league has improved immensely, highlighting New Zealand age-group international Malia Steinmetz as an example of the quality the league possesses.

“Absolutely the depth of the league has improved,” Wood said.

“I am impressed with how many talented younger girls are now stepping up to challenge the older players in every team that we have faced so far.

“For example, Malia from Forrest Hill was a shy young player when I last played in the 2015 season and when we played her last week, she absolutely bossed their midfield and was a big threat.

“It is encouraging and inspiring for me to try and keep up with the youth coming through.”

After a tough start to the season, Springs are creeping up the table with two wins on the trot as they work towards a league and cup double.

“We had four of the top teams in our first four games and I think we have done well to resurrect what was a tough start.

“Our team goal is always to win the league and the cup.

“We have to strive for the top as I believe we have the squad to be able to achieve those targets.

“Obviously we’ve made it hard for ourselves by dropping six points early but this league is tight and everyone will take points off everyone and therefore I think it will end up tight at the end of the season.”

This weekend provides a good opportunity for Springs to move further up the table with just two points separating them from this weekend’s opponents Glenfield Rovers.

“We are very, very up for this match on Sunday,” Wood said.

“We have a lot of rivalry with Glenfield and I think it will be a competitive match.

“I look forward to a very entertaining Andy Clay after match speech too, he never disappoints,” she adds.

The match kicks off at 1pm at McFetridge Park on Sunday 7 May.

Photo courtesy in-the-back-of-the.net