Capital Football are pleased to announce their squad for the 2017 National Women’s League.
The 24-strong squad has been selected following the conclusion of the local season and after several trials. Having kept a close watch through the Capital W-League competition, coach Emma Evans is pleased with the talent in the region and believes her side has the right balance to go one better than last year’s runner up finish.
Finalising the squad of 24 has been very challenging for Sam [Morrissey, Assistant Coach] and I, however it is pleasing to see such talent coming through in the region,” she says. “We look forward to building on the success we saw in 2016, and believe with the professionalism and team culture already shown by the squad, it puts us in good stead for this year’s campaign.”
While being able to call on the experience of former Football Fern Sarah Gregorius is a boost to the Capital side, their emerging national stars will play a key role through this season’s campaign.
Among those who are continuing to develop their skills through national age-group sides are Maya Hahn and Maggie Jenkins. The pair are fresh back from Samoa where New Zealand qualified for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
During the tournament, both players had the opportunity to wear the captain’s armband, an experience that Hahn sums up with typical enthusiasm.
“It was super exciting and a memorable opportunity,” she says.
For the Wellington United midfielders, Samoa offered its own challenges with the sweltering heat a world away from the rain of a Wellington winter. Jenkins is quick to point out the impact of the temperature.
“Adjusting to the heat was very hard and something we had to mentally adapt to,” she says. “We just weren’t used to playing in 30 degrees.”
Reflecting on their time in Samoa, both players noted the strength of the team’s culture and the professional environment that comes with being part of a national side. They also took plenty from the experience that they will be bringing to the National Women’s League, as Hahn explains.
“In Samoa, I had to find a way to play and adapt my own game, which was quite challenging. But I think having had that international exposure, I can now put that all in to play against better and more experienced opposition,” she says.
Maggie is also understandably positive about being involved and what it means for her in the National League.
“I feel like being involved with the U-17 squad has helped me play a lot better since coming back. I’ve learnt a lot about composure and how to prepare for big matches,” she says.
Capital Football squad for 2017 National Women’s League
Lena De Ronde
Coach: Emma Evans
Assistant Coach: Sam Morrissey
Manager: Sadie Verity