Female futsal talent hits the capital

Maxine Cooper is seeking National Women's Futsal League glory with the Auckland squad. Photo: Masanori Udagawa www.photowellington.photoshelter.com

The best female futsal players in the country will come together in Wellington over the next three days for the right to be crowned New Zealand champions.

The National Women’s Futsal League will be held from February 24 to 26 at the ASB Sports Centre in Wellington and has been scheduled to coincide with the FIFA Live Your Goals women’s football campaign.

Dave Payne, the newly-appointed Head of Operations for New Zealand Football, says girls and women’s futsal participation has continued to grow with females now making up 20 per cent of the total participation base after a growth rate of over 35 per cent in the last two years.

“Futsal continues to go from strength to strength in New Zealand and the women’s numbers in the game are a big part of that growth,” Payne says. “We are looking forward to this weekend’s National Women’s Futsal League which will be closely fought by the federations. It is a great chance to bring the women’s futsal community together.”

The weekend’s activities will offer the chance for the grassroots and elite sides of the game to converge with Capital Football hosting a major junior futsal festival on Friday to coincide with the tournament kick-off.

Over 1,000 school-aged girls have been participating in a pair of futsal festivals, in Hutt Valley and Porirua respectively, during the week and they will all descend on the ASB Sports Centre to watch their senior idols strut their stuff in the opening match of the national league.

Capital’s opponents in that game will be Australia’s Victorian State League side the Bayside Pirates, the only team from outside of these shores to take part in the competition.

As well as taking in the on-court action, the junior players will have the chance to get the autographs of their favourite players while raffle prizes will also be up for grabs.

“The girls and women’s game is a big focus within Capital this year,” says Capital’s Futsal Development Officer Todd Bryant.

“These school festivals are a great opportunity for girls to give futsal a go and showcase the opportunities that futsal can create for young players. Having futsal festival venues in Hutt Valley, Porirua and Wellington has meant we are able to provide equal opportunities across the region and increase the accessibility of futsal for all.”

The federation’s Women’s Development Officer, Emma Evans, says futsal has a key role to play in providing exciting opportunities to young females.

“Holding these festivals early in the year allows schools to reap the rewards futsal can offer, both on and off the court. Fostering new friendships and increasing the confidence of these young girls is a key driver behind FIFA Live Your Goals,” she says.

Six of the seven New Zealand Football federations will be represented in the National Women’s Futsal League and each team is set to compete in two groups of four in a round robin format with the final to be staged on Sunday.

The action will be livestreamed via the home page of New Zealand Football and the direct link can be found by clicking here

To view the National Women’s Futsal League draw please click here

To follow the National Women’s Futsal League results please click here

The squad lists for each team are as follows:

Northern Futsal: Nicole Toy, Casey Klyn, Ashleigh Patton, Amy McQuoid, Amelia Camp, Tayla O’Brien, Corina Brown, Bernadette Goulding, Kate Seatter, Libby Boobyer, Rosie Hartwell, Catherine Pretty, Hannah Reddy, Chloe Ockleston
Coach: Felipe De Marchi Bernardi

AFF Futsal: Danielle Bradley, Rivalina Fuimaono, Shivy Anthony, Gemma Lewis, Jenna Dodd, Hannah Kraakman, Dayna Manak, Jess Verdon, Erinna Wong, Annie Byrne, Maisy Dewell, Emily Gillion, Maxine Cooper, Rebecca O’Neill
Coach: Nic Downes

WaiBOP Futsal: Maddison Ollington, Grace Cox, Helen Talbot, Emma Cawte, Chelsi Rys, Leah Gubb, Madeleine Fryer, Safari Kor, Theresa Rhein, Eilish Graves, Monique Lowry, Kim Maguire, Emily Hanrahan, Sophie Daly
Coach: Dominic O’Sullivan

Central Futsal-Hawke’s Bay: Samantha Anderson, Maggie Pedersen, Phoebe Mason, Aleesha Heywood, Aimee Atkins, Rosemary Mair, Claudia Barham, Aishlin McIntyre, Sophie Pyott, Maggie Brunton, Holly Barclay, Sharne Crous, Casey Ralph, Eden O’Leary
Coach: Cameron Webber

Central Futsal-Manawatu: Mikaela Boxall, Laura Nottle, Molly Woodhead, Mkylah Wilson, Torijane Lyne-Lewis, Ella James, Tilly James, Nicole Robertson, Hannah Robert, Courtney Norman, Sophie Crewe, Emma Crewe, Hannah Fitzgerald, Larissa Cable
Coach: Matt Wallace

Capital Futsal: Anna Wittman-Wenzel, Sophie Armitage, Samantha Kendrick, Sarah Alder, Annie Olssen, Danielle Calautti, Jemma Hall, Elizabeth Crowe, Kelsi Rutene, Katelin Barrott, Chelsea Empson, Maggie Jenkins, Emily Morison, Francesca Grange
Co-coaches: Alex Brodie and Lauren Harkerss

Canterbury United Pride: Maggie Anderson, Morgan Ashworth, Loren Baker, Lily Baker, Emma Clarke, Connor Duggan, Macey Fraser, Hannah Hegarty, Whitney Hepburn, Chloe Jones, Rebecca Lake, Britney-Lee Nicholson, Nikita Swarts, Sophie Williams
Coach: Ronan Naicker

Bayside Pirates (Victoria, Australia): Emily Coppock, Rebecca Davies, Lauren Diduszko, Annabelle Gibney, Ilona Jakab, Greta Jowett-Smith, Bethany Mason-Jones, Niamh McLure, Anna Peers-Barlow, Elizabeth Sarcevic, Kristin Stensholt, Stephanie Tanti
Coach: Mark Georgeson

Related Topics: