Finalist for NRFL Womens’ Premier League Player of the Year, Katie Rood has her eye on one particular prize this Sunday, when her side Glenfield Rovers take on fellow Northern Football Federation Club, Forrest Hill Milford in the ASB Knockout Cup final at QBE Stadium, Albany.
The 22-year-old striker is no stranger to pressure, having travelled to Japan for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2012.
She has also been a part of the team that won the NRFL Women’s Premier League in 2010 and 2011, the ASB Women’s Knockout Cup in 2011, NRFL Women’s Premier League Cup in 2011, and was part of the Northern Football representative side that won the ASB Women’s League in 2011 and 2012.
Rood says the team have been preparing for the final with some strong results recently.
“With seven clean sheets and 41 goals in our last seven matches, we are really hitting where we want to be in terms of form for Sunday’s match. It will be a tough game as there is a strong rivalry between clubs. With seven of the Forrest Hill Milford girls returning from the FIFA U-20 World Cup, we expect them to be both physical and fit.”
Growing up in Whangarei, Rood was very active and played a wide range of sports, although hockey and football were her focus.
“It wasn’t until I was 17, after playing hockey for Northland at the Under-18 National Tournament that I decided to fully focus on football. I played for North Force as a 14 year old in the senior Auckland and Northern Football competition, and while we weren’t the best I learnt so much.
“Our Coach Adam Hayne and all the senior players in that environment were really positive and it was there that I started to gain a real appreciation for learning from those who have been in and around the game for so long.”
Rood made the move to Auckland for her final year of school with her sights on making the Junior (U-20) Football Ferns for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Germany. She says while it was a daunting experience it was worth it.
“It was a whole new world to me, living in the big city, a school with over 3,000 students and a high intensity football programme. Deciding to play for Glenfield Rovers was one of the best moves I could have made. The passion, work ethic and desire to win from the coach, Craig Alexander, and players such as Rebecca O’Neill, Sarah Gibbs and Katie Hoyle had a profound effect on me.”
She then faced one of her toughest lessons, missing the World Cup due to a broken foot.
“This was one of the biggest learning curves I’ve ever faced but I think I’m much better for it now. I became a student of the game while I was out injured. I watched every game I could, something I had never done before due to growing up in a rugby mad region and family. I watched the strikers, how they moved, beat defenders and got their shots away. I became a football fan.”
The off-field work paid off and in 2012 Rood had the opportunity to trial for English club Lincoln Ladies in the newly-formed Women’s Super League, the equivalent to the English Premier League.
She says it was a risky venture, but it was worth it, training alongside some of the best players in the world, such as English internationals Sophie Baddley, Jessica Clarke and Casey Stoney, former England and Great Britain captain. Glenfield Rovers Coach Craig Alexander describes Rood as an immensely talented player who is comfortable striking the ball with either foot plus add to that her pace, she is a real asset to the team.
The form that has produced 50 goals for Rood this season in the Northern Football Pre-Season Tournament, Premier Northern League, ASB Women’s Knockout Cup and a stint for the Reserves, will be needed for her side in the final on Sunday.
Tickets for Sunday’s ASB Women’s Knockout Cup Final are on sale now via Ticketek and the match will be LIVE streamed for the first time (full details below). Follow live updates on Twitter @NZ_Football #FHMvGLE #ASBWomensKO
ASB Women’s Knockout Cup Final
Forrest Hill Milford United AFC v Glenfield Rovers
Sunday 7 September, 11am (gates open 10.30am)
QBE Stadium, Albany
Adult – $12.50ea (includes 2 free children. $5 for extra child) www.ticketek.co.nz
Online LIVE streaming coverage
ASB Women’s Knockout Cup: https://new.livestream.com/ifilmsport/ASBwomensKnockoutFinal2014
Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC (from): 2. Michelle Windsor, 3. Chloe Wilson, 4. Briar Palmer, 5. Emily Jensen, 6. Nicole Stratford, 7. Casey Ridsdale, 8. Tayla O’Brien, 9. Emma Rolston, 10. Kailey Short, 11. Daisy Cleverley, 12. CJ Bott, 13. Kate Seatter (capt), 14. Brittany Coleman, 15. Morgan Owen, 16. Dallas Olsen, 17. Hannah Carlsen, 19. Ana Clark, 20. Elise Donovan (GK)
Glenfield Rovers (from): 1. Pamela Yates (GK), 2. Ashleigh Ward, 3. Alice Bresnahan, 4. Estelle Harrison, 5. Liz Milne, 6. Bridgette Armstrong, 7. Katie Jackson, 8. Lisa Wooles, 9. Rebecca O’Neill (capt), 10. Briar McNamara, 11. Katie Rood, 12. Michelle Hogg, 13. Bianca Stiles, 14. Claudia Bunge, 15. Maddie Jorgensen, 16. Stacey Hallford, 17. Emily Oosterhof, 18. Erin Nayler (GK)
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley
Assistant referees: Nadia Browning, Sarah Walker
Fourth official: Debbie Stevens