The very much in-form Wairarapa United seconds women’s football squad. Back row, from left: Casey Scott (Captain), Cory Burling (Coach), Taylah Hatchard, Gemma Keen, Hailee Mann, Trish Morison, Sandy Rogers, Annie Jones, Gill Flower. Front row: Brittany McGruddy, Aaliyah Keys, Danica Erasmus, Jaime Stewart, Paris Tenant-James, Olivia Knowles, Ksenia Arnopp, Chantelle Leban. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
By Gary Caffell
Ten matches, ten wins.
That’s the hugely impressive record of the Wairarapa United women’s seconds football team in the 2017 season.
They won the first-round title in the Capital first division competition with a string of eight successive wins, and have continued on their winning way with two from two in the second round where there have been some team changes because of mid-season promotion-relegation games.
For coach Cory Burling the success of the Wairarapa United side is due in the main to two words; spirit and commitment.
The squad has a wide age-range and consists of some players who have had quite significant experience in the sport and others who are practically brand new.
They have worked together well as a unit, both on and off the playing field.
“We get good attendances at trainings and there’s a really good atmosphere there, everybody gives it everything they can and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
In their 10 matches to date Wairarapa United have scored 25 goals while conceding just 3, a situation which suggests their defence is as formidable as their attack — and Burling concurs with that assessment.
“At the level we are playing at we are a pretty handy side in all areas, we can score enough goals at one end to keep the scoreboard ticking over and keep them out at the other.”
Skipper Casey Scott has been a mainstay of the Wairarapa United side with her inspirational leadership and Sonya Soromon, who has performed with distinction at a higher level in the past, is another who has shone on a regular basis.
Burling also has high praise for 16-year-old Chanel College student Danica Erasmus who has taken up the goalkeeping duties.
“Danica is still learning but she’s come on in leaps and bounds, she handles pressure really well.”
If Wairarapa United win the second-round title to add to the first they will become eligible to play off for a place in the Capital premier division next season, but Burling says that is something still very much in the background.
“We will cross that bridge if we get to it, right now the big aim is to keep enjoying ourselves and keep playing good football, we’ll just see what happens as things progress.”
Wairarapa United will continue their division one programme with a match against Petone at Petone this Sunday, and with Petone also having won both of their second round matches this could well be one of their toughest assignments of the season.