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Wai Utd women rebuilding

Radha McGlashan spurs on one of her Douglas Villa junior teams. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

New Tumu ITM Wairarapa United women’s coach Radha McGlashan will use this season to develop her young side.

After five seasons in the W-League, the lower North Island’s premier women’s championship, the team have dropped two divisions to Wellington division one.

That comes after the departure of coach Paul Ifill to Christchurch United and the loss of most of the squad who finished fourth in last year’s W-League.

For McGlashan, the move to coaching a senior side is a step up from the junior roles with Douglas Villa she fulfilled last year with success, winning the NZ Football McDonald’s Junior Coach of the Year award.

McGlashan said she only picked up the United position a couple of weeks ago and was still getting to know the players.

“I’m not too sure who was in the team last year. We have four or five experienced players, but it’s definitely a young squad, and we have quite a few school kids,” said McGlashan.

“For me, it’s just a development year, kind of rebuilding the team. We want to build a strong foundation for those girls coming through as we have some as young as 14.”

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Despite the youth and inexperience in the United squad, McGlashan has no fear about their ability to be major contenders in division one.

“It’s probably a good starting point for us just to get the girls’ confidence up because none of them has really played women’s level before, so [it’s about] getting them exposed to a whole different game than school football — but I don’t think we will struggle in division one.”

United kick off their campaign on Sunday at 1pm with a home game at Trust House Memorial Park against Wainuiomata Wildcats.

McGlashan will also continue to coach two junior teams – the Douglas Villa 12th grade side in the Capital Federation junior premier league, and the Wairarapa United U-8 side.

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