Team Ioss forces

footbaII changes
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THERE WILL be changes at
the top of women’s football in
Christchurch this season, afer
Halswell United announced it will
not be fielding a premier league
team.
Club president Craig Crawford
said the loss of the team was
down to a combination of some
players leaving for other clubs
and others leaving competitive
football behind.
Crawford said the movement of
the Asia-Pacific Football Acad-
emy from Lincoln to Wellington,
did not help, with Halswell tend-
ing to pick up players from there
in the past.
Mainland Football women’s
development officer Emily Toase
said while the loss of the team
“was really disapointing,” player
movement was common in wom-
ens football.
“Players always go to coaches
they like or move around with
their friends,” she said.
Mainland Football is hoping
to build on last year’s successes,
where the Mainland Pride won
the national women’s league and
Coastal Spirit won the national
women’s club knockout cup.
Coastal football develop-
ment manager Gareth Turnbull
said numbers at their club were
consistent with last season and
its premier league team had
remained mostly intact.
A couple of players have moved
to Auckland, but their departure
has been offset by
the addition of
Football Fern An-
nalie Longo.
Turnull said he
expects Cash-
mere Technical
and Universities,
which have both
recruited well dur-
ing the off-season,
to compete with
defending cham-
pions Coastal for
the title.
Parklands United
will play in the premier league
for the first time this season, in a
move that was confirmed before
Halswell withdrew.
Te team has played together
in the under-18 grade for the
last couple of years, and has
been “quite successful,” said
coach Shane Dyer, and have now
reached the age where they’re
ready for women’s football.
“It will be a huge learning year
for the girls this year, but we’re
aiming to finish in the middle of
the table,” said Dyer,
Toase said Parklands’ model,
where it has brought girls through
the age grades together was a
good example.
“If you create a sustain-
able system and introduce
them through the age
grades, eventually those
players do move up into
womens football, “ she
said.
A club trying to follow
in its footsteps is Selwyn
United, which has seen
“an increase in inter-
est” this season, said its
women’s coordinator
Penny Taylor.
Taylor said Selwyn has
become a very strong women’s
club over the last two or three
years, and like Parklands, would
be fielding teams in every grade.
She said it hopes to be able to
have a team in the premier league
within two or three years and had
entered a young team in the pre-
mier development league with a
view to doing so down the track.
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