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Women’s football first for Tauranga City

Tauranga City AFC’s Fed Ladies (pink) took on the club’s Bay Ladies (blue) at Links Ave on Sunday. Photo: Kyla Ormsby.

Tauranga City AFC’s two women’s sides met for the first time as part of an official match on Sunday, and the home game was the perfect opportunity for an aspiring young journalist to practice her craft with SunLive.

Isla Ganley, 12, is heading to Russia in June as young journalist to report on ‘Gazprom Football for Friendship 2018’ - an international children’s social programme aiming to promote essential values embodied by football with the younger generation.

Before she goes, though, she got some practice in writing a match report with an experienced journalist, Ryan Wood from SunLive.

After going over some journalistic basics (who, what, where, when, why, how) and some of the go-to questions for all post-event debriefs (‘How do think that went?’), the journalists asked coaches and captains the hard questions to put together a summary of how the day’s games went.

Check the two match reports out below, and make sure to keep checking in with the ‘Earth is a Ball’ blog on SunLive, which will have Isla’s match reports and updates from Russia as they are written.

Isla’s Report:

For the first time in the Tauranga City AFC’s history, they have two women’s teams in the WAIBOP Women’s Bay league.

It was a rainy Sunday that they met for their first official match against each other at 11am at TCAFC home ground at Links Ave.

In 2017 the TCAFC Fed Bay SportsMed Ladies won both the WaiBOP Women’s Bay league and the WAIBOP Women’s Premier League, so the TCAFC Bay Ladies had a great challenge ahead of them.

TCAFC Fed Ladies dominated the start of the game and at half time the score was 5-0.

The rain cleared up and it was sunny just in time for the start of the second half. As the second half started the Fed Ladies were off to a great start.

Theresa Rhein attacked well and scored two more goals to have a hat trick. With 10 minutes to go everyone looked a bit tired. The final score was 10-0 to TCAFC Fed Ladies.

TCAFC Bay Ladies captain Kelly Phipps says they played good football and the score did not reflect how they played.

“The team has lots of new players so we need get to know each other more”.

TCAFC Fed Ladies captain Alice Cotter thinks her team played really well. “We were trying out a new formation, focusing more on attack.”

She thinks it’s great that TCAFC have two women’s football teams now.

“It’s great how the New Zealand woman’s team is getting paid the same amount as the men.”

With Sunday’s win, the TCAFC Fed Ladies team are at the top of the WAIBOP Women’s Bay league, with only one game left to play.

After the next game, the top four teams from the Bay league move to the WAIBOP Women’s Premier League competition where they will take on the top four teams from the Waikato league.

TCAFC Fed Ladies Coach Andrew Gibb says they are only focusing on one game at a time.

“They went really well today, the TCAFC Bay Ladies put us under a bit of pressure. We were trying a new formation, instead of doing 4-3-3, we played 3-5-2.” He feels only having three at the back made the players more responsive.

Scott Harrison, who has only been coaching the TCAFC Bay team for four weeks, is proud of his team’s game. “They never gave up. The opposition were stronger and deserved the win. It was a good experience for our younger players to play against more experienced players.”

Photo: Warren Ormsby.

Ryan’s Report:

It’s always tough when two teams from the same club meet on the football pitch, but that’s what happened at Link Ave Reserve in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

The Tauranga City Fed Bay SportsMed Ladies and the Tauranga City Bay Ladies – essentially the first and second women’s teams of Tauranga City AFC – found themselves in that unenviable position when the Bay of Plenty draw of the WaiBOP competition put them together.

Sunday’s game was played on a soggy pitch, but the morning rain had well and truly cleared by the second half, which was mostly played in the Bay Ladies’ half of the field as the Fed Ladies asserted their dominance.

The final result was 10-0 to the Fed Ladies, which captain Alice Cotter says was a good result.

“I think [the Bay Ladies] dominated for the first ten minutes or so,” she says. “But today we used a new formation with a stronger attacking focus.”

Fed Ladies coach Andrew Gibbs – who is also head coach for both teams – was pleased with the result for the first team.

“I was really impressed with the pressure from the Bay Ladies, which is nice to see from a head coach perspective.”

He says the Fed Ladies have recently been working on new formations, and on Sunday switched from a ‘4-3-3’ structure to a ‘3-5-2’ arrangement, with more players further up the field to attack.

“By the end of the season we want to have three separate formations we can easily switch between to counter what other teams bring to the field.”

Bay Ladies captain Kelly Phipps says her side played ‘good football’, in her opinion, and that the score didn’t necessarily reflect that.

“We have things to work on, such as set plays and more structure. We’re still getting to know each other, too, which is important when you’re out on the pitch.”

Bay Ladies coach Scott Harrison agrees his side put up a good fight.           

“I was very proud of our ladies, who never gave up. However, the opposition were stronger and deserved the win.

“We have lots of young players, and it’s good for them to get the experience.”

Coming up, Tauranga City Fed Ladies will take on Ngongotaha Association Football Club at Links Ave on Sunday May 27, while Tauranga City Bay Ladies will face Otumoetai Football Club at Fergusson Park on the same day.

For full draws, results, and standings, visit the WaiBOP Football website.

For Gazprom Football For Friendship media enquiries contact shane@footballmusicculture.org.

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