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National women’s league approaches

The seven-round 2015 national league kicks off with Northern Football facing Football South in Auckland while two-time defending champions Mainland Pride – aiming for a competition three-peat after 2013 and 2014 title wins – travel to Auckland for their opening match against the New Zealand Development squad, a team guided by former coach Gareth Turnbull.
Now residing in Auckland, Turnbull is leading the New Zealand U-17 side in their 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup cycle, with the Development squad a key part of the preparation for the tilt at the world stage in Jordan next October.
Similar to the ASB Premiership, the Women’s League – the top women’s competition in the country – serves as an important step in the pathway to international football with a number of Football Ferns taking part in the three-month competition again this year.
Mainland’s three-peat push will once again be headed by 81-cap international midfielder Annalie Longo, while Northern’s campaign will feature Football Ferns goalkeeper Erin Nayler and midfielders Evie Millynn and Daisy Cleverley.
Meanwhile a clutch of current and former U-17 and U-20 internationals will form key parts of each of the eight competing teams, while former Football Ferns defender Kristy Hill has taken the coaching reigns at seven-time champions Auckland Football.
Hill’s former international goalkeeping team mate Jenny Bindon is part of the coaching staff of the U-17 Development squad.
New Zealand Football Community Director Cam Mitchell says the Women’s League forms a key role in the development of the nation’s best players towards the highest level of the game.
“If you look at the squads who have competed in the Women’s League in recent times you will see a clear link to our U-17, U-20 and Football Ferns teams,” Mitchell says.
“The role the competition plays in bridging our community base to our elite international teams is a vital one with our top domestically-based players able to compete with and against each other in an environment elevated above winter club football.”
That experience is extremely valuable as we continue to broaden the base of players capable of breaking into the international arena and ultimately boost the Football Ferns’ rise up the international rankings.”
For full competition details and updates click here.
New Zealand Women’s League 2015 – Competing teams
Auckland Football
Capital Football
Central Football
Football South
Mainland Football
New Zealand U-17 Development
Northern Football
WaiBOP Football
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football

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