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A league of their own

Eastern Suburbs 0, Glenfield Rovers 5
Madills Farm, Auckland, July 17 2011

In light of the Women’s World Cup final being tomorrow morning New Zealand time, I thought it might be a good time (better late than never) to attend, I’m ashamed to admit, my first game of women’s football. I want to write more about the women’s game and how myself as an individual and society as a whole is and has been so remiss in undervaluing it. But I’m going to save that for a second post on the subject later in the week. That way it allows this post to be mostly positive – about a great afternoon out that I intend to repeat in the not too distant future.

The other reason today seemed like a great day to break my duck was the prospect of a top of the table clash. After ten games in the season, Glenfield Rovers sat in pole position on 27 points in the Northern Regional Football League – Women’s Premier. While Eastern Suburbs AFC, with a game in hand, were second on 22 points – making this game potentially pivotal.

Three of the players on show today have recently returned from the Women’s World Cup where they played for a New Zealand national team that performed more than creditably in Germany. They are Eastern Suburbs goalkeeper Erin Nayler, Glenfield defender Katie Bowen and Glenfield midfielder Katie Hoyle.

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Sadly, unlike the men’s fixtures at this level, there was no programme or team sheet available so due to my ignorance of women’s football I can’t tell you who the players are that I have photographed. On the positive side though, there was an open cafeteria that had, shock horror, REAL COFFEE!!! This is something that before today I had believed to be as common at New Zealand football clubs as ice-cream is on the surface of the sun.  On the strength of that, I will almost certainly be returning to Eastern Suburbs for more club football at some stage.

It’s just a pity that the home side’s football didn’t match the amenities. They were outclassed 5-0 by a dominant Glenfield performance.

The only other gripe that I will canvas here is the lack of ball boys/girls. Unlike the men, women footballers apparently have to chase their own wayward passes and shots. As a spectator I was also called into action on several occasions. I felt I mostly discharged my duties with distinction… apart from one unfortunate moment. I was confused whether to send the ball to the goalie for a goal kick or in the direction of the corner flag. The players were yelling GK at me but they looked like they were setting up for a corner! Not my finest hour… I promise to brush up on the rules for next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. Got to redeem myself somehow.

Categories: NZ Northern Women's Premier

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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