Wellington’s Dijkstra returns to scene of past Kate Sheppard Cup glory

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When the teams take to North Harbour Stadium for Sunday’s Kate Sheppard Cup final, at least one player might feel at home in the surroundings.

Sophie Dijkstra.

Wellington United defender Sophie Dijkstra (21) will cast her mind back to September 2018 when she walked out of the same players’ tunnel for Dunedin Technical, a side regarded as underdogs to beat Auckland’s Forest Hill Milford in that season’s Kate Sheppard Cup final.

Technical won the cup 4-2, taking the NZ Football Foundation-sponsored trophy to Dunedin for the first time.

Dijkstra will hope to create another piece of history when her new teammates face Hamilton Wanderers, with both clubs aiming to get their names engraved on the silverware for the first time.

Dijkstra is the only Wellington player in Sunday’s final to have cup final experience.

And, in a fitting turn of events, it turns out Dunedin’s 2018 cup run played a part in taking Djikstra from Otago to her new club.

Technical had beaten Wellington United in the semi-final of the cup, and the Diamonds players and supporters impressed the young student who was moving to the capital for university studies.

When she arrived in Wellington in 2019, she signed for the Diamonds.

Main photo: Dijkstra and her Dunedin Technical teammates celebrate cup success in 2018.

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