Auckland United’s Martine Puketapu looking for second cup winner’s medal

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Auckland United striker Martine Puketapu will aim to score cup-winning goals a decade apart when she turns out against Northern Rovers in Sunday’s Kate Sheppard Cup final.

The former Football Fern, who turns 25 the week after this year’s final, scored both goals for Three Kings United in their 2-0 cup victory against Massey University to win women’s football’s premier knockout competition in 2012.

Three Kings United is one of the partner clubs that formed the current Auckland United.

Puketapu, then only 14, in the cup final against Massey University at Newtown Park, Wellington. Photo: Getty Images.

Puketapu played in the same cup-winning line-up as legendary Football Fern Annalie Longo and current Wellington Phoenix star Chloe Knott.

This year, Puketapu will be the player identified by Northern Rovers as the main goal threat at North Harbour Stadium, unlike the 14-year-old player who slipped under the radar of Massey a decade ago.

She scored four goals in United’s 5-2 semi-final win against Palmerston North Marist, using all her experience to lead United’s young team to victory.

However, she was injured in stoppage time, hobbling off the field for treatment.

Watch Puketapu’s four semi-final goals again

Since then, she’s played half a game, coming on as a second-half substitute for United’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League game against Ellerslie, but missing their final league match, against West Coast Rangers, on September 4.

This year marks a couple of key milestones for Puketapu, having played her 100th Premier League game for the club, and having scored her 100th goal at that level.

Paying tribute to her career, and loyalty to the club, Auckland United’s social media said:

“Marty began her journey with us when she was just six years old, back when Auckland United was known as Three Kings United.

“Crazily enough, she played as a fill-in for the same squad as Auckland United’s first-team goalkeeper Mack Waite.

“She was a go-getter, one of the most dedicated in the team, and someone that never said no to a good challenge.

“Thankfully for Marty, this attitude and her constant desire for success saw her do some pretty epic things.

“One of Marty’s most memorable moments at the club came when she and current teammate Isabella Richards took out the 9th-grade nationals title. Marty also mentioned that she fondly looks back on her 2012 season, when the Premier Women took out the Kate Sheppard Cup!

“It seems Marty just went from strength to strength, as in 2016, Marty had an incredible season. She managed to bag 29 goals in just 19 games, bumping her well up the top goalscorers leader board.

“Having Marty playing for Auckland United is a privilege, and we are so grateful for everything she brings to the team. Her positivity is something the team admires, and her talent makes her an incredible role model for the younger girls in the game.”

READ MORE: Click here for UltimateNZ Soccer’s story on the 2012 cup final >>>>

READ MORE: Northern Rovers duo look to create history in Kate Sheppard Cup final >>>>

Martine Puketapu … hoping for another cup-winner’s medal. Image: Auckland United.

Supporters set to get behind United’s cup final team

Auckland United supporters will meet their team at Keith Hay Park at 10am on gameday, to wish them well and see them onto their team bus taking them on the 30km trip to the cup final venue.

The supporters’ bus will leave for Albany at 11.15am.

Stadium gates open at 12pm.

Kate Sheppard Cup final

Northern Rovers v Auckland United
North Harbour Stadium, Albany, 1pm

How they got to the final

Auckland United

Prelim: Bye
R1: Bye
R2: Beat Hibiscus Coast 3-1 (away)
R3: Beat West Coast Rangers 3-0 (away)
QF: Beat Tauranga City 4-0 (away)
SF: Beat Palmerston North Marist 5-2 (home)

Northern Rovers

Prelim: Bye
R1: Beat Fencibles United 6-0 (away)
R2: Beat Western Springs 2-1 after extra time (away)
R3: Beat Ellerslie 3-1 (away)
QF: Beat Eastern Suburbs 3-1 (away)
SF: Beat Dunedin City Royals 2-2 (won penalty shoot-out 5-3 AET)

Past winners

1994 Nomads United (Christchurch)
1995 Waikato Unicol (Hamilton)
1996 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
1997 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1998 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1999 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2000 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2001 Ellerslie (Auckland)
2002 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2003 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2004 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2005 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2006 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2007 Western Springs (Auckland)
2008 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2009 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2010 Claudelands Rovers (Hamilton)
2011 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2012 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2013 Coastal Spirit (Christchurch)
2014 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2015 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2016 Forrest Hill Milford United (Auckland)
2017 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2018 Dunedin Technical (Dunedin)
2019 Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
2020 No competition
2021 Wellington United (Wellington)

The Kate Sheppard Cup is supported by the NZ Football Foundation.

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