Members of a women’s football team in Wellington are the subjects of a 14-episode docuseries that follows their season-long journey to meet team and personal challenges.
The North Wellington’s women’s premier team — known as Norths — share their stories as the camera captures what they, their team and their coach gain from their passion for football.
The Journey North uses football as a representation of the ups and downs of life’s journeys.
It’s a journey together, it’s a journey north.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup coming to New Zealand, the series hopes to encourage people locally and internationally to be involved in the sport.
Here are all 14 episodes for you to enjoy …
Episode 1: The Team
The “New World Newlands — North Wellington FC Premiers” team begin the 2022 season promoted into a new league, with new players and new opposition.
Paul, the head coach of the Norths team is ready for the season, with their first game against Western Suburbs.
But is the rest of the team as ready as Paul? And can they compete at this new level of competition?
Episode 2: Hannah
The Norths team are onto the second round of the league and are ready to take what they learnt from their first game, and build from that for their match against Victoria University AFC.
Also, meet the North’s captain, Hannah, as she prepares for the game and takes us through her journey to playing with the team, and what it means for her to continue playing even after taking a break from the game.
Episode 3: Rowan
The Norths take on their toughest competition yet.
The team are facing Wellington United in the third round of the league. Wellington United is a club known for their strong women teams and skilful players, and the Norths know they’re going to be heavily challenged.
On top of that, coach Paul is unavailable for the game due to his Covid situation, leaving manager Alice and Norths W-League player, Ashleigh in charge of coaching duties.
The odds are stacked up against the team, how will they do?
We also meet Rowan, the absolute brick wall of the Norths team. She takes us through her journey of playing football and why it was important for her to return to the sport after taking a break from the game.
Episode 4: Ciara
The Norths team come into game day with challenges.
The team are facing Brooklyn Northern United in the fourth round of the league. However, the Norths team has been struck down with multiple COVID cases, so the team is without a number of players.
The competition was always going to be tough for the match-up, but missing some key players has made the game even tougher yet. How will the team do with these new challenges?
We also meet Ciara, the little firecracker who has also had her fair share of challenges to get to where she is now, playing football. Ciara tells us of her journey to the game and what message she hopes to pass on to those who live with disabilities.
Episode 5: Simonne
The Norths team have had a run of tough games, will they finally break the streak against their next opponents?
The Norths travel away to Kapiti to face Kapiti Coast United, a side that is notoriously strong. Norths feel ready to use what they learnt from their previous matches, but the real question is, are their heads in the game?
We meet the team’s star keeper, Simonne as she tells us of her journey to playing football and the importance playing the beautiful game has in her daily life.
Episode 6: Lucy
The Norths are up against one of the highest-ranked teams in the league, how will they fare after a tough few weeks of challenging games?
With the Norths struggling to win points over the past few games, their troubles are doubled with their keeper unavailable and a strong Upper Hutt team to face.
We meet the always solid defender, Lucy as she recounts her journey into the game, what made her leave, and the pull that helped her find her love for the game again.
Episode 7: Avneet
The team is struggling to put some points on the table.
It’s been a difficult few games for the Norths team, are they finally able to bounce back with a new formation and the return of their keeper?
We meet the very chill and cool-headed midfielder, Avneet, as she tells us of the importance of the game to her and how she battled back from injury to find herself returning to the pitch again.
Episode 8: Jenny
The team is back at home, playing a familiar opponent.
With a few players dropping in from the higher division to help with low player numbers, and a return to the old formation, can the Norths achieve another win over the Victoria University Reserves side?
We meet Jenny, a midfielder with tricky feet and a passionate football attitude. She takes us through her journey of playing and how she wants to break barriers and show that anyone can play football, regardless of background and age.
Episode 9: Kathi
The team faces a familiar rival.
Norths head away to Newtown Park to play against Wellington United. The team only narrowly lost to the team previously, can they do better with a few more wins and half the season now under their belt?
We meet Kathi, the very solid centre back who has loved the beautiful game since an early age. She takes us through her journey of joining the sport for the first time to the trials and tribulations that made her leave, and how the game has played some important roles in her life.
Episode 10: Mary
The Norths are ready for their rematch against Brooklyn Northern United.
The team head away to Wakefield Park eager to take on a team they had previously lost to early on in the season. The Norths have their objectives from Coach Paul and are keen to tick the goals off by the final whistle. Can they finally get the win against Brooklyn?
We meet Mary, a striker with tricky feet and a great kick. We learn about the journey she’s been on since starting football and the family impact on her decision to play. We also learn of the challenges Mary has faced over the years and how she finds ways to overcome them.
Episode 11: Tara
A tough competition awaits the team back at home.
The team return to Alex Moore to take on Kapiti Coast United. After a difficult game at Kapiti’s home pitch, the team know what they’re in for the second time around. Will this extra knowledge and almost a season under their belt help the team win some points against Kapiti?
We meet Tara, a player who joined the team midway through the season after bumping into them at a sausage sizzle. We learn of the journey, and mental and emotional barriers Tara has had to battle through to put on her football boots once again.
Episode 12: Gabbie
The team head away to Upper Hutt to play a difficult opposition.
Norths travel to Maidstone Park in the hopes of picking up some points against the dominant Upper Hutt team. They know they’re in for a tough game with a shortage of defenders, and a myriad of illnesses and injuries plaguing the team. Regardless, the team believe they’re ready to take on the team in orange.
We meet Gabbie, a player who’s been through multiple football injuries, and health issues and see how she courageously manages to undergo the process of physical and mental recovery to return to the pitch.
Episode 13: Molly
Back at home, and ready for redemption.
After a difficult away game, the Norths are ready to show that they do deserve to play in the Prems league and can score some goals. Are they able to find redemption in a new week of football and powerful words from Paul from the previous week? Find out as the team take on Western Suburbs again.
We meet Molly, a high school student and talented midfielder who explains how football has become more than just a fun game for her, as well as the skills she’s picked up along the way.
Episode 14: Phoebe
The final showdown.
The team are back at home again facing Island Bay United. Their previous outing against the team was hard-fought but ended well for the Norths. Can the team replicate that outcome in their final game of the season and pick up some points for the final tally?
We meet Phoebe, a striker for the Norths. One of the youngest on the team, yet one of the tallest, the striker has fancy feet and a fast pace, learn how she came into the game and why she continues to play.
Enjoyed the series? Here’s how you can help
Kimberley Kan took a year off playing football for the Norths, and invested her time in making The Journey North.
The passion project incurred costs and she took two weeks’ unpaid leave to complete the series.
She has a Givealittle page seeking funds to support the project, with a target of $14,000.
To contact the team, email: [email protected].