VIDEO: Women’s U-19 coach Leon Birnie: ‘It’s about performance, not the score’

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Head coach Leon Birnie says he’s focussing on team and individual performances at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship, rather than scores.

This follows huge wins to the New Zealand side in which they beat Papua New Guinea 11-0 and the Solomon Islands 19-0.

READ MORE: New Zealand cruise into quarter finals with 11-0 win against Papua New Guinea >>>>

READ MORE: New Zealand through to semi-finals after huge win at OFC U-19 Championship >>>>

After the quarter-final win against the Solomon Islands, Birnie told OFC Media:

“I don’t really focus on the score. For me, it’s about our performance and I thought today we were clinical and we took some goals really well but then individually if I watched the footage back and we will tonight as a staff, there’s things that the girls need to keep working on if we want to keep progressing in the tournament.

Birnie said all his players wanted to start and it was difficult to make team selections.

“We want to give all the players good game time so they can showcase what they can do. That won’t change.

“When we train tomorrow, they’ll be pretty sure fighting for a place in the semi-final.

“We’re just trying to maximize the time we’ve got with the players so this is a great opportunity — five games to test combinations, see what players can do, you know, work with the players, try and help them improve.

“That’s what the age group cycle is about, giving them game time, international games, helping them improve and, you know, hopefully, they’ll push on and play for the Ferns in the future.”

Watch Leon Birnie’s interview

Player of the Match Ruby Nathan

New Zealand’s Ruby Nathan said the team was benefitting from the experience of those players who went to the last FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

She said quite a few players were at the Wellington Phoenix or at other clubs where they could develop combinations, and it was helping.

Watch Nathan’s post-match interview

Match highlights

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