Hibiscus Coast make sure of survival as champions consigned to wooden spoon

Promoted Hibiscus Coast have ensured their survival in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League after their weekend win against Hamilton Wanderers.

The 2-1 win ensures Northern Rovers will finish bottom of the eight-team competition only a year after they won the title.

With three games to go, it’s now not possible for Rovers to catch Coast.

Main photo: The Hibiscus Coast club marked their first-season survival with this celebratory image on their social media. Credit: Hibiscus Coast AFC.

Head coach and Head of Women’s Football, Asher Trotter, said:

“We knew this season was going to be a massive step up and exciting challenge for our women’s programme. It took four years to earn the right to play at this level, and along that journey, we put in an incredible amount of energy and work to help the players grow and be as ready as possible.

“Ultimately, nothing can replace the experience of playing every week against some of the country’s best talent, which is what time in this league will give every player.

“It’s incredibly positive and encouraging to see all 35+ of our players take on this season’s learnings in such a positive way, to keep working hard when results aren’t going our way, to be open to being challenged by their coaches along the way, and to keep faith that their hard work and dedication will pay off.”

Coast coach Asher Trotter … ‘survival was our ultimate goal.’ Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

‘We knew the first season was going to be the hardest’

Trotter said the Coast squad still had a few points to prove in their remaining three games.

“We knew the first season was going to be the hardest (and) the steepest learning curve for our players.

“Survival in the league is the ultimate goal for new teams like us. I’m incredibly happy for our players, coaches, families and supporters, who have all really leaned in and stayed super positive, motivated, and dedicated throughout the year. Bring on the next three games!”

The Hibiscus Coast women’s reserve Team are in the top four of their league, demonstrating the strength of the overall programme and a strong indicator for future talent development in the Premier League.

With Kate Sheppard Cup games next weekend, the Coast first and reserves teams don’t play again till Sunday July 16, when they meet league leaders Eastern Suburbs at Madills Farm.

Coast captain Stacey Martin (right) celebrates scoring the only goal of the match against Northern Rovers on June 25, a result that helped secure the side’s league status.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.


Games played on Sunday July 2, 2023

Eastern Suburbs 3 (Aimee Atkins 21′, Juliette Lucas 76′, 87′)
Western Springs 2 (Sofia Garcia 15′, Liz Savage 67′)

Auckland United 4 (Shannon Henson 45+2′, 63′, own goal 55′, Chloe Knott 66′)
Northern Rovers 0

Hibiscus Coast 2 (Danica Urlich-Beech 41′, Stacey Martin 47′)
Hamilton Wanderers 1 (Caitlin Byrne 33′)

Ellerslie 1 (Prue Catton 69′)
West Coast Rangers 0

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