PREVIEW: First day derby to provide clues for how new-look Wellington teams will fare

By Luke Austin

Wellington’s two teams in the Women’s National League go head-to-head in the opening round, providing clues to how the new-look sides will fare.

This season, Capital Football has partnered with Women’s Central League clubs Waterside Karori and Wellington United to create two hybrid club-federation sides to compete in the National League.

This is serving as a pilot for purely club-based representation in the future.

READ MORE: Women’s National League expands to 10 teams for 2023 season >>>> 

These two new sides meet at Martin Luckie Park this Saturday.

Despite being newly formed, expect these two sides to look very similar to how their club side did during the Women’s Central League season.

Waterside Karori, captained by 2022 National League MVP Renee Bacon, claimed their second Central League title in a row by holding Wellington United to a 1-1 draw in the final weekend of the season.

Wellington United … well prepared for the national competition after reaching the Kate Sheppard Cup final. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Before 2022, Wellington United won the Central League four times in a row and this season they made it to the final of the Kate Sheppard Cup, which will have served as excellent preparation for the National League campaign.

This is set to be an exciting clash between two of Wellington’s finest sides and an interesting indication of what is to come as the league transitions to a fully club-based format.

CF Waterside Karori

Ariana Gray, Kya Stewart, Alisha Perry, Katia Brown, Annie Foote

Devyn Crawford, Maggie Blackburn, Mei Burden, Daphne Ranta, Jemma Hall, Emily Watt, Jess Shilton, Saskia Vosper

Margot Ramsey, Sarah Morton, Kennedy Bryant, Olivia Gibbs, Hayley Hedges-Flicking, Jenna Barry, Katie Lewis, Grace McRobie, Tory Schiltgen

Renee Bacon, Kaley Ward, Nikki Furukawa, Jade Morrissey, Emma Kruszona, Skye Solomon, Nicola Ross

CF Wellington United

Molly Simmons, Cat Cummings, Roni Lipi, Brooke Assur

Francesca Grange, Zoe Barrott, Caelin Patterson, Jemma Catherwood, Cara Chung, Lily Davies, Hope Gilchrist

Ellie Kabayama, Sammi Preval, Olive Lynch-Gerrard, Sophie Dijkstra, Natalie Brook, Nea Blackham, Milla Green

Jemma Robertson, Dani Ohlsson, Pepi Olliver-Bell, Liv Deane, Natalie Olson, Libby Boobyer, Sarah Alder, Bella Cartman

How to watch

The game will be among the first Women’s National League games to be live-streamed under the new content partnership between NZ Football and FIFA+.

READ MORE: ‘Gamechanging’ deal to provide more live-streaming of football than ever before >>>>


Game to be played on Saturday September 23, 2023

CF Waterside Karori v CF Wellington United
Martin Luckie Park, Berhampore, 4pm

READ MORE: Your guide to the weekend’s big fixtures … all on one page >>>>

Luke Austin

Luke Austin is a Wellington-based football fan and volunteer, who plays for Island Bay, and follows the Central League.

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