The country’s best New Zealand-based women footballers are coming to play in Cambridge again this year.
Cambridge FC’s John Kerkhof Park has been named as the home ground and training base for the WaiBOP team to represent the Waikato/Bay of Plenty in the 2019 National Women’s League.
Cambridge will host six games in the competition:
WaiBOP v Auckland – Sunday September 15, 2pm
WaiBOP v Southern – Sunday September 22, 12pm
WaiBOP v Canterbury United – Sunday October 6, 12pm
WaiBOP v Capital – Saturday October 26, 1.30pm
WaiBOP v Central – Sunday November 17, 2pm
WaiBOP v Northern Lights – Sunday December 8, 2pm
(Kick-off times vary to accommodate flight times for visiting teams).
Cambridge last hosted the WaiBOP team in 2017 and first held NWL matches in 2016.
Last month, WaiBOP held three player trials at John Kerkhof Park for about 40 prospective players and the squad will start training at the club’s grounds in September.
Newly-appointed coach Nico Girard and assistant Cliff Harris will be looking to recruit the best women players from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region to take part in the highest level of domestic competition.
Cambridge will also be the training base for WaiBOP’s U-14 and U-16 Girls National Age Group squads, for the fourth year in succession.
About the National Women’s League
The competition has existed in some format since 2002 with the country’s top female players battling it out for national supremacy.
Last year’s edition was one for the history books with the competition being expanded to two full rounds for the first time, meaning champions Canterbury United Pride played more games on their road to the title than ever before.
That ground-breaking double-round format is set to return for a second season running with all seven sides coming up against each other both home and away.
The new National Women’s League season will kick off on September 15 and the two highest-placed sides will progress to a one-off grand final on December 15, the winner of which will lift the trophy.
Another key feature of the draw is again a double header of matches to take place around the week of Labour Day, in which all sides except Central – who will sit the action out with the bye – are set to play two matches.
Main photo: Canterbury United Pride celebrate winning last year’s competition. Photo courtesy of NZ Football.
Here’s how the fixture list shapes up: