Diverse, Inclusive, Supportive D2 Ladies
A strong team of 15, ABC D2 ladies is one of the most diverse and varied teams in the club. Sporting an age difference of some 38 years, the team includes teenagers in their physical prime just kicking off their club career and those with their own adult children who have been kicking around ABC all their club careers.
This team is a magnet for new talent – we are warm, welcoming, inclusive and supportive. This year alone we’re thrilled to include new team members Rosie, Rachel, Crystal, Vanita, Emilia, Angie, Olivia and Marion plus we welcome back Anneke who accidentally left the fold to join a rival club for a year but missed us so much she came back.
And it’s a team which is hard to leave, unless of course you’re pulled up into the D1 team which has been the case for a large number of the team this year as they progress through the player pathway.
Players who have been with ABC for years include Ri, Chris, Daina, Ruby and Rina. Last year we welcomed Shannon and Lisa to the family. And we are definitely an extended family!
Ri and Daina are mother and daughter on the turf together at the back. They support each other, argue sometimes and are a formidable team for any opponents to break through. Christine’s partner Rob plays for the men’s team and they regularly practice together. Chris’s game has improved out of sight so we can only assume Rob’s has too.
Ruby has a brother in D1 and a sister in D1 – they can often be seen leaving a sibling behind after practice because their times don’t all line up!
Rosie has a sister, Georgina, in Prem 2 and is destined to join her there before too long.
Vanita’s son, Netesh captains the men’s Prem team and coaches Prem 2 which is captained by his brother Alesh: husband, Dilip plays for Div 2 Men Yellow, and daughter Rasmika manages the Prem men's team and is a key part of the social committee.
Our most famous claim to fame is the yellow tutu and headband with which we adorn our “Player of the Day” for a humiliating photo to post on Facebook followed by a requirement to wear the offending articles at practice the following week. Being nominated player of the day is a double edged sword. A couple of years ago we used to hand out big bars of chocolate but this is much more fun.
In his first time coaching a ladies team, which he says brings some interesting challenges, it has taken Tobin two whole years to actually schedule 15 minutes of “non hockey talk” before his team talk so we can catch up on important matters before the game! Tobin produces a key piece of learning each practice and encourages (sometimes very) vocally from the sideline. One highlight was when he said “you HAVE to get another goal and win this game! If you do, I’ll wear the tutu!”. So of course, we won that game and have the photo to prove it!
The life-experienced members of the team (Stacey, Angie, Christine, Vanita, Ri and Ngaio) play mostly in defence supporting and encouraging the younger, faster, leaner, fitter players up front (Shannon, Ruby, Rosie, Olivia, Marion). Midfield is controlled by the mid-age (not middle age) team members who have both the experience and the youth to both drive the play and guide the front line (Rachel, Chrystal, Rina, Maria).
Then there are the exceptions to the rule – just so we mix things up a bit to spread the experience and energy on the turf. Traci and Anneke both play up front while Daina is a solid half or back in any game.
We’ve broken a couple of players this season and are hoping to see Stacey back in goal soon and Traci is back up front before the round robin season.
The team comprises individuals from all over the globe with professional careers in an array of industries including engineers, scientists, financial gurus, teachers, physiotherapists and many others while some of the team are still at school and some at university.
During our games our resident physios (Rachel and Chrystal) do the warm-up (we’re not daft, use their skills for preventative rather than rehabilitation purposes!) and we have a structured on-field activity before the game begins. Our supporters throng the dugouts kitted out in yellow and black to yell and cheer from the sidelines every single game (both of them) and we “technically win” every single game. We actually win more often than we lose too…
This weekend we are on a road trip to top of the table Warkworth alongside the Men's Division 1 Yellow team, so collectively ABC can support the development of the game outside the core Bush Road facility.