Secondary school’s girls’ football in New Zealand is in a good space. Chosen for their deeds with their school First XIs this year or their form in representative teams (or in a couple of cases both), here’s five top performers on the pitch in 2015…who will go far in the future?
Daisy Cleverley continues to show loyalty and commitment to both her school and to the representative sides she continues to make with regularity. Despite representing New Zealand in football for both the Football Ferns and the U20s, the Western Springs College student has continued to play for her school First XI. The Year 13 student is on the nomination list for an Auckland Young Sportsperson of the Year award. Daisy made her debut with the Football Ferns in April last year. She played with the senior side at the Fifa Women's World Cup in Canada two months later and she currently plays for Northern Football Federation in the National Women’s League.
School sporting success has come frequently for Waikato Diocesan’s Isabella Coombes, who recently won her school’s Leaver’s Cup in recognition of her achievements in several sports over the past five years. But its football where she shines the brightest, having already been a part of the Football Ferns set-up a year ago in internationals against Norway. She was also a member of the 2014 NZ U17 side that competed at the World Cup and made the NZ U20 squad that made the quarterfinals of the World Cup. She recently played for the U20s at the U20 Oceania qualifying series. Isabella also plays for WaiBop in the National Women’s Football League.
Representing national champions Mount Albert Grammar School on this list, Grace Jale has recently been selected in the senior Football Ferns squad to play South American Giants Brazil at the end of this month. Earlier this year, MAGS became the first girls’ football team to win three consecutive NZSS Girls Football Championships. Midfielder Grace is a member of both the U17 and U20 squads and has come through the pathway leading to the national side having been involved the youth development National Talent Centre programme before featuring in both age-group sides. Special mention to Grace’s MAGS teammates. Nicole Mettam who was MAGS’ MVP at Taupo, Deven Jackson, who has been nominated, along with Grace and Daisy Cleverly, for Auckland’s Girls Footballer of the Year and Jade Parris who is also in the NZ U20 squad.
St Peter’s School Cambridge finished runners-up to Mount Albert School at this year’s National Secondary School Girls Lotto tournament in Taupo, losing 0-2 in the final. St Peter’s midfielder Sarah Kyrstman flies the flag for her school as her team’s MVP at the tournament. In six matches prior to the final, St Peter’s won their matches by a collective score of 19-2. Sarah, whose older brother Stefan is a former Ole Football Academy player and currently on scholarship in the USA, was a member of the NZSS Junior Girls Football team in Australia last year. She currently plays for the NZ Development team in the National Women’s Football League.
Representing the South Island schools in this group, Southland Girls’ High School’s First XI captain Sammy Murrell is renowned for her dogged qualities and organisation as a leading defender in her team. She was a member of the NZSS Junior Girls representative Team in 2012 and this year made the NZSS Senior Girls side that toured Thailand in July. She recently played for the New Zealand U20 team in their Oceania Qualifiers in Tonga. Left back Sammy plays for the Roslyn Wakari club and for Football South in the National Women’s League, regularly commuting from Invercargill to Dunedin to play and train.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand