Rose Morton’s parents Steve and Hana Cotter grew up playing hockey, touch and rugby. Today they have little choice but to embrace football.
All three of the Morton children are outstanding players.
Older brother Harry has nearly completed his scholarship at Hartwick College in New York State. Sarah recently debuted for the Football Ferns against Japan in Wellington and youngest daughter Rose is a member of the Future Ferns Domestic Programme (FFDP).
Originally from Tikokino in Central Hawke’s Bay, Rose has moved to Northcote College in Auckland to complete her schooling and strengthen her sporting ambitions.
“It was tough moving away from family and friends, but it’s the best thing for my football,” Rose explains.
“The competition in Hastings features a lot of new players and not as many good teams. In Auckland the best players in the country are training and learning together,” she continues.
Rose is one of 28 players involved in the FFDP, playing for the XI who compete in the Northern Football Federation 17th grade boys conference. Against seven other teams, FFDP have won 10 out of 14 games, standing second in the championship - outscoring all opponents 44-16.
“It’s pretty tough playing against boys. Their pace and physically is harder than a girls game. Boys don’t like losing, but they are getting better at it,” Rose responds when addressing the question of playing the opposite gender.
Rose is a central midfielder advancing forward from centre back. She also plays senior women's football for Western Springs.
“I’m too small to be at the back. I was being beaten at the header and bumped off the ball. I love central midfield where I can get forward and create,” Morton enthuses.
The ability to ‘get forward’ earned Rose selection for the New Zealand Under-17’s in 2016. New Zealand competed at the FIFA World Cup and beat hosts Jordan. The international experience was an eye opener for Rose.
“It’s crazy the opportunities other countries have in football. For some of them it’s the only thing they have. It taught me you need to combine balance with hard work and passion.”
In August, Sarah Morton will be attending her second FIFA Under-20 World Cup, having debuted for the Football Ferns in their controversial 1-3 loss to Japan on June 10. Football Ferns Coach Andreas Heraf was strongly criticized for his teams’ negative tactics in the game. Is Rose concerned by the defeat and the media’s appraisal of it?
“I think the media blew it up a lot. We have to remember teams play all kinds of styles,” Morton observes.
In addition to football, Rose is a confident public speaker having competed in Manu Korero, a prestigious Maori speaking competition.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand