Paraparaumu College Looking Forward To Return To Premier One Football
The Regional Premier 1 Capital Football Trophy Girls’ First XI football league starts this Wednesday afternoon and evening with a full slate of opening round matches at Wakefield and Petone Memorial Parks. Eight First XIs will line up in the league which runs through to early next term, with the final at Petone Memorial Park on 29 August. The teams were determined by the three pre-season grading leagues, Wellington, Hutt Valley and Northern. Wellington Girls’ College are the defending champions, having beaten Hutt Valley High School 2-0 in last year’s final.
Wellington Girls’ face a new Premier 1 team in Wednesday’s opening match in Paraparaumu College, who have been promoted to play in the top flight for the first time since 2011. Paraparaumu’s coach Ian Porteous says their players are excited for the challenge ahead, starting with their opening match against last year’s winners.
“There been a lot of time and effort put in over the past few seasons and they made the decision at the start of this year to give the top grade a good go,” says Porteous.
“They have worked hard on that and had a little bit of success already this year, and now the team is looking forward to this next challenge.
“It is not going to be an easy first game on Wednesday, but playing as high as they can is what they want so we will go in there and give a go and see what happens.”
For each of the past three years Paraparaumu’s girls’ side has been a mid-table Division 1 team, finished seventh, sixth and sixth respectively. This will be just the third occasion that the school has played in the Premier 1 Regional competition since it started in its current format in 2003. In 2009 they finished fifth and in 2011 they were seventh. In the just completed Northern section round of matches, Paraparaumu started with consecutive 2-0 wins over Onslow College, Newlands College and nearby Kapiti College. But they still needed a point heading into their last match on Wednesday night against Tawa College.
“It was played in horrible conditions – hail stones, gale force winds. We were winning 1-0 up until the final five minutes when Tawa scored to force a 1-1 draw, which is what we needed.”
Porteous also coaches the Paraparaumu Boys First XI, who will also be playing a grade higher in 2018, earning promotion from Division 1 to the Premier Reserve Players’ Trophy competition. They opened their competition on Saturday with a 2-3 defeat to Hutt Valley High School. Paraparaumu’s football teams are rising to meet their challenges.
“Like most co-ed schools it is quite hard to compete against all-boys and all-girls schools, they have the advantage of bigger numbers.”
Paraparaumu College is also a strong hockey school, their boys and girls First XI sides both competing in the Premier competitions that started last Friday night. It is a young team. “We have no year 13s in our squad, the age range is from year 9 to year 12, so physically they are not as big as other teams but for effort and skill level and attitude their progress has been great.”
“One or two play senior women’s football, we have a girl that plays for Kapiti and another that plays for Vic University – so they are aware of what’s needed to play in the higher division this year. They are brave enough, they won’t shirk any challenges”
There are two Paraparaumu College girls’ football teams, the First XI and Second XI, and a couple of junior boys’ sides as well the First XI.
“We also don’t get any home games; we have to travel everywhere, so that is a hurdle that Paraparamu College is prepared to embrace over the next couple of months so that we can compete as high as we can.”
The Paraparaumu Girls Football First XI is:
Hannah Stroud (Captain)
Coach: Ian Porteous
The opening round of Capital Football Trophy matches this Wednesday are:
- St Mary’s College v Heretaunga College, Wakefield Park 2, 4.15pm
- Wellington Girls’ College v Paraparaumu College, Wakefield Park 2, 5.30pm
- St Oran’s College v Wellington Easts Girls’ College, Petone Memorial 1, 6.10pm
- Queen Margaret College v Hutt Valley High School, Wakefield Park 2, 6.45pm
Article courtesy of College Sport Media