It's been a fantastic year for women's football in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty, with the Tauranga City United Bay SportsMed Women's Squad dominating both the local competition and the WaiBOP Premier League.
The team won six games from six in the trans-Kaimai contest, cementing their spot in a playoff against Papakura for a place in next year's top-tier Northern League.
After a nil-all draw in an away game against the Auckland side on September 10, the Tauranga women hosted Papakura at Wharepai Domain on September 17.
Head coach Pat Wigley says a crowd of 200 turned up to the must-win game, which was played in better conditions than expected.
“The weather gods were kind to us – there were only a couple of showers.”
However, despite a season of seemingly unstoppable victories, the game ended in a 4-1 loss against the Tauranga side.
“There were a couple of moments when we didn't capitalise on attack,” says Pat. “But Papakura was the stronger side on the day.
“It's still a blast for our girls to play though, and in front of such a supportive crowd too.”
And the support has been phenomenal. Players from as far afield as Rotorua and Whakatane are wanting to be a part of the team, which Pat says has a “great team culture”.
This is the first year in a while that Tauranga City United has had a women's team and success in the WaiBOP Premier League means the side will definitely continue into next year where they'll no doubt be contenders once again for the Northern League playoff.
Due to the popularity of the women's team, a second side is currently being recruited for 2018, so if you or someone you know is keen to join visit www.tcuwf.co.nz