Kate Sheppard Cup Final- Player Interviews

6 Sep

As our Premier Women team get ready for our big final, we managed to coax some of the players off the turf for a quick chat. Captain Lily Jervis was joined by long term players Lily Taitimu and Lara Colpi to give us their thoughts. 

We were also very fortunate to talk to Cilla Duncan, a member of that cup final win in 2007 and who still plays at the club for the awesome Hot Springs. Check out her interview below.

Lily J, Lily T and Lara C interview

WSAFC- What does the KS cup mean to you?
Lily Jervis (LJ)- The Kate Sheppard Cup is an important trophy for the team and we are very excited to be in the final. This season has been a difficult one and who Kate Sheppard is and what she fought for resonates a lot with the team. We want to use this as motivation to go out there and put on a show that we are all proud of.

Lily Taitimu (LT)- The Kate Sheppard Cup means a lot as it is one of the top trophy’s a club in New Zealand could win.

Lara Colpi (LC)-The Kate Sheppard Cup is an amazing tournament in New Zealand and for us to be in the final with a chance to win it is just amazing. We have an opportunity to show how far our team has come while further proving we have a special strength in our team which makes us hard to beat.

Have you been involved in any other finals?
LJ- Yes, I am lucky to have been in a few finals over the years. In 2016, I was a part of the Forrest Hill team that won the Kate Sheppard cup. There’s been a couple of national league finals but we didn’t manage to take the trophy home on those occasions. 

LT- No, unfortunately I have never been in a Kate Sheppard Cup final, only the National League final last year, so this is my first time being here!

LC- I was involved in helping Western Springs get into the Women’s National League finals last year but was unable to attend the finals due to  being overseas. But more recently I was in the u-19’s OFC Womens Qualifiers finals against Fiji in Suva and managed to secure victory and will go on to compete next year in the u-20’s in Colombia.

What are you looking forward to the most about the final?
LJ- The whole day excites me. There’s no better feeling than arriving to the match with the team and taking in all the small moments across the day! There’s never been a more exciting time in women’s football after the World Cup so we want to use this as motivation and embrace the occasion.  

LT- I am most looking forward to play a team we have never played before so it will be a new challenge for us which is exciting to me.

LC- I am looking forward mostly to celebrating with the girls and if possible lifting up the Cup and to celebrate a hard and long season that we’ve had this year.

What has been your favourite game in the lead up to the final?
LJ- The game against Auckland United. There was a really special moment of unity just before we stepped out onto the field, and recognition of what we had achieved. It was a special game, and the performance of the team was incredible and matched the moment.

LT- Probably would be the first game in the cup we played against Auckland United. It was a tough game for many reasons especially drawing such a quality team so early in the cup, however every single person stepped up in that game and it probably was our best game we played all season.

LC- Favourite game so far has been against Coastal Spirit because it really showed how resilient our team is and that even when we are tired we will keep scoring goals.

What do you think Wellington United bring to the final?
LJ- Wellington United have had a lot of success in recent years in the cup so we know they have experience in big matches. We are expecting a team that is going to be very hard to break down and look to control possession. We know it will be a challenging game but the team is up for it!  

LT- I think Wellington Utd will be very strong defensively and well organised as they managed to beat Eastern Suburbs in the semi and kept them goalless which is no easy task as Eastern Suburbs are a very strong and talented team, especially in the final third of the pitch.

LC- I don’t know too much about Wellington United but for them to beat Eastern Suburbs in the semis who I know are a formidable team shows that we should not underestimate them.

Cilla Duncan interview

WSAFC- What does the KS cup mean to you?

Cilla- I was fortunate enough to win with Ellerslie in 2001 and Western Springs in 2007.

Both clubs haven’t gone on to win it again since, so that helps to show it’s quite a rare and special thing to claim the Kate Sheppard Cup trophy.

The origins of the Kate Sheppard Cup might only go back to the mid 1990s but it’s still cool to see how things have shifted in the domestic scene over the years and remember that it’s been hotly contested between clubs from different regions.

I grew up watching the FA Cup and have always loved the drama and intriguing storylines that come with national knock-out cup competitions.

WSAFC- Looking back at those finals, what memories stand out for you?

Cilla- I have really fond memories of playing in the final of this competition. It’s your chance to finish the season on a high and create a bit of history with the group of mates you’ve been working hard with over many months.

You know that so many clubs across the country started out on the road to try and get to the final. There might’ve been late winners or penalty shootouts along the way, so the anticipation naturally builds before that last game.

I also loved the celebrations afterwards! It felt like we saved the biggest parties for when we won this competition.

WSAFC- What's the bigegst difference you see between the finals you played in comapred to today ?

Cilla- In terms of where the game’s heading it also increasingly feels like an opportunity to make a name for yourself and get scouted. Perhaps some of the players on Sunday are pushing for selection in one of the national teams or want to end up playing at a professional club. I say kia kaha and good luck to them!