It’s impossible not to get caught up in the FIFA Womens World Cup and with good reason. A global spectacle like no other, bringing the very best athletes to our shores and stadiums! It’s also a chance to celebrate the role our very own Lilywhites have played as both the pioneers, the current legends and the future stars of the Women’s game.
When the Northern Women’s Football Association was formed in 1973, Eastern Suburbs signed up to be included in the first official Women’s league in Auckland! Sandra Twiname played for this team at the age of 11, there was no doubt about her talent, but she needed to borrow boots (putting newspaper in the front of them because they were about five sizes too big). The first ESAFC women’s team was formed, starting out as a group of social women but transformed quickly to a team of players with purpose, taking out the title in 1975 and not relinquishing it till 1980!
Twiname, still in her teens and along with her teammates Barbara Cox (captain) & Elaine Lee went on to represent NZ and were a part of the Women’s squad that were victorious in the 1975 Asian Cup.
Fast forward to today, and at the 2023 Football Ferns presentation of their shirts, Twiname presented former Lilywhite, Jacqui Hand with her shirt. (pictured above)
Whilst former Lilywhite, Grace Jale received here shirt from New Zealand’s leading goal scorer Amber Hearn. (pictured below)
This week, the story continues as our very own Women’s Premier Reserves Player, Katie Brugh has been hosted in Sydney by Puma as part of a legacy campaign to celebrate those 1975 original Football Ferns who went to the Asian Cup, against all odds. These were the pioneers of the Womens’ game!
Brugh, (16) was selected as one of 23 young Australia and NZ female footballers to attend the Puma Accelerator Programme. (pictured below Katie with a fellow player and some of the OGs!).