Christmas came early for Stephen Hoyle and his women’s premier team who became the first-ever club side to win the National League.
On the 18th of December 2022, Eastern Suburbs geared up to face Western Springs in the final of the National League Championship.
The final at Mount Smart Stadium was the first of its kind after a league format change from New Zealand Football meant Northern clubs had an opportunity to etch their name onto the prestigious cup.
After dominating the league, the Lilywhites qualified for a Grand Final spot with still two rounds left to play.
It took Deven Jackson just eight minutes to find the net for Suburbs – an early indication the side would play how they had all season – with no fear.
While Western Springs showed some threat in the first half, Eastern Suburbs extended their lead just before the break, thanks to a tidy finish from Saki Yoshida.
The Lilywhites would then run away with the match in the second, taking hold of the trophy after a deserving 4-0 victory – Jackson scoring two more.
The win was a huge milestone for both the club and women’s football as a whole – something that coach Hoyle and captain Rebekah van Dort look to continue in the new year.