New Zealand is hosting the inaugural under-17 women's world cup from 28 October to 16 November. Sixteen teams will take part, and Wellington will host four of the teams competing in their quarter final games. All the Wellington games will be played at the Westpac Stadium, and there are some excellent packages for tickets. (We'll get the prices confirmed soon, but you should be able to see all of the games for not much more than the price of a single Phoenix game ticket.) The semifinals will be at Christchurch's QEII park and the final at North Harbour Stadium in North Shore. FIFA held a launch function in Wellington a couple of weeks ago, where we got to meet the FIFA delegation. The local people I spoke to were very excited about it, and all the clubs in the region seem to be right behind it. We also got to see some videoed examples of the types of players who will be taking part. These girls can really play! Sure, they were the edited highlights of games, but the standard was excellent. The four cities in the region are right behind the competition, and there is a possibility that each city will host one of the teams for training. So, we might have one of the world's best youth teams training here in Porirua. If we get the sort of media coverage the competition deserves - and the Stadium will be an excellent venue - it could be a real boost for women's and girls' football. Here's hoping! We'll keep you up to date with the latest news. The club will also get some good ticket deals, which we'll make sure you know about, and we will also be able to earn some money for the club by selling tickets. There is a feed of the latest news from FIFA on the tournament on the right hand side of the page, and you can check out all the info about the competition on the tournament page on the FIFA website.
This Friday (22 Feb) Hope Powell, current England Women's Team Coach, and Sonia Denoncourt, head of Women's Refereeing at FIFA, are in Wellington. They are touring NZ as part of the build-up to the U-17 WWC to be staged here in Wellington (and 3 other centres) in Oct/Nov this year. They are delivering a session for coaches in the afternoon and another one in the evening. This is a fantastic chance to see the best of the best, and the evening session is pitched at grass roots coaches and referees. All of the details are on the Capital Football site.
Many of you still haven't received last season's team photos. A little misunderstanding at the end of last school year meant they weren't handed out, and then over the summer the soccer season seemed so far away I forgot to deliver any of them. Sorry about that. I'll get them sorted as soon as I can.
The 2008 season is about to get under way. The first game for the younger teams will be on April 12th, and teams playing on full-sized pitches (i.e. 11th grade and older) will probably be on April 5th. We are now taking registrations from players aged 6 (turning 7 this year) to 14. We'll be contacting last season's players in the next few days to see how many are interested in playing again this season. Ring or email me and I'll send you a registration form. We are having to increase the club's registration fees this year. Capital Football and Soccer New Zealand have both increased their team registration fees and levies. This season our club registration fees will be $40 per player for the season. However, we are still one of the cheapest clubs around (Porirua City also charges only $40, while many other clubs charge more than $60 or $70), and we do provide kit for the players, so it's pretty good value.