Experienced senior women’s midfielder Saphri Lines has extended her stay at Box Hill United for 2019 and is delighted to be part of the club again.
Hailing from south-west England, Lines was an instant hit following her arrival Down Under with South Melbourne in 2015. She was crowned NPLW champion with them the same year and was Southern United’s top-scorer in 2016.
After spending 2017 at Bulleen Lions, she moved to Box Hill and has since impressed with her tenacity and work rate as the first-choice no. 10.
Reflecting on her time at Wembley Park, Lines said, “I didn’t know much about Box Hill before I came here last year, but all the coaching staff, the staff behind the scenes, technical directors, I like the fact that you get to actually meet everybody here.
“I know personally who everybody is. So, it’s a good club to be at. The last couple of seasons they have finished mid-table but they deserve to be up with the top-four.”
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder praised the team’s gritty performance despite setbacks last term, when they finished 7th in the ladder and were Team App Cup runners-up.
Moreover, head coach Brian Roberts picked the NPLW Coach of the Year award, while young goalkeeper Alyssa Dall’Oste was chosen the division’s best.
Herself awarded Box Hill senior women’s Best & Fairest in 2018, Lines said, “We had a lot of strong players [in 2018]. [But] throughout the season, there were injuries, and some players left to go overseas.
“As soon as that starts happening, and we don’t have our [set] starting-XI each week, then it’s hard to beat the bigger teams. But I think we did okay and probably deserved to finish a bit higher than we did.”
The former Bristol City youth product also briefly played college football in California, and speaking of her diverse experiences, Lines said, “I definitely think it makes you adapt to different playing styles of each country. Being from the UK, girls are quite tough over there. So, I have had some big competition.
“In America, they play quite a bit quicker. It’s been good to have to adapt to each country and pick a playing style that suites whichever team you play for.”
Sharing the top success mantra from her NPLW title-winning campaign in 2015, she said, “The biggest thing, especially in girls’ soccer, would probably be commitment. A lot of girls don’t take it seriously enough. If you want to be a successful team, you have got to be committed and put the work in.”