INTERVIEW: Young defender highlights dressing-room belief

March 24, 2019

Box Hill United’s senior women snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Senior NTC on Sunday, and cultured centre-back Mia Lantieri-Bartley has hailed the squad’s patience and self-belief.

Following victories in the opening two NPLW rounds, our ladies’ side lost three consecutive games. But with the win against NTC at Wembley Park, the youngster felt the tables are turning for the positive.

Delighted with how her colleagues backed one another in the victory against her former side, Lantieri-Bartley said, “The game [against NTC] was [for the] majority on our side. A big thing was patience and we showed that. We dominated the game and were consistent throughout – we didn’t drop off.

“Obviously it’s hard to come back after a three-game slump, but I am really proud of us that we did [it].”


Reviewing the difficult period before Sunday’s welcome win, the defender added, “We had three games in a week and it was hard on us. The Thursday night training allowed us to regroup and evaluate the past couple of games. But it was really good to get a win back.”

The former Brunswick Zebras youth player further explained how the coaches have kept the squad’s morale high, “Brian (head coach) is a big believer in us. He just motivates us to get up. He never doubts us.

“[Some] coaches would say, ‘Look we are this much down, let’s just sit back and park the bus’. But Brian really drives the team and all the coaches have confidence in us.”

Lantieri-Bartley has been a steady presence in a back-three defensive style deployed by the squad. On adapting to the system, she said, “I really like the 3-5-2. Each centre-back in the back-three – it allows us to get forward and we get more freedom. It gives midfielders more confidence knowing that they have got three players behind them.

“We all trust each other and the midfield. So, we know that if one of us goes up, there’s always going to be someone covering for us. We have all adjusted well.”

Box Hill’s ladies next welcome South Melbourne to Wembley Park on Saturday (30 March, 3.15 PM kick-off) and previewing the traditional rivalry, she said, “I am really excited, it’s my first time in this rivalry. [So], I am keen for that.

“It will be a good competition. South Melbourne are good at moving the ball and have a good midfield. So, I am expecting a lot of passing and one-twos and trying to break down the midfield.

“Obviously coming off a win now, we are motivated [and] looking to keep that streak going, and I think we could match it.”


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