INTERVIEW: Playing for each other

Box Hill United senior women’s bustling centre-back Rhiannon Fensom praised the way her colleagues have been playing for each other, following the side’s sterling display in the Nike FC Cup quarter-final against Eltham Redbacks on Wednesday evening.

The camaraderie was evident from the Box Hill ladies’ clinical 8-1 win on a wet and windy evening, thanks to skipper Saphri Lines and striker Emma Hubbard each scoring a double. While defenders Natasha Dakic and Olivia Ellis, left wing-back Hayley Geurts and attacking midfielder Caitlin Storay were the other four scorers for the side.

Reviewing the tricky contest against one of the elites of the State League, Fensom said, “We started off a little bit slow – just could not get the pace of the ball right. They did come out and have a crack at us in the first-half. They managed to get a couple of shots towards the goal. 

“We had good chat at half-time, and managed to come back out and do all the things we had been working on in training. We definitely played better in the second-half, and the scoreline reflected that.”

Under slippery ground conditions, Box Hill capitalised with their fluid passing upfront. On their approach, the 22-year-old added, “[The coaches asked us] to use it (the ground conditions) to our advantage. When it is wet, the ball seems to move a lot quicker. So, we [wanted to] use this to our advantage, play with a bit of pace on it, watching the weight of the pass and playing the ball into the space.”


The fact that her side had six different scorers is an encouraging sign, Fensom felt. The NSW-based defender said, “[It is a] massive confidence boost, for everybody, because we have had so many people getting on the scoresheet.

“Instead of being selfish and having shots from 20-30 yards, we were playing crosses in and getting on the end of them. That’s exactly what we need to do.”

The win against the Redbacks’ ladies arrived in a week when Box Hill humbled NPLW leaders Calder United 3-1 last time out. And the former Illawarra United Stingrays’ centre-back reasoned, “That was a massive confidence boost. It just goes to show that when we play the way we know we can, we can put balls into the back of the net and beat those teams from the top end of the ladder.”

Box Hill next face Senior NTC at the Knox Regional Football Centre on Sunday (2 June, 4PM kick-off). With the attention turning to the league once more, Fensom is hopeful of another polished performance from her teammates.

Looking ahead, she said, “We just need to make sure that when we go out there, we are playing the way we can. We know we [have to] be smart [and] move for each other. If we keep playing the way we have been, and the way we know we can, we should be able to contest against other [teams] for getting the three points.

“It’s just the small things, like not giving up and keep working for each other. The game is not over until the last whistle blows. So, if we just get stuck in for the full 90 minutes and work for each other the entire game, we’ll be able to come away with a win.”

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