INTERVIEW: Vice-captain highlights team unity to combat dismal loss

Box Hill United senior women’s vice-captain Hayley Geurts felt the team could overcome the dismay of Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Bulleen Lions, owing to their strong camaraderie.


Battling a technically superior opposition in inclement weather conditions at Wembley Park, Box Hill were consigned to their only loss in the last five league outings via first-half goals from Margot Robinne and Caitlin Friend.


Although the Brian Roberts-coached United outfit looked to creep their way into the contest in a much-improved second-half, they faced a roadblock in the form of Bulleen goalkeeper Teresa Morrissey, who thwarted multiple goal-bound efforts from the hosts.


At the other end, Box Hill custodian Bethany Mason-Jones was in superb form as well, denying the Lionesses several times to keep the scoreline in check.


With the side being unable to reverse their fortunes, Geurts said, “The first-half was a lot different to our second-half. We conceded two quick goals and were chasing the game within the first ten minutes. They were very good in combination plays and getting behind the [backline] to play that deep ball.


“But Brian talked to us at half-time to believe in ourselves, going out and giving it our all, and coming off the pitch knowing that we left our hearts out on the pitch.


“The girls have been doing really well in the past four games. We have found our groove where we are working together. We are one unit. But [it] was not our day unfortunately.”


A crowd favourite at Wembley Park, Geurts further highlighted how she needed to step up her leadership role lately, in captain Saphri Lines’ temporary absence.


The 20-year-old explained, “It’s taken a lot of change, because I am not used to it. But I have got [the coaches] backing me up every training session, and dropping hints on how I can improve my leadership role.


“The girls have been great. They have been listening to me and giving me ideas. If there is something wrong, they’ll come to me. So, it’s [been] good.”



Box Hill have already caused ripples in the NPLW with vital wins over heavyweights Calder United, Heidelberg United and South Melbourne. The side also go into the Nike FC Cup semi-final high on confidence against Melbourne University.


Geurts, who bagged the 2015 Seasol Bass Strait Cup crown with the Victorian All-Stars team, deflected her trust on her teammates to keep up the momentum in the remaining days of the campaign.


She said, “We have to keep our positive thoughts, [and] keep having fun [on the field]. Because when we enjoy it, everything normally falls into place for us.


“So, for the semi-final and the rest of the season, we have to put our heads down, work hard, but have some fun in the meantime. As a team, we are a really good unit.”


Images courtesy: Centre Circle Photography / Matt Johnson


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