Box Hill United senior women’s head coach Brian Roberts said it is time for his charges to “show their true worth”, especially after their steady progress this season.
Box Hill face Melbourne University SC in the Nike F.C. Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening (7.30PM kick-off), and the boss recently reviewed the side’s Cup run with pride.
This campaign, State League elites Boroondara Eagles (7-0, Round 3) and Eltham Redbacks (8-1, quarter-final) wilted before our senior women’s attacking might, who overcame the sternest test yet against Alamein (2-0, A.E.T) in Round 4.
In what is a repeat of last edition’s quarter-final, when Box Hill had prevailed via penalties, Roberts previewed the semi-final against Melbourne University saying, “It’s the semi-final, so it’s a great opportunity for our players to put themselves on a big stage and show what they are capable of doing.
“At this stage of the season, it certainly gives the younger players the opportunity to shine and show their true worth. It’s a semi-final [but] we’ll approach it like any other game. Obviously, there’s just a lot more at stake at the end of the day for us.”
On the way his squad punched their way into the last-four, the former Reading striker said, “Certainly, we had two tricky ties against State League 1 opposition. But we showed the gap between ourselves and State 1. We were fortunate to score quite a few goals in both of them. So, that was great.
“But Alamein were a different challenge. We knew we had to compete with them on a level with the pace of the game, with their physicality, which we handled particularly well. They (Box Hill players) showed another side that I hadn’t seen up to that point, which holds in good stead for the future of this club.”
Box Hill have rebuilt the ranks this term with a fresh approach. Roberts, 2018 NPLW Coach of the Year, was pleased with how his players have navigated the campaign across the league and the Cup.
He said, “Certainly, [I am proud]. I haven’t had to motivate the players [too much]. They motivate themselves. Obviously, we have had the odd night, where we have been a bit flat. But as a whole up to this point, they have handled themselves excellently. Again, that’s testament to them.
“Also, from my perspective, coaching players is what we get out of them; and I am certainly getting a lot out of this group of players. They are a big reason why I coach.”
The head coach further urged his players to put their best foot forward and enjoy the occasion on Wednesday, “[The players should] enjoy themselves, because they have worked so hard up to this point. The last seven-eight months, they have put themselves in this position. So, there is no reason why we cannot overcome this last hurdle.”
Images courtesy: Matt Johnson / Football Victoria