Box Hill United’s senior women have roped in young defender Annabel Haffenden ahead of the 2020 NPLW season.
Haffenden, who had won the U/16s NPLW title in 2018 in Box Hill colours, continued to improve her craft with Senior NTC in 2019. Last season, she recorded 22 senior appearances and two U/19 caps with NTC.
Pleased to find Wembley Park’s supportive learning environment for young players still intact, Haffenden said, “It has been really good so far, getting to know the girls, being with the squad and learning new things.
“The senior squad has a lot of younger players and the club looks to develop [them], from what I have seen. That will be good, to be paired with a lot of experienced players within the squad.
“When I was here with the U/16s, [I noticed] a lot of the senior players looked to help out the younger players and teach them. That is still here at the moment.”
Reviewing her fruitful stint with NTC, the 17-year-old said, “I enjoyed the program and got a lot of development out of it. The coaching was great, and I felt it was good for my improvement.
“It was a big adjustment [going from U/16s to the seniors], but with the program and everything it offers, it made it easier to adjust to that level.
“The coaching and the training sessions prepared us when we played against stronger and bigger opponents.”
She felt this groundwork will further aid her for more improvement in 2020, particularly with the high-tempo style Box Hill coach Jorge Leon is trying to instil into the squad.
“Playing in the senior age-group this year [with NTC] has prepared me as much as possible for next season. I am looking forward to it – it will be a challenge playing against stronger opponents,” said the Glen Iris-based Haffenden.
“I know a lot of his (coach Jorge) sessions are technically intense. So, that will help with our decision-making and adapting to different styles of play when we are facing different opponents.”