TWO Victorian Premier league teams will hit the Border next week as part of ambitious plans to host an annual pre-season soccer tournament for women.
Bulleen Lions and newly promoted Boroondara Eagles will feature alongside teams from Canberra and Cobram, as well as three of the Border’s best — last year’s cup winners Albury City, Albury United and Wodonga Diamonds — on Sunday week at the La Trobe University ground in Wodonga.
The idea is the brainchild of United’s new coach Daniel Foden.
“We put this together thinking there was a need for it and have been overwhelmed with the response in a fairly short period,” he said.
“To get the two premier league teams and a high-quality side from Canberra can only be good.
“From my understanding people have, in the past, looked to do something similar but failed.
“But as well as the eight teams next week, we have another four who want to be a part of this next year.
“That’s the aim — make this an annual cup.”
Foden has returned to the Border after five years coaching women’s soccer at Stockport County in England. He hopes to bring that experience to his new home at Jelbart Park.
“It was pretty high standard. We had players from clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton,” he said.
“I found during those years of coaching that one of the many ways players improve is to be exposed to the game at the highest level and the Telstra Cup is one way we can do that.
“The games will be played in two, 30-minute halves and in two pools, the winners to play for the cup.
“I’m happy with my squad but next weekend will be a real test.”