Football Ferns and Strength
Where do you get your team strength from?
Abby Erceg - We have this real family culture in football - we think of each other more as a family than a team; instead of having a work colleague next to you, you have your sisters around you. The values we focus on are centred around our family values. Team first. We work very, very hard in our pursuit of excellence, making sure we help each other and push each other to those standards of excellence. We are a team who do not rely on one or two superstars, and often have to perform under a high degree of pressure, playing against teams ranked higher on the world stage. But having that team strength helps us.
How does having a strong team culture help?
Jasmine Pereira – The team will always come first in everything I do. Even outside the team environment, I make sure that I am the best I can be for the team. We all have that one goal – the gold medal - and everyone is aiming for that same thing. We have no standards below that. Erin Nayler - Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses can be the difference between winning and losing a game
And why is Communication so important?
Abby Erceg - Communication in football is big. You can’t do your job and not talk to anyone, talking constantly helps me to concentrate on my job too. Erin Nayler - Sometimes you only touch the ball two or three times in a game, so to have mental focus is really important. I’m communicating all the time, so I’m aware of what’s going on.
What is it like representing New Zealand and being an inspiration on the world stage?
Erin Nayler – Knowing I am inspiring other Kiwi girls makes me want to train harder and get the most out of every training, so when I do perform, I perform well. Abby Erceg - Growing up in New Zealand, the Olympic Games was the pinnacle of sport; to compete at an Olympics is one of the biggest achievements you can have. I remember watching it on TV, dreaming about it. They inspired me to be the best that I could be, and obviously I wanted to be them, and inspire young kids too. Inspiring young kids has always been a big part of the job. When I was growing up there weren’t many female football players, so now in the back of my mind when I’m playing, I think how can I help them realise their dreams and their potential.