Prior targets Sapphire Cup success
It has been quite the season for Spencer Prior and APIA Leichhardt, securing first the Club Championship and then the NPL NSW Women’s Premiership last weekend.
Prior’s next target will be the first ever Sapphire Cup, with his APIA side in action against the Northern Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
The APIA Leichhardt head coach is pleased with how the season has panned out so far for the football club and highlighted the hard work put in at all levels.
“I’m delighted for everyone associated with the club. As you know APIA won the men’s competition, so to have the women winning Club Championship shows how integrated we are,” said Prior.
“It’s incredible how management have built a program from bottom up, and is highlighted by our U15’s also winning the premiership.”
“This was our 1st group that went through APIA SAP program.”
He had more positive words to say for his first grade team who managed to lift the Premiership trophy on Sunday night.
“Our 1st grade have been excellent all year. We made a conscious decision at the end of last season to bring in less A-League Women’s players, in the hope that we could develop more girls to get picked up by A-League clubs,” the former English Premier league defender said.
“Every single player that has come into our environment has stepped up and made significant contributions to our senior squad.”
After celebrating deep into the night following Sunday’s festivities, Prior will ensure his team is fully focused for the Sapphire Cup final.
“The Saphire Cup is a fantastic initiative developed by Football NSW to mirror the Waratah Cup in the men’s competition,” Prior said.
“As it’s the first year I’m not sure how players value it yet, but as a club that has come up the through the leagues we know how important it is.”
“It creates talent ID opportunities, and gives clubs that are setting up programs a chance to benchmark themselves against the top clubs in the State.”
Looking forward to his opponents, Prior highlights the capabilities the Northern Tigers have and what they can bring to the final.
“We had a very tough physical game against the Tigers last week, and I’m sure, like us, they will be looking to finish the season on a high,” said the Premiership winning coach.
“They are a very dangerous opponent, and I’m sure will be even more motivated having missed out on finals football.”
“They are a well organised technical and physical team with lots of speed.”
“We will not focus on any individual as they are all dangerous.”
Sunday 10th September
APIA Leichhardt FC v Northern Tigers
NOTE: no cash purchases of tickets will be accepted on the day at the venue.
By – Nikola Pozder