The Solrais Women’s Premier League in Solomon Islands has undergone a branding revamp during the off-season and welcomed three new teams into the fold ahead of the 2021 season kick-off this weekend.
The new logo was launched this week along with the match schedule for the new season, which gets underway at Lawson Tama Stadium on Saturday 10 April.
The league has welcomed the addition of Borderline FC, West Honiara and Ha’arosia FC who help make up the ten teams participating in the 2021 season.
Ha’arosia FC have strong backing, with former women’s football development officer and former national team coach, Diane Justus coaching the squad and a group of dedicated women taking on the administrative and club management roles.
At the beginning of the month the club announced its 25-player squad with players representing a range of provinces inlcuding Temotu, Makira, Guadalcanal and Malaita.
“The list includes names who meet my coaching assessment and criteria. I also spotted the players who always turn up to every training session with seriousness and eagerness to play,” Justus said following the announcement.
Club president Noelyn Temasi said Ha’arosia Women’s FC has been preparing well for the upcoming season as the overcome the challenges of being a newly formed team with a roster of new players.
“To start off with new players is indeed not an easy task. But with Diane I can see the players are improving fast.”
For 2020 runners-up Koloale, the expansion of the league is a positive move as it will allow for more matches throughout the season.
Player/coach Crystal Bakolo said last year’s inaugural season was long awaited and it’s great to see the continued commitment across all levels, to the development of women’s football.
“I was overwhelmed with joy when the Women’s Premier League was announced and launched last year. I was thinking, if this had been done ten years ago we could have won some medals in the Pacific Games or the OFC tournaments, but I’m very grateful and happy that the league is up and running. I like the way it was set up, by having a women’s league with board members too.”
Having won the pre-season tournament before going on be finalists in the league, Koloale had a strong run in 2020, and are hoping to add to, and improve, on that success this year.
“The team does not have any secret – the only thing we knew that helped us make it up there was the fact that we have been playing alongside each other for 14 years. We stayed together since 2006 and that’s our biggest strength. Besides that, we believe in team work and hard work. We’re excited for the new season to get underway,” she said.
Koloale will open the new season in Saturday’s first fixture against league debutants West Honiara at 12pm followed by newcomers Ha’arosia against Frigates United at 2pm.
On Sunday the action continues with the match to watch being the encounter between RSIPF Royals and Naha FC, two sides who got the best from each other in the inaugural season.
To follow the league and stay updated on fixtures and results, follow Solrais Women’s Premier League.