Rodney Local Board member Tessa Berger celebrated back-to-back wins in the ASB Women’s Knockout Cup last month.
The Mahurangi West resident played a key role in Glenfield Rovers 5-4 victory over Eastern Suburbs at North Harbour QBE Stadium.
“It’s always an honour to play on the biggest stage in New Zealand for women’s club football, but to do it two years running is something special,” Tessa says.
Last year Tessa made the final with Forrest Hill Milford AFC, where it beat her current side 4-3 on penalties.
She moved clubs after feeling the support for women’s football was lacking.
“Glenfield Rovers has been incredibly supportive all season. It was a weird feeling beating Forrest Hill 3-1 in a quarter final, but it was all played in good spirit.”
Last season Tessa earned herself the Maia Jackman Trophy for player of the final after scoring a wonder goal playing at centre back.
She repeated that feat this year with another goal from the back.
“It’s pretty unique to score from that position in two consecutive finals.
“I just set out to do my job, but I’m always looking for an opportunity to score goals where I can.”
Tessa puts the overall result down to experience and peaking at the right time.
“There is a lot of pressure in a cup final so having five players that have competed at international level got us through.”
Tessa says that as a former New Zealand player, she helps her less experienced team mates in big matches.
“I’ve worked with Andrew, our coach, back at my first club Three Kings so he knows that I can offer my experience to the team.”
Tessa has now won three knockout cups after winning her first title at Three Kings in 2012.
In the league season, Glenfield finished third with Tessa scoring 10 goals at striker in the first half of the season.
“I find football provides an escape from everything else in my life and is a space where I can be creative. When I eventually stop playing the game I would like to finish up at Three Kings because that’s where I started, but next year it’s likely I will remain at Glenfield.”