Last Sunday’s NPLW game against Balcatta marked the 200th game played for the 1st team by ex-New Zealand international player, Renee Leota.
After a gripping 1–0 win on home soil, the team gathered around to present Leota with a plaque, marking her entry into the 200 club and joining the ranks of current players Carla Bennett, Emily Dunn and Larissa Walsh as well as former player Nicola Williams who was the inaugural member of the club and is now the assistant coach of Italian giants Lazio.
As well as representing her country at senior level and taking part in the Beijing Olympics, Renee has also played for the White Ferns in three Under 20s World Cups in Russia, Germany and Chile.
Since moving to Perth, Renee has only ever played for Redbacks, regarding them as a family and
Kiwi, as she is known on the pitch, has been an integral force in the Redback attacks over the years, playing as the main striker for much of her time with us. Renee says she’s been an attacker ever since she started soccer, spending the majority of her time in the forward space, drifting between the wings and the midfield making her very difficult to pick up and mark.
This season Renee has been used a lot as an impact substitute, often coming on at halftime to help change things for the team with her uncanny knack of being able to hold play up and bring teammates into the game.
Sunday’s game was a special one for the club as we had four of our five 200 club players on the pitch at the same time, and this is something we are incredibly proud of. Each one of the double centurions has bought something special to the club and it speaks volumes about our culture and philosophies to have players who stay with us for such long periods.
The bonds they have formed with each other over the years and their commitments to their teammates are clearly evident, and as the team moves into the final stages of the season their experience will be invaluable for the younger members of the team.
The NPLW team take on Curtin University this weekend in their Round 18 game, and we're confident that with these four on the pitch along with our other senior players, Captain Shawn Billam, Perth Glory Star Sarah Carroll and ex Matilda and W league centurion Kim Carroll the side will take nothing for granted and do their utmost to win the three points as they strive to win the league title.