One of the most in-form teams of this year’s women’s league campaign is surely Kirkop United.
The Reds have constantly been one of the teams improving every year and this is due to their excellent recruitment of players and technical staff in recent years.
As from this season, the senior side is under the coaching guidance of Jochen Lenders, who served as assistant coach to Kenneth Costantino in the previous season.
Costantino is now the technical director of the women’s teams at Kirkop.
So far this season, Kirkop have tallied 19 points with six wins and one draw after 13 outings.
Besides their collective unit, Kirkop have been spearheaded by forward Rodianne Zerafa, who scored 18 of the 34 goals registered by Lenders’ clan.
Zerafa, 22, is the league’s joint-top scorer with Francesca Chircop, of Mġarr United.
The Kirkop forward heaped praise on the team’s effort this season as they are closing in on a top-four finish.
“As a team, Kirkop has invested in an excellent manner to set up a squad with a mix of young and experienced players,” Zerafa explained.“At the same time, they are also promoting a number of U-19’s players who are bringing much more quality to the team.” Among the 18 goals scored this season, Zerafa has also found the net against the top teams in the league namely Birkirkara and Swieqi United, proving her offensive prowess.
“It’s been a positive season for me, having scored this number of goals already,” she explained.
“I have also managed to find the net against the best teams, and this reflects the hard work that I am putting down with my team and on a personal level as well.
“It’s a huge satisfaction for me to contribute in this way for my club.”
Kirkop are at the back of a 5-0 win over Mtarfa with Zerafa grabbing a brace. Their next challenge will be against second-placed Swieqi who last week drew with leaders Birkirkara 1-1.
For Zerafa, this will be another chance to showcase her abilities and maintain the challenge for the league’s top scorer accolade.
Prior moving to Kirkop this season, Zerafa had scored 22 goals in 17 games between 2018 and 2020 while at Raiders Għargħur.
“I’ve been scoring a lot of goals since I started to play football,” Zerafa underlined.
“I started to play with the boys team of Żurrieq before joining their girls’ team and I used to be a clinical striker already from such a young age.
“Recently, I also had to sit out from the game and that affected a bit my performance but I feel that I am getting in form as time goes by, even though I believe there is always room for improvement.”
Her goals could boost Zerafa’s chances of getting into the national team in the near future and she believes she has the ability to make it thus far.
“I keep working hard to improve and reach my objectives which includes representing my country which is always a source of pride for every player,” Zerafa said.
Photo: Stephen Gatt