Monday, August 24, 2009

So the season kicks off in six weeks time...

But there is little news around apart from the official release of the draw. The season will be 10 weeks again, despite talk last year that a home and away regular season might be possible this year. First round kicks off on Saturday October 3 with a grand-final rematch between premiers Brisbane Roar and Canberra United in Queensland. Also the league will stay at 8 teams, with no new team from either the Gold Coast or North Queensland Fury.

So apart from that news, here is a quick wrap of what else is happening.

Over at Adelaide United - Have signed SA girls Ashlee Faul and Ruth Wallace, re-signed goal-keeper Sian McLaren and midfielder Angela Fimmano Queensland based pair Georgia Chapman and Tenneille Boaler. New additions are Tenneille Boaler and back in Australian women's football for the first time in years, Georgia Chapman. Matilda Amy's twin sister has been playing in Sweden, but will make her return to the national league (she played for the Canberra Eclipse in the old one) for Adelaide. Mike Barnett returns as coach.
Up at the Central Coast, or more correctly, NSWIS, the Mariners haven't made any announcements yet. But their star, Kyah Simon, is weighing up her options and may switch to Sydney FC. Stephen Roche returns as coach. Picture, Kyah Simon in action for the Mariners last year.

Down in Victoria, the Melbourne Victory have been pretty active in the pre-season. They travelled to China earlier this year and have started playing trial matches. No official news on signings though. Matt Shepard will return as coach.

At Newcastle, still no official word on a coach as last season's coach Gary Phillips has left to take up a position in the AFC. Retired Matilda Joey Peters has been taking on most of the training duties, but will she be the W-League's first playing coach? Could lose Emily van Egmond to Canberra, as her dad Gary has just taken up a post as an AIS coach, but are likely to regain Hayley Crawford who played for Canberra last year.

Way over in the wild west, Perth Glory have a new coach for season 2009. John Gibson was an AIS men's scholarship coach and then Canberra United assistant under Robbie Hooker last year.

In Brisbane, Jeff Hopkins will coach again and if anything Queensland can only be stronger. Remember all those players that had to have knee reconstructions? Jenna Tristram, Kim Carroll? They should be back. Have apparently signed Amy Chapman from Canberra but she won't play this season due to her own knee reconstruction, (her third, ouch!).
Brisbane celebrate winning last year's grand final.

Not really any news coming from the harbour city's team, Sydney FC, apart from that Young Matildas coach Alen Staijic will coach them again.

To finally, down in Australia's national capital who have been very busy in recent weeks. Canberra United will have a new coach this year, Ray Junna. Robbie Hooker is now Australia under-17 women's coach. Junna already has more than half of his squad signed-up, including last year's captain Ellie Brush, Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams, Grace Gill, Cian Maciejewski, Bronwyn Studman, Ashleigh Sykes, Nicole Sykes, Christine Walters, Ellie Raymond, Kahlia Hogg and Jennifer Bisset. May also be a W-League trendsetter as are close to signing some players from Chinese-Taipei. Would be the first internationals from Asia to play in the W-League. Bad news is that they will be without Chapman and Munoz, probably the two best players from season one, due to injury.

That's all for now, but stayed tuned as (hopefully) news starts rolling out.

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