Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's happening in women's football around the world

Just a quick note to say that FIFA's monthly women's wrap is up here, it includes the latest transfer goss from the WPS (Sky Blue FC seem to have done VERY well), Marta's stint back in her home country of Brazil which culiminated in a 9-0 win in the championship final, and more. Also tonight, Germany take on America. No 1 vs No 2. Does it get any better? Hopefully there are some highlights up soon. While you are at the FIFA site, don't forget to read Pete Smith's story on Kyah Simon.
Also check out Polly commented on my fairgame magazine post and so I thought I would call by her website to say hi and although it's a UK one, it has lots of great things for Aussie girls too. Like lots and lots of videos showing skills and how to perfect them. And if you do pop by here on Saturday, I will try and surprise with some Canberra United stories. Until then, see you later alligators.

Westfield W-League Round 5 preview

So firstly, a few interesting happenings this week. Number one is that Matildas star Lisa de Vanna has been suspended for her little outburst last weekend. From the AAP report, De Vanna was angry at being substituted in the 31st minute of the Glory's 1-0 win over Adelaide on Saturday. She swore at coaching staff and a fourth official and also raised her middle finger towards members of the crowd as she went down the tunnel. Football Federation Australia has found her guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and issued a two-match ban. One match is suspended, to be put into action if de Vanna re-offends in the next six months. Glory coach John Gibson was not a happy man either. “We accept the penalty handed to Lisa by the governing body, the incident was unacceptable on many levels in terms of respect for the game and the fans” said Glory coach John Gibson.
“As a group this goes away from our one of our goals for the season, which is about respect, and from the culture we are trying to establish this season. From the team's point of view the issue is over, we react positively, move forward, stay together and look forward to this weekend’s game."
It's certainly not a good example and de Vanna has been known in the past to have a very short-temper, I remember reading stories about how she had walked out on numerous clubs around the time she was starring for the Matildas at the 2007 World Cup in China. But I can't help but wonder, would she have been suspended if it wasn't the TV match?

Anyway, onto some more positive news and Melbourne and Newcastle play the first ever W-League game on a synthetic pitch. Moved from Bob Jane Stadium due to the poor pitch there, it will be interesting to see what happens.
They opened one of these new generation surfaces in Canberra recently at Hawker and I have walked on it, kicked a ball on it and watched a few games there. The first thing about one here is that you have to get very very close to realise it's not actually grass. Then once you are on it, it basically plays like a pitch should except unlike the drought-affected pitches we have these days, it's an even surface so you can actually read the bounce. In that sense, the one in Canberra is amazing. But in the first few months players did complain of more grazes and sore muscles, but it seemed to clear up as time went on and the pitch settled.  I'm not sure how old the pitch at the Veneto Club is, but they played an NYL game on it last week so it must be ok. Will be interesting to hear the feedback from it, as really, these pitches are the way of the future. Because the drought doesn't look like breaking, pitches that don't need watering are a good idea plus the idea that these can be used 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Let me know what you think Melbourne readers :)

And so now to the actual game previews. How much will the absence of de Vanna and Sam Kerr hurt Perth against Brisbane? And can Canberra United continue its stellar form and knock off the impressive Mariners. It's all ahead in Round 5. I'll keep it as a shorter post this week, if you want the full teams please click through to Ann Odong's fantastic website,

SATURDAY, MELBOURNE VICTORY v NEWCASTLE JETS at the Veneto Club, 2pm. Referee: Rebecca Durcau. So the Victory were not happy at all with their performance against Canberra last week and I assume they would have had the chance to train at the synthetic pitch this week so hopefully they know the ground. They lose Selin Kuralay (unavailble), Steph Catley (international duty) and Marlies Oostdam (injury), but regain Kara Mowbray, who has obviously signed another injury-replacement contract, Jess Humble, Sarah Groenewald, Gulcan Koca and Ursula Hughson. Lose a lot of experience with Kuralay and Oostdam out, so could be another danger game for Melbourne. Except that Newcastle are losing even more players this week and showing their young age, it's all either so they can sit their HSC exams or play for the under-16 Australian team. Elizabeth Sharpe, Kristyn Pearce and Emma Stewart are out with HSC, Tara Andrews (the Jets only goalscorer so far this year), Maddy Searl and Hannah Brewer are all with Robbie Hooker's Australian squad. But the ins are promising, Stacey Day is back as is Loren Mahoney and Harmonie Atwill. They have also signed a new player, Renee Cartwright, who scored a few goals in the NSW premier league last season and is a former Young Matilda, originally from Crookwell. Find out all about her in this great story from the Newcastle Herald.

BRISBANE ROAR v PERTH GLORY at Ballymore Stadium, Local kick-off 2.30pm. Referee: Casey Reibelt. Don't forget, this is now the Westfield W-League Match of the Round live and exclusive to ABC1 and ABC HD, after they switched from the Melbourne game late last week. So Perth look to be a much lesser force without the two players that have created so many chances for the Glory this year, Lisa de Vanna and Sam Kerr, but that's exactly when teams can come up and surprise you. They still have Collette McCallum, who is one of the best set piece takers in the Matildas. De Vanna and Kerr the only outs, with three youngers in the extended squad, Katarina Jukic, Ciara Conway and Ellis Glanfield. Brisbane haven't made any outs yet, but added Pam Bignold, Tameka Butt, Leah Curtis and Steph Latham to an extended squad. Butt will definitely be back in. After smashing Canberra 3-0 in Round 1 though, Brisbane have scored just two goals in the other three games. Their draw last week came courtesy of a Sydney FC own goal. So are they ready for a huge win? Or is their dominance slipping slightly? I shall tune into ABC TV to find out.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS v CANBERRA UNITED at Canberra Stadium, 4.15pm. So yes, I have listed the Mariners first for a reason. It may be in Canberra, but it's still a Mariners home game as it's a curtain raiser to the boys clash against Adelaide United. But Canberra will be hoping the home crowd is an advantage in its race to keep its finals hopes alive. Tseng Shu O, with her pretty purple bob, scored two excellent goals last weekend. The first one worthy of any highlights reel as she completely outstepped the senior Matildas goalkeeper in Melissa Barbieri. I spoke to her this week (through a translator) and she said one of the things that has been so amazing is the crowd support, she said that in Taiwan no-one would ever bother to watch her play. So she is loving the United fans on the McKellar hill. Still Canberra will need a super effort to beat the inform Mariners and the leagues leading goalscorer in Michelle Heyman. Particulary as the Mariners have been playing three up front. United's defence worked super well last week, but that was when they just had one striker to deal with, Katie Thorlakson, who wasn't that quick. This week I expect the Mariners to keep the back-four extra busy, which means that Nicole Sykes and Ellyse Perry probably won't be able to run it up the line as much as they did last week. Em van Egmond is a big loss too, she was outstanding against Melbourne. But as attested to last year in its run to the grand final, once Canberra have its confidence up, the girls are hard to stop. Hopefully a huge crowd turns out for the first ever women's national league game at Canberra Stadium.

SUNDAY, SYDNEY FC v ADELAIDE UNITED at the Sydney Football Stadium, 2.15pm. Referee, Kiralee Gardener. So another Sunday fixture for the Sydney FC girls. Unlucky not to get a win against Brisbane last week, and only having beaten the Newcastle Jets 1-0, I have the feeling it could be Adelaide's turn to get punished this week. Sydney have SUCH a good team on paper, they should really be putting away teams like this. Defender Danielle Brogan is out with a knee injury, scarily it says unknown next to her name, which will be a big blow for the Sky Blues and two more girls are out with Hooker's team, Brittany Whitfield and Teigan Allen. No players in. It's a similar story for Adelaide, with Ashlee Faul and Ruth Wallace out and no players added. Can Sydney get it together, or will Adelaide battle away for another respectable loss? As the only team yet to score a goal this W-League, I think the Reds will be pretty happy if they can just focus on that first, like their captain said last week.

So enjoy the halfway round of the season this weekend, see you on the other side :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AFC under-16 championship preview with Australian coach Robbie Hooker

So it's been a while since an Australian youth girls team has qualified for a FIFA under-17 or under-20 World Cup. The last team was the one that went in 2006 to the under-20 event in Russia. And just to clarify, these events are held every two years, not four like the senior World Cups. The under-19 girls just missed out in controversial circumstances earlier this year for next year's under-20 tournament.
But anyway, now it's almost November and that means that the next Australian women's team chance is now. They will leave on Sunday morning for Thailand, where Japan, China and Chinese Taipei face them in the group stages of the under-16 AFC women's cup.
Australia have to finish in the top-three in the eight-team tournament to qualify for next year's under-17 FIFA World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.
It's going to be tough, but new Australian coach Robbie Hooker thinks this team could be the one to do it. girlswithgame caught up with Hooker this week to find out why.

 girlswithgame: It's been a while since an Australian youth women's team has qualified for a youth women's FIFA World Cup, can this group do it? Robbie Hooker: This group has probably the best chance of any of the previous U/17 squads as the elite training programs in each state have improved and the W-League has given opportunity to young players that were not previously there.

Australia's group, China, Japan and Chinese Taipei, seems like a pretty tough one, what are you expecting the competition to be like? China and Japan will be very hard to beat but we should knock over Chinese Taipei.

This Australian team does seem to be a pretty talented one, as well as two girls in particular who have made an impact in the W-League, Sam Kerr and Emily van Egmond, what else is strong about the team? The team has a good all round look and feel about it. Apart from the two players you have mentioned there are probably another 8-10 players that are or should be playing in the W League. Their technical ability is good and now they are learning a lot tactically as well.

From the ASEAN tournament, it seemed like there was a lot of different goalscorers, is that one of the strengths in the squad? There was a lot of goal scorers but that was because we created a lot of chances from all types of attacking play, counter attacks and set plays as well.

Your also a defensively minded coach, given that's where you played, how is the defence shaping up? Don't know why you think I am a defensive minded coach, I consider myself a winning minded coach. Almost all winning teams have a good defensive structure and record. If that is defensive minded then I am guilty. We actually scored 45 goals with at least 12 different goal scorers but having said that we did work a lot on our defensive structure (will need it in Thailand) but that actually starts in the opponents third of the field so it is an aggressive or attacking defensive structure.

You have said before this group is one of the most technically gifted to come through, why do you think that is? Technically, this group of players have had the best environment to train in with all the NTC programs around the country.

You lost Nicola Bolger to an ACL injury while over in Myanmar, will she be a big loss? Nicola will be a huge loss for this team. She was a real contender to lead the side in Thailand so not only did we lose a great midfielder but I need to think of other players to lead the team. Her vision and reading and understanding of football was second to none in this team and that is extremely hard to replace.

The conditions are probably going to be one of the toughest things, did the trip to Myanmar help prepare the girls in that sense? The Myanmar trip was ideal in terms of acclimatising the players to the heat and humidity that we will get in Thailand.

You are back in camp from Wednesday this week until you head over, what will be some of the most important things you will be doing in this camp? The pre tour camp is probably the most important camp we will have had. We will be working on the things that I think we need to do to beat China in the first game. That is the total focus between now and next Thursday. As this is an under age group there is still a lot of educational and developmental focus as well but in reality that will be secondary for this trip. This is all about getting a result.

Is it a final selection camp, or will the girls from the ASEAN tournament be the ones going over? There was only 20 players involved in the ASEAN trip but we are able to take 23 to Thailand. All players apart from Nicola will go to Thailand and we have added 4 more to the list so we will be taking the max allowable.

And finally, it's your first major tournament as an Australian head coach, are you excited? I am extremely excited about the leading this group of players and playing my bit in getting them to the WC. I really thrive on the challenge of competition not only as a player but now as a coach.
Throughout the tournament, keep up with the latest news at the AFC official website. girlswithgame will also being doing its utmost to bring you previews and then the results ASAP after the games. So watch this space. And to the girls, coaches and staff, good luck!

Here is the squad that started camp today. Teigen Allen Sydney Sydney FC, Tara Andrews Newcastle Newcastle Jets FC, Hannah Brewer Newcastle Newcastle Jets FC, Sharni Brown Sydney North West Sydney Koalas, Stephanie Catley Melbourne Melbourne Victory FC, Brianna Davey Melbourne Football Victoria NTC, Elizabeth Durack Sydney North West Sydney Koalas, Erika Elze Brisbane QAS, Ashlee Faul Adelaide Adelaide United FC, Caitlin Foord Sydney NSWIS, Caitlin Friend Melbourne Melbourne Victory FC, Michaela Hatzirodos Brisbane QAS, Amy Higgins Brisbane QAS, Alexandra Huynh Sydney Marconi, Alanna Kennedy Sydney NSWIS, Samantha Kerr Perth Perth Glory FC, Heidi Makrillos Sydney NSWIS, Candace Sciberras Sydney Marconi, Madeline Searl Newcastle Newcastle Jets, Rebekah Stott Brisbane QAS, Emily Van Egmond Canberra Canberra United FC, Ruth Wallace Adelaide Adelaide United FC, Brittany Whitfield Sydney Sydney FC.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

fairgame magazine... would it work in Australia?

So for the last few weeks while I prepare to nod off to sleep I've had the pleasure of flipping through a few issues of the UK edition of fairgame magazine, a whole magazine devoted to that one thing I am quite partial to - women's football.

Going by its credits page, it's a pretty small team with editor Jen O'Neill and news editor Wilf Fifth, plus a person each in design, advertising and marketing. It's published by its own company, fairgame publishing, as I bet that no other magazine stable wanted to take it on.

Basically it's all about women's football in the UK, as obviously, that's where it's based. The latest edition I recieved, April 2009, has stories about English coach Hope Powell and winning the Cyprus Cup (the first thing the English girls have won in a while), a wrap-up of the women's FA Cup, a story on how the FA has cut its promised summer league and a start for professional women's football with it, Arsenal coach Vic Akers on finishing up his 22-year-career in charge of the girls, team profiles of Arsenal and Sunderland who will play in the Cup Final, posters, a day in the life of a pro player, regional round-up, a few more profiles, fitness workouts, a strength training session with Sky Blue FC's fitness guy and new drills, which this issue is all to do with long range passing. In short, it's fantastic.

I am surprised to read though that the women's leagues in the UK aren't professional. Not standard wise, as I've never seen it but I bet it's fantastic as it's been going around a lot longer than other comps, but because of stories like the one from Aresnal ladies. It's the story on Vic Akers who has managed the ladies for the past 22-years (yep, that's right 22!), but is hanging up his coaching boots this year. But in the story it says he'll be going onto general manager and will continue to oversee player recruitment, but it will still be unpaid. Akers paid job is to be Arsene Wenger's kit man. So the coaches aren't even paid? It seems that way. After Akers bowed out, Sunderland's coach is the next longest serving one. He's a police constable. Also in that story, it seems there IS a professional league on the way. But it's not there yet.

So Australia already has a semi-professional league, could we sustain a magazine like this? It seems America couldn't. If you google fairgame magazine it comes up with an option to go to the American or UK website, except that the American one doesn't work anymore and further googling found fans who were last month asking questions about their subscriptions. That one has apparently gone bust, or I hope is just taking a break? As to ride on the amazing wave the American girls have over there, ie the players can afford to live off the cashola they earn from playing, would be a terrible thing to do.

But anyway, back to an Australian edition. In terms of content, I suppose a down under one would be a bit more limited just by the fact there are eight W-League teams and the season only goes for 10 weeks. That in itself makes it a little tricky to cover regulary over a year. (Although, I can't quite get a gauge on how often UK fairgame is published, the last one is from April, the new one came out last week, but they don't seem to be regular either). Matildas are in a down period at the moment, but fingers crossed that will pick up in the next year with World Cup qualifiers and fingers crossed, a World Cup for the Aussie girls. There would obviously be the same sort of options to do with fitness and technical drills, which I think is fantastic, isn't that what young girls here would like more than anything else? A female taking them through how they approach each skill? And profiles, posters etc would also be easy to put together. I think perhaps the one thing that would determine just how well it would work is advertising. Fairgame mag has a LOT of advertisers. There is 14 full page ads and another few that take the total up to 16 pages of ads in 45 pages. Plenty of the ads are from different soccer schools in England offering programs, as well a leagues, equipment and then more soccer schools. Would there be enough advertisers to support it in Australia? It's an interesting concept though and given soccer is the fastest growing sport for women in Australia, perhaps its one with merit in the future. I know I would like to have the option of a fairgame magazine as opposed to other women's mags like Cleo or Dolly.

So anyway, if you are interested, I recommend you support fairgame and give their magazine a go. I ordered them here and for about $15 had two issues in Australia within a week. Ok, there are a lot of English words that might drive you a little mad, like gaffer, and it's pretty much only has UK news, but it offers an interesting perspective on women's football and things like the fitness and skills pages are obviously easily translated world-wide. This is the latest issue. I'll be hopping on to order one right now. Also, apologies for my terrible attempt to get pics of the pages, but I wanted to put something up to show you what it's like.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Round 4 Westfield W-League wrap

So to think, at the end of next week we'll be halfway through the season and then things will really start to get interesting. But in this short season, have Canberra United already left their run too late, despite notching up their first win in Round 4? And have the Mariners already secured their spot in the finals thanks to a rampaging 5-1 win over Newcastle? All that and more in one post. Apologies for the lateness, but am still being affected by killer flu.

PERTH GLORY 1 (Alex Singer 48') bt ADELAIDE UNITED 0 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide.
So another loss to the Reds, but they seem to get getting closer every time. Still, are now the only team to not have a goal next to its name after four rounds. Come on Adelaide, so close! From all accounts, including Tom Sermanni's that I caught at the Canberra United match, Sam Kerr was on fire for Perth Glory. Kerr came on after just 31mins, replacing Lisa de Vanna (who was not at all happy with that), but then starred. Speaking to Canberra's Emily van Egmond yesterday about the upcoming under-16 Asian Cup - she was similary glowing about Kerr. Kerr was the one who completely changed the scoreline in the ASEAN Cup final last week, and looks one to watch as a bolter for the Matildas senior AFC cup challenge next year. Even Adelaide's captain said they couldn't do much against her when speaking to Sportal after the game.
"Sam Kerr came on a bit earlier than we expected, but she played a brilliant game, she was fast," Christina Papageorgiou said. She also said they would just need to focus on goalscoring first, winning next. "We've got to score some goals first (before winning a game), so we'll look at putting the ball in the back of the net this week at training."
Referee: Jacqui Melksham
Assistant referees: Airlie Keen and Skye McCabe
Fourth official: Ana Nevjestic
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 2.Ebony WEIDENBACH, 3.Renee HARRISON, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 11.Georgia CHAPMAN (10.Marijana RAJCIC 67’), 12. Katerina BEXIS, 14.Donna COCKAYNE (9.Angela FIMMANO 70’), 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH, 18.Rochelle KUHAR, 19. Nenita BURGESS (15.Tenneille BOALER 61’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20.Kristi HARVEY (gk).
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nil.
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Emma WIRKUS (GK), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 5. Shannon MAY, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (C), 9. Dani CALAUTTI, 11. Lisa DE VANNA (4. Sam KERR 31’), 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO (6. Ella MASTRANTONIO 88’), 14. Collette McCALLUM, 15. Alex SINGER, 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 17. Marianna TABAIN.
Substitutes Not Used: 7. Elissia CANHAM, 20. Zoe PALANDRI.
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nil.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 5 (Lydia VANDENBERGH 5’, Michelle HEYMAN 21’/25’, Kendall FLETCHER 65’, Tudy CAMILLERI 82’) bt NEWCASTLE JETS 1 (Tara ANDREWS 88') at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle.
So congratulations to the Jets, because at least now they have scored a goal! The Mariners did this fairly easily though and were up 3-0 after the first 24minutes. Congratulations to Michelle Heyman as well who is now leading the golden boot standings with four. The Mariners are now just one point behind Brisbane after four rounds and are offensively the most dangerous team. They have scored a whopping 10 goals in four games, ahead of Brisbane's effort of six (and remember three of those came in one game against Canberra). The little team that could is how the men's Mariners team is often described, not full of stars, but an honest hard-working team that gets results - the female Mariners seem to be doing the same. Except that of course, the girls are actually based in Sydney, not Gosford, as they are just the other half of the NSWIS team. But wherever they are based, they have had an amazing start to the season and deserve second spot. Speaking to Sportal reporters, Coach Stephen Roche was of course, happy with the 5-1 win.  “We have been working on playing three up front and using that to get in behind the defence and it worked perfectly today,” he said.
“From there it was good finishing that gave us the win.”
 Newcastle vice-captain Amber Neilson said the Jets were happy with the second-half. “We needed to be organized a bit more and communication let us down. But they knocked the ball around really well.”
“We had a run at them in the second half and showed lots of heart but just couldn’t convert our chances.”
Also congrats to Heyman who was awarded Football NSW's Platinum Medal for best player in the Arrive alive Women’s Premier League. Heyman scored 24 goals in 21 games in helping her Illawarra Stingrays team to the premiership and championship. More here.
Referee: Kirralee Gardner
Assistant referees: Tanya de Boer and Catherine Nash
Fourth official: Penelope Nash
Newcastle Jets line-up: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 3. Pelay INGLES, 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON (2. Libby SHARPE 44’), 10. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 11. Carlie IKONOMOU (8. Bronte BATES 70’), 12. Emma STEWART (13. Caitlyn JARVIE 59’), 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 17. Maddy SEARL, 18. Leia SMITH, 19. Tara ANDREWS.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk).
Yellow Cards: Amber NEILSON 55’, Kirstyn PEARCE 65’.
Red Cards: Nil.
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER (c), 3. Lyndsay GLOHE, 4. Rachael DOYLE, 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI (13. Tudy CAMILLERI 65’), 9. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN (16. Jenna KINGSLEY 71’), 12. Samantha SPACKMAN (17. Britt SIMMONS 78’), 14. Ashleigh CONNOR, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Rachel COOPER (gk).
Yellow Cards: Caitlin COOPER 85’, Ashleigh CONNOR 90’.
Red Cards: Nil.

CANBERRA UNITED 2 (TSENG Shu O 27’/48’) bt MELBOURNE VICTORY 0 at McKellar Park, Canberra.
I told you I had a good feeling about this one Canberra fans, finally a scoreline reflecting the performance. Tseng's first goal was magic too. With supreme confidence, she took about three touches to get around Barbieri who could only watch from behind as the girl with the wonderful purple hair finished past her into an empty net. The next wasn't quite as pretty, a toe poke that just beat Barbieri to the ball and trickled in slowly, but it was just as deserved. Canberra's non-local new players this year, Emily van Egmond and Ellyse Perry, were also outstanding. As was Cian Maciejewski who I think changed United's fate when she dispossessed Katrina Gorry on the wing - when no-one, no-one was expecting it - early in the second half and Ash Sykes almost scored. From that momentum United just kept going and really it was hard to fault anyone. United coach Ray Junna was happy, but still a little frustrated that with all their chances they couldn't kill the game off earlier. Melbourne Victory captain Tal Karp was bitterly disappointed. It's the Victory's third loss in three W-League games to United and despite playing well in the first three rounds, they just didn't have much at all against Canberra. "We weren't happy with the result, we were really disappointed to lose three points and really, that's three times now we have lost to Canberra, so hopefully we can get better from here," Karp said.
 So what happened? "To be honest, our preparation hasn't been the best," Karp said. "We have five players that come in from Queensland and so we can't train with them during the week, so it's been a bit disjointed. But ultimately Canberra took it to us today and we just weren't able to compete, we were just behind the play too often.
 "Canberra did really well, they have a really young team but they moved the ball around really well and were threatening. We are going to have to do a whole lot better next time we come up against them."
Referee: Sara Hodson
Assistant referees: Allyson Flynn and Greg Taylor
Fourth official: Gary Vandeburgt
Canberra United line-up: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 4. LIN Chiung Ying, 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 8. Emily VAN EGMOND (12. Snez VELJANOVSKA 82’), 9. Grace GILL, 10. TSENG Shu O, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI (2. Rebecca KITING 64’), 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jennifer BISSET (5. Kahlia HOGG 60’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Jocelyn MARA.
Yellow Cards: Ashleigh SYKES 61’
Red Cards: Nil.
Melbourne Victory line-up: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (c), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC, 3. Marlies OOSTDAM (19. Enza BARILLA 68’), 4. Tal KARP (14. Selin KURALAY 50’), 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 8. Katie THORLAKSON (10. Deanna NICESKI 68’), 9. Stephanie CATLEY, 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
Yellow Cards: Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY 66’
Red Cards: Nil.

SYDNEY FC 1 (Catherine PAASKE 34’) drew with BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Kyah SIMON 46' OG) at Sydney Football Stadium.
And just as I thought it might be, the match of the round ended up being a draw as there just wasn't much between these two teams. Although, I didn't expect that Sydney would score both goals. Since the Round 1 win over Canberra, Brisbane have only scored one goal in each game. Still I think probably that yesterday's game was just quality defence more than anything keeping the score very low. Paaske's goal sounds like a ripper, very much like Tseng Shu O's from Canberra. The Danish International has taken a couple of weeks to settle in, but now seems like she's getting into it. And as a former nominee for FIFA World Player of the Year, that's a very dangerous sign for others than Sydney FC. As far as I'm aware, the only other currently playing in the Westfield W-League who has been nominated for that award is Matilda Lisa de Vanna. But with Paaske having played more internationals than de Vanna, does that make her the best player in the W-League currently? Hmm.. perhaps a topic for discussion later this week.
Referee: Rebecca Durcau
Assistant referees: Sarah Ho and Leanne Smith
Fourth official: Laura Elliott
Sydney FC line-up: 1.Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigan ALLEN (16. Linda O’NEILL 75’), 3. Danielle BROGAN, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL (12. Michelle CARNEY 82’), 9. Sarah WALSH (19. Leena KHAMIS 61’),10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Catherine PAASKE, 15. Kyah SIMON.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk).
Yellow Cards: Danielle BROGAN 58’
Red Cards: Nil.
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER (19. Ellen BEAUMONT 45’), 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c) 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Lana HARCH, 11. Aivy LUIK, 16. Lauren COLTHORPE 18. Courtney BEUTEL (9. Jenna TRISTRAM 65’).
Substitutes Not Used: 14.Sasha MCDONNELL, , 20. Kate STEWART (gk)
Yellow Cards: Kate MCSHEA 81’.
Red Cards: Nil.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 4 preview

So first of all, apologies for the lack of posts this week but have been struck down by unfortunate case of killer flu. Next week will (hopefully) be back to normal. But before then we have a whole of Round 4 to go and it's going to provide some crackers. Just thinking of last year's game between Canberra United and Melbourne Victory makes me all wistful for the amazing talent that is Amy Chapman, I can still picture her wonder-scross that curled in over Melissa Barbieri that ended up being the winner in the 93rd minute. Obviously Chappy is not here this year, she's injured, but can this game provide something special too?
And then there is the match-up everyone wants to see, Brisbane Roar up against Sydney FC. Plus it's all starting to really count, Perth's John Gibson has said it - it's his first 'must win' game of the season. Oh the possibilities, but let's delve into each game with a little more detail.

Saturday, ADELAIDE UNITED v PERTH GLORY at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide.  Local kick-off: 2.30pm (3.00pm AEDT). Referee: Jacqui Melksham
Live and exclusive on ABC1 and ABC HD from 3.00pm AEDT
So Adelaide gain some strike power back from international duty in Ruth Wallace and a couple more back from injury, including their captain Christina Papageorgiou and Karina Roweth. Perth welcome back Sam Kerr, who helped Australia to its thumping win over Thailand in the first ever under-16 girls ASEAN CUP final last Sunday. So the questions are, can Adelaide score its first goal this season and could they possibly hold out Perth's dangerous forward line enough to win? It's a tough ask and one that still seems a little out of reach. Given that Emma Wirkus used to play for Adelaide, I think she'll be keen to keep her old team out too. Perth should win, but I think that United are getting stronger and may score a goal sooner rather than later. Perth coach John Gibson has put the pressure on already.  “After this week we are half way through the season. It is a must win game, and going into the next few weeks, the games will get tougher so we need to capitalise this weekend. Most of the Adelaide squad are home grown and very similar to us so it should be a great game” he said.
 “It is a must win for us this weekend, we want to continue our recent form, play a solid ninety minutes and it’s a game that we go into really wanting to win. “We were disappointed to drop two points last week (against Canberra), it was one of our best performances for the year, our first half was outstanding. We had a few lapses of concentration in the second half and that cost us.”
Adelaide United squad: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 2.Ebony WEIDENBACH, 3.Renee HARRISON, 5.Ashlee FAUL, 6.Thomai KEZIOS, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 8.Ruth WALLACE 9.Angela FIMMANO, 10.Marijana RAJCIC, 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 12.Katerina BEXIS, 13.Lauren CHILVERS, 14.Donna COCKAYNE, 15.Tenneille BOALER, 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH, 18.Rochelle KUHAR, 19. Nenita BURGESS, 20.Kristi HARVEY (gk) *four to be omitted*
In: Ashlee FAUL (returns from international duty), Ruth WALLACE (returns from international duty), Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (return from injury), Karina ROWETH (return from injury)
Out: Nil
Perth Glory squad: 1. Emma WIRKUS (GK), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Sam KERR, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 7. Elissia CANHAM, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (C), 9. Dani CALAUTTI, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 14. Collette McCALLUM, 15. Alex SINGER, 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 18. Ellis GLANFIELD, 20. Zoe PALANDRI
*one to be omitted*
In: Sam KERR (return from national duty)
Out: Nil

NEWCASTLE JETS v CENTRAL COAST MARINERS at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle. Local kick-off, 4pm. Referee: Kirralee Gardner.
So the Mariners only just lost to Brisbane, 1-0, and the goal was scored in the last few minutes. Newcastle only lost 1-0 to Sydney FC, but both teams looked fairly ordinary last week in that game and Leena Khamis scored the only goal after four minutes. How will they turn up this week for the F1 derby? I still think the Jets are struggling for striking options without Katie Gill and Emily van Egmond, well clearly they are struggling to score as they haven't yet this season, but I think it's a similar problem to Canberra - they just don't have anyone who possesses that killer blow in front of goal. Perhaps even floating captain Hayley Crawford, who was a Matildas striker who scored at junior FIFA World Cups before her second coming in the midfield last season, could be an answer? The Mariners will see this as a game where they should claim the points and will be eager to and go closer to securing that finals spot that seemed very unlikely at the start of the season. No big ins or outs for either team so I expect the Mariners to win comfortably - unless the Jets can a striker with a clear purpose.
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 2. Libby SHARPE, 3. Pelay INGLES, 5. Stacey DAY, 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON, 8. Bronte BATES, 9. Kate HENSMAN, 10. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 11. Carlie IKONOMOU, 12. Emma STEWART, 13. Caitlyn JARVIE, 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 17. Maddy SEARL, 18. Leia SMITH, 19. Tara ANDREWS 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk) *two to be omitted*
In: Libby SHARPE (promoted), Tara ANDREWS (promoted), Maddy SEARL (promoted)
Out: Loren MAHONEY (not selected)
Unavailable: Nil
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Lyndsay GLOHE, 4. Rachael DOYLE, 5. Jessica SEAMAN, 7. Teresa POLIAS, 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI, 9. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Samantha SPACKMAN, 13. Tudy CAMILLERI, 14. Ashleigh CONNOR, 15. Elizabeth O'REILLY, 16. Jenna KINGSLEY, 17. Britt SIMMONS, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH, 20. Rachel COOPER (gk).
*three to be omitted*
In: Ashleigh CONNOR (promoted), Elizabeth O'REILLY (promoted), Britt SIMMONS (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

CANBERRA UNITED v MELBOURNE VICTORY at McKellar Park, Canberra. Local kick-off 5pm. Referee: Sara Hodson
So we all know what a classic this was last year. It was round nine and secured Canberra's finals hopes while crushing Melbournes. It's a lot earlier in the season now, but this game could also be crucial. United are sitting seventh on the ladder with only one single point. Melbourne are third on six. With the Mariners also on six and likely to move to nine this week with another win, the Victory and the Mariners could get an eight-point jump on Canberra. And United's finals chances could be slipping away before even their season gets started. It just shows what an awfully short season it is. But, even putting aside by Canberra bias, I feel weirdly positive about the ACT's chances at home. Firstly their strikers finally started scoring goals last weekend and they claimed their first points in emphatic fashion by a comeback against Perth. Strangely it was that exact same occurence last year in Round 5 that really kickstarted Canberra's run into the first grand final. Canberra have the wood over Melbourne, winning 1-0 last year in Melbourne before that 3-2 thriller in round nine. And Canberra have Bec Kiting, who was one of its best defenders in season one but has been injured so far this year, available and Em van Egmond back from international duty. Van Egmond is doubly important - she had United's only decent chances against Brisbane in Round 1. While the Victory have youngster Stephanie Catley back, it's also meant they lose Kara Mowbray who was on injury replacement contract in Victoria. Mowbray played for Canberra last year, scored the second goal in the 3-2 game against Victory and some of the most important ones in United's campaign. I bet she would have been keen to score against Canberra. So will Canberra hit top gear or Melbourne keep cruising at its already high level? I can't wait to watch. Spoke to Melissa Barbieri today and she said that Melbourne just want as many points as they can early this year to avoid the heartache last year. "Last year after that Mariners game [in round 10] that we lost, well that was pretty disappointing," she said. "So we just want to wrap up as many points as we can early on so that doesn't happen again."
Canberra United squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (c), 2. Rebecca KITING, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 4. LIN Chiung Ying, 5. Kahlia HOGG, 6. Ellie RAYMOND, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Emily VAN EGMOND, 9. Grace GILL, 10. TSENG Shu O, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Jocelyn MARA
*one player to be omitted*
In: Rebecca KITING, Emily VAN EGMOND (returns from international duty)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Chistine WALTERS (calf - indefinitely), Sally SHIPARD (awaiting clearance)
Melbourne Victory Women: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC, 3. Marlies OOSTDAM, 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 8. Katie THORLAKSON, 9. Stephanie CATLEY, 10. Deanna NICESKI, 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 19. Enza BARILLA, 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
In: Stephanie CATLEY (promoted)
Out: Sarah GROENEWALD (omitted), Kara MOWBRAY (contract expired)

SUNDAY, SYDNEY FC v BRISBANE ROAR at Sydney Football Stadium, Local kick-off, 2.15pm. Referee: Rebecca Durcau
So a combined total of 22 players that have either played for the Matildas at some level or are currently Matildas will play in this game - plus two Danish internationals who have more than 200 international caps between them - this match has 'class' stamped all over it. If only this was the TV game. Oh well, anyone that is a women's football fan and in Sydney, don't even think twice - just go! As for the result? Well it shall be interesting to see what unfolds. After Brisbane's forwards smashed through Canberra's defence in Round 1 I thought they would be unstoppable, but they haven't managed huge bags of goals since then and Courtney Beutel and Tameka Butt haven't scored at all. Against an excellent Sydney defence, possibly the best in the league outside their own, can Brisbane regain its form or may they be held goal-less for the first time? Brisbane's best chance I think will be to put Butt on Heather Garriock's side and as we have seen so far, with Garriock being the most attacking left back I have ever seen, Butt is quick enough to catch her off-guard and get in down that right side. Now Sydney have goalscorers all across the park, but they certainly won't be allowed as much time and space as they were against Newcastle last weekend this time. Brisbane's defence has a big test on its hand. So what could happen? I think it will either be a very entertaining nil all draw, or it will turn into a shoot-out with snippets of individual brilliance from players like Sarah Walsh, Leena Khamis, Heather Garriock, Courtney Beutel, Jo Burgess or Tameka Butt.
Sydney FC squad: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigan ALLEN, 3. Danielle BROGAN, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Lisa GILBERT, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrin PAASKE, 12. Michelle CARNEY, 13. Catherine CANNULI, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’NEILL, 18. Brittany WHITFIELD, 19. Leena KHAMIS, 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk). *three to be omitted*
In: Teigan ALLEN (return international duty), Lisa GILBERT (promoted), Brittany WHITFIELD (return international duty)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nicola BOLGER (knee - season), Danielle SMALL (departed club)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c) 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9 Jenna TRISTRAM, 10.Lana HARCH, 11. Aivy LUIK, 12. Steph LATHAM 13. Tameka BUTT, 14.Sasha MCDONNELL 15. Leah Curtis 16. Lauren COLTHORPE 18. Courtney BEUTEL, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT, 20. Kate STEWART (gk)
*four to be omitted*
In: Karla REUTER (promoted), Jenna TRISTRAM (return from injury), Steph LATHAM (promoted), Leah Curtis (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Emily GIELNIK (Foot)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 3 wrap

So there was a little bit of history repeating itself thanks to a late Canberra United comeback in Perth to draw 2-2 with the Glory, but apart from that it seems the Westfield W-League results fell into a little bit more predictable fashion in Round 3. Are the cream starting to separate from the crop? All the Round 3 scorers and happenings in one little post.

SYDNEY FC 1 (Leena Khamis 5') bt NEWCASTLE JETS 0 at Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle. So Sydney won, but like me, did anyone else watching the game think that that score probably wasn't an accurate reflection? Although, while I thought Sydney did dominate the play, they certainly didn't play as well as they did against Canberra United last week so perhaps 1-0 was an accurate score. There was sloppy work from both teams, particulary in the second half both teams were getting terrible touches on the ball in the midfield and the Jets had some pretty ordinary attempts at clearances from defence that went straight out. I think Sydney really needed to be more ruthless in front of goal. Fair enough that Sarah Walsh didn't play, but watching on ABC TV I thought that Julie Rydahl, Cathrin Paaske, Heather Garriock, Linda O'Neill and Leena Khamis had some great chances, but they tried to pass it around and be fancy instead of pull the trigger. I know that a 4-0 or 5-0 result doesn't look great for the league, but I think perhaps in the argument for teams getting better, a thrashing here and there would actually be good as it would show W-League players what they have to do to get to a Matildas standard. The Jets still haven't scored a goal this season, although Emma Stewart came very close when she recieved a long ball through and got first touch, unfortunately her second touch went straight to Deiter. Also, special mention to Heather Garriock for being the most attacking left back I have ever seen. She did it against Canberra last week, but stepped it up even more against Newcastle. Just watching Garriock alone is worth the $5 or $10 it will cost you to get into a W-League game.

MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 (Katrina GORRY 29’, Selin KURULAY 82’) bt ADELAIDE UNITED 0 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide. So Melbourne continued its positive start to the season and Adelaide still haven't scored a goal. Although, with Melissa Barbieri in goal for the Victory that was always going to be hard.  According to the statistics though, Melbourne had 30 shots to Adelaide's seven, so did the Victory waste their chances or was it some stellar defending from Adelaide? From the match report, looks like great defending. Going on the highlights they showed at halftime on ABC TV on Saturday though, Adelaide went close to scoring a few times in Round 2 - while a win might be a while off they look like they may be capable of scoring a few this year. It's a challenge the Jets and Adelaide now have, who will score their first goal? My bet is on Adelaide. Also, am very much looking forward to seeing what the Victory are made of when they come to Canberra this weekend.

PERTH GLORY 2 (Collette McCALLUM 6’, Marianna TABAIN 8’) drew with CANBERRA UNITED 2 (TSENG Shu O 61’, Ashleigh SYKES 82’) at Clipsal Stadium, Perth. So a little bit of history repeating itself here. In Round 5 last year, Perth Glory went up 2-0 early only to have United come back with two late goals to equalise. Last year it was Caitlin Munoz and then Ashleigh Sykes in the 89th minute. In 2009, it was Taiwanese import Tseng Shu O in the 62nd then Sykes again in the 82nd to seal Canberra's first point this season. Coach Ray Junna was left wondering what could have been though after United gave away that 2-0 lead, firstly a penalty against Ellie Brush that Collette McCallum converted in just the 6th minute, followed by a lucky volley from Marianna Tabain that just dropped perfectly over Lydia Williams. Find comments from Junna here. But my favourite quote from the weekend comes from Ashleigh Sykes, who has had a mountain of pressure on her this year to step up from the impact player off the bench to starting striker and scored her first goal on the weekend. When asked by my colleague Chris Dutton if she was happy to get rid of the monkey on her back in today's The Canberra Times, Sykes said, "I don't know if it was a goalscoring monkey on my back," she said. "I was more like a gorilla.
"I had a few chances this year but I haven't been able to put them away so hopefully I can carry it on and keeping getting a few in the coming weeks."
Both Ash and Nic Sykes start their HSC exams this week and both have six over the next two weeks, for those two and all other W-League girls out there who are in the same position, good luck!

BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Sasha McDonnell 80') bt CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane. So Brisbane Roar move clear at the top of the W-League table with a tight 1-0 win. But given that the goal only came from substitute Sasha McDonnell in the 80th minute (she came on in the 79th and the goal was her first touch), the Mariners can probably feel unlucky that they didn't get a point. Can anyone catch Brisbane as they charge towards second consecutive W-League championships? I'm thinking not really. For more details on the match, here is a great report from Sportal's Rob Forsaith. He particulary made me smile with his description on the 'Butt and Beutel show'.

Australian girls win first ever ASEAN under-16 girls final!

So the girls took on Thailand in the final of the ASEAN under-16 girls final in Myanmar, and though it's not up on the FFA website yet, you can read all about it here on the ASEAN website.
Australia ended up winning 8-0, but the scoreline doesn't reflect that it was pretty close. Up until the 67th minute, it was 2-0, but Sam Kerr then scored and it seemingly opened up the floodgates.
Heidi Makrillos (75th), Kerr (83rd minute), Teigen Allen (88th), Caitlin Foord (90th) and Emily van Egmond (90th), finished off the scoring in a flurry. Well done Australia!
The girls will now fly back to Australia and spend about a week at home before heading to the AFC under-16 titles at the end of this month. The ASEAN titles were a warm-up for these, which also double as the qualifiers for the under-17 FIFA women's World Cup.
Hopefully most of them will play for their Westfield W-League teams this weekend.
*Update, report from FFA is now out.
Thailand played strongly in the first half, only conceding one goal but tired during the second allowing the Australians to finish well from some good attacking play. The Australian team dominated possession in the first half with Thailand defending with discipline.
They dropped deep with 10 players behind the ball making it difficult for the Australian team to find away through.  However the deadlock was broken in the 30th minute with Brittany Whitfield, who completed the tournament with a goal in every game, once again on the spot to finish from a Sharni Brown cross from the left. In the last two minutes before half time, Thailand won the ball in midfield and turned the Australian defence around with a through ball but Ashlee Faul managed to chase down her opponent and her sliding tackle forced a corner. Australia defended strongly and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The start of the second half was similar to the first, with Australia continuing to dominate possession against the disciplined Thailand defence.
Australia’s pressing game caused a turnover in the final third for Whitfield to slip a pass through to Caitlin Foord to score in the 59th minute. Sam Kerr then subbed on in the 60th minute and the goal flurry came from there. Heidi Makrillos and Brittany Whitfield scored one a piece to equal Caitlin Friend as top scorers for the tournament with 7.
 “I am very pleased with the team performance tonight and through the tournament. I thought Thailand was in the match for the first half, but we controlled the match well and scored some good goals,” said Coach Robbie Hooker.  “I still think there are some things we need to work on including finishing, but it was a good result and valuable experience heading into the AFC Championships.”
Match details
Australia 8 (Brittany Whitfield 30’, Caitlin Foord 59’/90’, Sam Kerr 67’/82’, Heidi Makrillos 75’, Teigen Allen 88’, Emily Van Egmond 90’+2) bt Thailand 0
AFF U16 Championships, Myanmar
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Local kick-off: 6.00pm (10.30pm AEDT)
Youth Training Centre, Yangon
Australia Line-up: Brianna DAVEY (GK), Ashlee FAUL, Rebekah STOTT (c), Erika ELZE, Stephanie CATLEY (Hannah BREWER 69’), Emily VAN EGMOND, Alanna KENNEDY, Teigen ALLEN, Brittany WHITFIELD (Heidi MAKRILLOS 75’), Caitlin FOORD, Sharni BROWN (Sam KERR 60’).
Substitutes not used: Amy HIGGINS(GK), Alexandra HUYNH, Ruth WALLACE, Caitlin FRIEND, Tara ANDREWS.
Unavailable: Nicola BOLGER

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Under-17 Australian girls into ASEAN final

Not making the final, no offense to the competition, would have been a bit disappointing looking at the more than 10-nil scorelines the Australian girls have dished out this week. So good to see they have made it with a 6-1 win over the Myanmar A team on Friday. Not sure exactly what happened as the FFA media release has a few different times in its copy as to the actual box score at the bottom, but seems a good performance non the less.
 Head Coach Robbie Hooker was pleased. “I am happy with the result – there were some good individual performances but the team performance lacked consistency.”
“It was disappointing to concede a goal from a set play but it was good experience for the girls to play under these conditions against a home crowd and now to have the opportunity to play in a final leading into the AFC tournament,” finished Hooker.
Australia’s next game is the final to be played against Thailand on Sunday 18th October at 6.00pm local time at the Youth Training Centre, Yangon.

Match details: Semi-final
Australia 6 (Nicola Bolger 18’, Caitlin Friend 21’/58’, Caitlin Foord 30’, Brittany Whitfield 52’, Emily van Egmond (pen)) bt Myanmar (A) 1
AFF U16 Championships, Myanmar
Friday, 16 October 2009
Local kick-off: 6.00pm (10.30pm AEDT) , Youth Training Centre, Yangon
Australia Line-up: Brianna DAVEY (GK), Rebekah STOTT, Emily VAN EGMOND, Erika ELZE, Stephanie CATLEY, Sam KERR (Brittany WHITFIELD 60’), Nicola BOLGER (c) (Teigen ALLEN 32’), Alanna KENNEDY, Caitlin FOORD, Caitlin FRIEND (Heidi MAKRILLOS 79’), Tara ANDREWS.
Substitutes not used: Amy HIGGINS (GK), Alexandra HUYNH, Ruth WALLACE, Ashlee FAUL, Sharni BROWN.
Unavailable: Hannah BREWER

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 3 preview

So is this the round that the Mariners prove they are real Westfield W-League title contenders? They are up against Brisbane Roar - the inaugural champions who so far haven't missed a beat. Then there is the team that met Brisbane in the grand final of the first season, Canberra United, who haven't registered a single point this year. Can they get any against Perth?

SATURDAY, ADELAIDE UNITED v MELBOURNE VICTORY at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide. Local kick-off: 2.30pm (3.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Lee Corey
Melbourne Victory only just lost to Brisbane Roar last weekend thanks to an 84minute scramble in goal that was eventually awarded to Ellen Beaumont and had an impressive 2-0 win over Perth in Round 1. They have looked impressive, while Adelaide have not. Adelaide, like Newcastle, are also yet to score a single goal so far this season. Adelaide have their captain Christina Papageorgiou back, while Melbourne welcome back former Matilda Selin Kuralay who was suspended after recieving two yellows (and apparently having a bit of a physical tiff with Perth's Lisa de Vanna's as well) in Round 1. Still another game where I won't be able to watch Melbourne, if anyone does go, let me know how they go? Are they a real challenger? If they are they should deal with Adelaide fairly easily.
Adelaide United squad: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 2.Ebony WEIDENBACH , 3.Renee HARRISON, 6.Thomai KEZIOS, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 9.Angela FIMMANO, 10.Marijana RAJCIC, 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 12.Katerina BEXIS, 13.Lauren CHILVERS, 14.Donna COCKAYNE, 15.Tenneille BOALER, 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH, 18.Rochelle KUHAR, 20.Kristi HARVEY (gk)
*one to be omitted*
In: Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c) (return from injury)
Out: Nenita BURGESS (not selected)
Unavailable: Ruth BLACKBURN - injured (season), Ashlee FAUL (international duty), Ruth WALLACE (international duty)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC, 3. Marlies OOSTDAM, 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7. Sarah GROENEWALD, 8. Katie THORLAKSON, 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 19. Enza BARILLA, 20. Nicole PAUL (gk), 21. Kara MOWBRAY
In: Selin KURALAY (returns from suspension)
Out: Ursula HUGHSON (omitted), Deanna NICESKI (omitted)
Unavailable: Caitlin FRIEND (international duty) Stephanie CATLEY (international duty)

NEWCASTLE JETS v SYDNEY FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle. Local kick-off: 3.00pm Referee: Kirralee Gardener
Live and exclusive on ABC1 and ABC HD from 3.00pm AEDT
So Newcastle, like Adelaide, are still goal-less after two games. Can they break the drought against Sydney FC? Well going on results so far, while Sydney have a massive amount of strike power, their defence is not THAT hard to get past. It's just that outscoring Sydney, who have Leena Khamis, Sarah Walsh, Catherin Paaske, Julie Rydahl and Heather Garriock is one hard task - as Canberra found out last week. So its not unlikely that Newcastle will score, I think it's just unlikely they can win. As Alen Stajcic said after the game last week, basically his best players flew in a few days before the season started so the first two games have been their preseason. Now they will really start to hit their straps. Also, where has Danielle Small gone? Beside her name in the team list it just says departed club, to where? I will try to find out.
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 2. Libby SHARPE, 3. Pelay INGLES, 4. Loren MAHONEY, 5. Stacey DAY, 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON, 8. Bronte BATES, 9. Kate HENSMAN, 10. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 11. Carlie IKONOMOU, 12. Emma STEWART, 13. Caitlyn JARVIE, 14. Hannah BREWER, 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 17. Maddy SEARL, 18. Leia SMITH, 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk)
*four to be omitted*
In: Emma STEWART (promoted), Libby SHARPE (promoted), Bronte BATES (promoted), Hannah BREWER (promoted)
Out: Tara ANDREWS (international duty)
Unavailable: Nil
Sydney FC squad: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 3. Danielle BROGAN, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Lisa GILBERT, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrin PAASKE, 12. Michelle CARNEY, 13. Catherine CANNULI, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’NEILL, 19. Leena KHAMIS, 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk)
*One to be omitted.
In: Linda O’NEILL (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Teigan ALLEN (international duty), Nicola BOLGER (international duty), Danielle SMALL (departed club), Brittany WHITFIELD (international duty).

PERTH GLORY v CANBERRA UNITED at Clipsal Stadium, Inglewood. Local kick-off: 3.00pm (6.00pm AEDT) Referee: Casey Reibelt
So the master meets the apprentice, as in former United assistant John Gibson up against the man who taught him his trade when Gibson was a scholarship coach at the AIS, Ray Junna. And according to Collette McCallum, expect to see very similar game plans. No doubt the only issue is for Canberra is that Perth have waay more Matildas caps to use at their disposal. Plus Perth have an out an out star goalscorer, Lisa de Vanna, who Canberra United actually tried to recruit this off-season and now unfortunately it's the only thing Canberra area really missing - someone to put the ball in the back of the net. Perth won't be too confident though, they were up 2-0 last year before two goals in final five minutes handed Canberra a point. United will have one distraction though, the ref Casey Reibelt, was on the end of some controversial decisions last season including the red card to Thea Slatyer within 10minutes in the game against Adelaide United.
Perth Glory squad: 1. Emma WIRKUS (gk), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 7. Elissia CANHAM, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (c), 9. Dani CALAUTTI, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 14. Collette McCALLUM, 15. Alex SINGER, 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 18. Ellis GLANFIELD, 19. Katarina JUKIC
In: Nil
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Sam KERR (international duties), Zoe PALANDRI (overseas)
Canberra United squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 4. LIN Chiung Ying, 5. Kahlia HOGG, 6. Ellie RAYMOND, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL, 10. TSENG Shu O, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Jocelyn MARA
In: Nil
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Rebecca KITING (back – 1 week), Emily van EGMOND (international duties – 2 weeks), Christine WALTERS (calf - indefinitely), Sally SHIPARD (waiting clearance – indefinitely)

Local kick-off: 6.00pm (7.00pm AEDT), Referee: Pru Donohue
So it's a top of the table clash up in Brisbane and we get to find out whether or not the Mariners first-up thrashing of Sydney FC was a fluke. Given that Sydney and Brisbane are set to be the benchmark this year, this game will be telling. Brisbane have a nice bonus in that Matilda Jenna Tristram is back from her knee injury. She snapped her ACL in Round two against Canberra last year. It's the first time this year she has been named and with Sasha McDonnell starting last week against Melbourne, expect that Tristram will come off the bench. Mariners are still at full strength. Should be an enthralling match. Now if only all the games were live on ABC TV. Oh well, hopefully in seasons not so far from now they will. Enjoy Round 3!
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk), 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c) 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9 Jenna TRISTRAM, 10.Lana HARCH, 11. Aivy LUIK, 12. Steph LATHAM 13. Tameka BUTT, 14.Sasha MCDONNELL 15. Leah Curtis 16. Lauren COLTHORPE 18. Courtney BEUTEL, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT, 20. Kate STEWART (gk)
*four to be omitted*
In: Jenna TRISTRAM (return from injury)
Out: Nil
Unavaible: Emily GIELNIK (Foot)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Lyndsay GLOHE, 4. Rachael DOYLE, 5. Jessica SEAMAN, 7. Teresa POLIAS, 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI, 9. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Samantha SPACKMAN, 13. Tudy CAMILLERI, 14. Ashleigh CONNOR, 15. Elizabeth O'REILLY, 16. Jenna KINGSLEY, 17. Britt SIMMONS, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH, 20. Rachel COOPER (gk).
*three to be omitted*
In: Lyndsay GLOHE (promoted), Elizabeth O'REILLY (promoted), Britt SIMMONS (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

girlswithgame profile - meet Perth Glory Matilda Collette McCallum

The 23-year-old just had the wildest ride of her soccer career to help claim the inaugural Women's Professional League title in American with Sky Blues FC, and now she's back in Australia trying to get Perth Glory into its first W-League finals campaign. The Scottish born midfielder has a killer kick from set pieces, hence the corner she took last week against the Newcastle Jets that ended up going in for the matchwinner. Introducing, Collette McCallum.

girlswithgame: Happy with your first win last weekend for Perth Glory? Collette McCallum: It was good to get a win at home and certainly better than last year, last year it took us a long time to actually get going. It was unfortunate against Melbourne last week for us, the 2-0 loss, it just wasn't out best game, the girls looked really nervous so to actually go out on the weekend and get a win was really good.

How important is it to make than home ground advantage count for Perth this year? Well, I don't feel that we are that far away, but most people think we are pretty far away. But for the long flight there we have to take advantage of being at home and feeling fresh while the other teams do have a long trip over.

Are you keen at Perth to go better than your disappointing season last year? Definitely, we still have a few of the young ones here and physically they aren't as strong, but they are quite smart players, very technical so that is to our advantage. [Lisa] de Vanna is back, Emma Wirkus, she's a goalkeeper who is very experienced and a great communicator, so she's a great addition. Evenutally we are going to have Katie Gill come into the team so she will add plenty of experience up front.

On your American season that only finished in late August, have you had much of a break before starting the Australian one? We were the last ones apart from LA to finish our season so it was quite long, but I took a week off and then headed to Scotland for a holiday. While there I still just did some fitness, just some running and stuff, but I think I was a bit jetlagged when I came back to Australia. That didn't help me in the Melbourne game as my legs were still very heavy, it was pretty unbelieveable actually. I think the holiday gave me a little break but I'm still quite fresh to get back into this and hopefully play well.

The finish to your season in the WPS was nothing short of incredible, after losing two coaches throughout the season, one being fired and the other one walking out with no notice, to then go on and win the league, have you ever been part of anything like that before? Last year I had the Pali Blues, which was the then highest league in America and we won that which was really good and it was a great feeling to play and win it. But because this is now the WPS, womens pro league and the first year back, it was such an achievement to win and also with all the ups and downs that we did have, my team was just crazy in all the stuff we went through, so to get to the end and then actually win it, it was just great.

At any point in the season did you think it was a write off, or were you still positive? I think that we kept it positive, I've been in other seasons where teams have lost the first eight games or so and then gone on to win it. Football is a funny game, so we just tried to keep positive. There were a few months when we were on our road  trip when we did really really well and I think we got a bit lucky, because we had to have Boston lose the last game for us to make the four and then that happened, so after that, we just had this feeling 'we are going to win this' and we went all the way. It was brilliant.

So did the team know that Christie Rampone, who was captain and then took over as the third coach of the season, was actually three months pregnant when she played in the final against LA soul? No we had no idea. She told us literally after the final, that we won, she told us then. She is just unbelievable, I have so much respect for her and what she's done in the women's game. She has done so much for the American team but also around the world for girls to really look up to her. She's a brilliant defender, very hard to get past and I was very grateful to play with her in that team. She knows her football too, so she tweaked a few things in our team and we have gone out and won the final, so did she a lot in the final few weeks and the finals.

Are you a better player because of that season in the professional league? Physically I think I'm stronger, technique wise it kind of goes out the window a little bit because the American game is so different and its such a direct physical game, that you have to try and cope and adapt to. So physically that was good for me but tactically and technically I have to get back into the different game here in the Australian league.

Back into the Australian league, how hard is it to approach as such a short season after playing more than 20 games in America? It is tough because its such a little league, but it's good and it's exciting because every game is a tough game, you can't just expect to go through the motions and then pick up points next weekend because every game counts and every point is important to get and especially away from home. [Perth coach John Gibson] Gibbo is great and we're doing great at training, so hopefully this weekend I think we will get a result against Canberra. They have a good squad, with the likes of Lydia Williams who has also been away in America, so she brings experience as well. They still have young players like Ellie [Brush, Gracie [Gill] and Ashleigh [Sykes], so I think its going to be an exciting game but I think we should definitely get a result out of it.

Has John Gibson changed the way that Perth play this year? He has changed the style and I think he has the same philosophy as the Canberra coach Reggie (Ray Junna). They've both at the AIS and they kind of have the same philosophy in the game as you know in the game, playing good football, keeping the ball, not just launching it and running and they do have good players and so do we, do we have changed the system and tweaked a few things and it will be interesting to see how it plays out on the weekend.

Canberra have been playing the new formation favoured by the dutch that FFA have now adopted, four-three-three, is that they way Perth have lined up so far? We're actually playing a 3-5-2, so it's a similar system but it just depends on what players you have available and for us that system works best to our strengths.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 2 wrap

So two rounds down and we have found out a little bit more about everyone, so here is girlswithgame Round 2 Westfield W-League review, all the games wrapped up in one convenient little (ok, more like large) post.

PERTH GLORY 1 (Collette McCallum 10m) bt NEWCASTLE JETS 0 at ME Bank Stadium.
 Unfortunately I didn't get to catch much of this as was watching the Joeys play a curtain raiser at McKellar Park and couldn't find a TV, but have seen the goal and as everyone has no doubt already said, it was a fairly easy one for Perth, a few slips in the box from a Collette McCallum corner and it went in. Looked like it may have been awarded to Lisa de Vanna, but was given to her Matildas team-mate in the after-match report. Unforunate for Newcastle as it seems one slip-up cost them a point. But great for Perth who have now started what they wanted, a good record at home and pressure in the box helped lead to their first goal this season. Perth coach John Gibson was a man happy with his stars. From Perth press release, Gibson had praise for all three of his Matildas, McCallum, de Vanna and Emma Wirkus, but singled out Wirkus’ match and her contribution to the team."We needed a really good goalkeeper (this season) and she’s a wonderful character," he said.``She's been a fantastic addition to the squad and had a very strong performance for us today."

SYDNEY FC 2 (Sarah Walsh 20m, Catherin Paaske 83m) bt CANBERRA UNITED 1 (Ellie Brush 89m) at McKellar Park. So I do get paid to followed Canberra for my day job, so apologies for the United bias that might creep in now. But in the end, Sydney FC deserved their victory because their touches of international class paid off. For Sarah Walsh's first goal, she had given Nicole Sykes trouble already, but she recieved a perfectly weighted ball from midfield and on the turn - was just half a pace ahead of Sykes. That was all Walsh needed, the Sykes twins might currently be the fastest players over 20m in Matildas squads, but before them Walsh held that title. Once she had that half-step, Lydia Williams had very little chance against the Matildas and Women's pro league striker. A great goal. It was a very, very tight second half and United moved the ball around exceptionally well, but just could not find a finisher. Then Sydney's international class did when Julie Rydahl placed a corner kick to her Danish national team and Swedish club team-mate Catherin Paaske at the far post. Paaske, who is a former nominee for FIFA women's world player of the year and has over 100 caps for Denmark as well as a huge haul of goals, easily headed it in. Poor Ashleigh Sykes then summed up Canberra's afternoon when a few minutes later, recieved a ball in the box from Tseng Shu-o, then completely by herself, hit it to Sydney keeper Nikola Dieter. The rebound then fell to Sykes but she hit it straight back to Deiter again, who palmed it out. Canberra scored from the resulting corner through Ellie Brush and then launched a frenetic injury time attack, but just couldn't buy a goal from free play. Overall it was a great game, fast tempo with some well scored goals. Garriock, Paaske, Kyah Simon and Kylie Ledbrook were excellent as Sydney's middle four. Sydney FC coach Alen Stajcic - who was almost shaking with just how cold it was at McKellar, we always turn on the weather in Canberra - said that he was happy his team was starting to gel despite limited preparation.
"I thought we probably played a little bit better last week than we did today,'' he said. ``I thought it was probably pretty even and Canberra probably dominated the second half, I’'m not happy with the way we played in the second half, they outplayed us, but we’re happy to win and get some confidence.
``[Now to improve] we just need to train together, we haven’'t been together long as an actual unit, we’ve only really been together for two weeks now.
``There is no speficic thing, it’s just working out how to work together.''
His counterpart Ray Junna was rueing not having a noted goalscorer, but also said United couldn't afford to dwell too much on what was the toughest start to the season for any club.
“[If they can score] then it will give them that little b it of confidence, for someone like Ellie [Raymond] playing in this type of environment, playing ACTAS football she can take an extra touch, look up and at the moment in this league, it has to be instinctive,”'' Junna said.
``So hopefully she will adapt and that her best is yet to come.
``We’'ve got to look at it that way, there is no use getting disillusioned or downhearted, we’ve just got to keep pressing and get a result.”
Also, I must mention, special call-out to Ellie Brush and her spectacular bicycle kick attempt at goal. She's done it before at McKellar Park and brought it out again in the first half. It gained a huge cheer from the crowd.

BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Ellen Beaumont 84m) bt MELBOURNE VICTORY 0 at Epping Soccer Stadium.
Melbourne almost managed to sneak through and claim a point against Brisbane, proving that they could be an good prospect this year. But most interesting for Brisbane, Sasha McDonnell started and from the match report, apparently created a host of chances. McDonnell was a late signing to Brisbane Roar, as Roar coach Jeff Hopkins said he thought she should go elsewhere as he couldn't guarantee her a starting spot, but now perhaps she could be a regular? Doubly interesting as McDonnell and her best mate, Kara Mowbray, had to play against each other in this game instead of helping set each other up for Canberra United. I look forward to being able to watch Melbourne Victory ASAP so I can see for myself exactly what type of team they have managed to put together.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 2 (Trudy Camilleri 73m, Ashleigh Connor 87m) bt ADELAIDE UNITED 0 at Bluetongue Stadium. Referee: Kate Jacewicz. So the surprise packet in the first two rounds keep improving and the Mariners are equal on points with Brisbane at the end of Round 2. Which makes for a fantastic set-up against Brisbane in Round 3, can the Mariners prove they are the real deal then? In this weekend's game, it was substitutes that scored both the Mariners goals to beat the hapless Adelaide - who are now one of only two teams, the other being Newcastle, who are yet to score a goal in two W-League games. Central Coast head coach Stephen Roche was very happy with the performance of his team.
``We started the match slowly but after the first 20 minutes it began to look like we wanted to play football,'' he said.``I thought the two finishes were outstanding particularly Trudy’'s who showed commitment to get that shot away under pressure.
``I thought everyone played well today, which, is pleasing as it cause s more selection headaches for me. It's good to see everyone fighting for squad berths.
``Top of the table after two rounds, I can’t ask for more than that but the real challenge is to stay there.''

*And just one housekeeping tip, if it appears my goalscorers are wrong from others, it seems there has been plenty of confusion around in regards to who actually scored in the first few rounds. For example, the AAP wires had Courtney Buetel scoring once last week, when clearly anyone watching would have known she scored twice. So in an effort to keep some consistency, I will put down the goalscorers that I get from the official club match reports. So if they are different, that's why. Happy W-League watching and stay tuned for part two of Matildas coach Tom Sermanni's season preview.

Also in other news quickly, the under-17 Australian girls team have started their ASEAN Cup campaign brilliantly, with a 14-0 win over the Phillipines. Here is the match card,
Australia 14 (Teigen Allen 7’/70’, Heidi Makrillos 13’/15’, Sam Kerr 38’, Alanna Kennedy 43’/60’/73’/90’+3, Caitlin Friend 44’/79’/81’, Ashlee Faul 55’, Brittany Whitfield 85’) bt Philippines 0
AFF U16 Championships, Myanmar, Aung San Stadium, Yangon
Australia line-up: Amy Higgins (GK), Hannah Brewer, Alexandra Huynh, Erika Elze, Ashlee Faul, Sam Kerr (Rebekah Stott 46’), Alanna Kennedy, Ruth Wallace, Sharni Brown, Heidi Makrillos (Caitlin Friend 33’), Teigen Allen (Brittany Whitfield 70’)
Subs not used: Brianna Davey (GK), Tara Andrews, Nicola Bolger, Stephanie Catley, Emily van Egmond, Caitlin Foord. Debutants: Ashlee Faul, Heidi Makrillos, Sharni Brown.

Friday, October 9, 2009

girlswithgame profile - meet Central Coast Mariner Michelle Heyman

She only played three games for Sydney FC last season, but Michelle Heyman made them remember her all too well thanks to her two goals in Round 1 against the Sky Blues. She's been thrust into the spotlight, but the 21-year-old kindly took some time out for girlswithgame to let us know a bit more about the Mariners and her own soccer career.

So, a brace in the first game to beat your old team Sydney FC, you must be pretty happy with that to start the season? I'm very happy with the start of the season. We have been training really hard for this season and it has paid off.
For those who weren’t there, talk us through the goals... Haha, well the first goal was in the 12th min, it was a cross by Samather Spackman and all I had to do was get to the ball first so I could put it away. The second goal was a bit different, it was in the 64th min when Jenna Kingsley put a through ball to me. So I recieved the ball and started heading towards the goal. All I had to do was get past the Sydney defender, so I thought I would put her onto her left, and I watched her feet start to come to the left so I turned back on my right, then she was wrong footed. I got around her and then it was just the keeper to beat. I put it away in the bottom left corner :)
Before the game, how did you think the Mariners would go this season? And now, has it changed? I thought that we could win. And I think we have a really good chance if we can stay focused for the whole 90 mins.
The three American imports you have seemed to make an immediate impact, tell us a bit about them? The girls fit in really well. They are all funny girls who love to play soccer. They have tought us a lot in the time they have been here. We will learn a lot from them as we are a young team. All I can say, is that they are very talented players, and I'm thankfull that they have joined our team.
You play club football for the Illawarra Stingrays with five of your Mariners team-mates, including captain Caitlin Cooper, did that make playing for the Central Coast an easy decision? It made it a very easy decision, and yes we all wanted to be Mariners this season.
What do you hope to achieve this season with the Mariners? I want to be in the top four, hopefully the grandfinal. And to be asked to go to an Australian camp as well.
What do you do outside football? I like to hang out with my friends, go to the beach and movies.

When did you first start playing football? I was 12 years old
Did you play any other sports when you were growing up? I played touch football, rugby union and softball.
Why did you decide to stick with football? Because I really enjoy playing football, and I have met so many great people from playing this sport.
What's the best memory of your junior career? Well I only played soccer for fun when I was younger, but if I have to say then maybe scoring the winning goal in the under 15's grandfinal, as I was the only girl in the comp.
Who are your role-models and favourite players? I look up to all of the girls that I have played with. They have all done so well in there soccer careers. I look up to Kelly Gobelowski in the Mariners because she has a lot of experience and has tought me alot. Also I look up to Michelle Carney from the Stingrays as I have been playing with her for two years and I have learnt so much off her. Thanks girls.

Do you have a special routine you go through on match day? Food, superstitions? Well I have to have clean boots and shaved legs.
What's your fitness and training regime like? How much and what type of things do you do? We do a recovery session on Mondays, Wednesday is Fitness for two hours, Thursday is skills, plays, and more team work. This also is a two hour session. Some Saturday's we also have a bonding session.
What about gear tips, anything particular to look for when choosing boots, shinpads and gloves? I dont really have tips but I only wear ADIDAS boots.

What's the best thing about being a girl that plays football?
That football girls know how to have fun.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 2 preview

So lots of goals and lots of upsets in Round 1, will everything be a little bit more settled in Round 2 or will the rollercoaster continue? In a league where points are at a premium, every game counts even more than usual. Here's what I think will happen in Round 2, although after last week, I wouldn't bet on it!

SATURDAY, Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets at ME Bank Stadium, Perth
Local kick-off: 12.00pm (3.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Lee Corey
So pretty much all teams are missing players due to the Young Matildas tour this week, but Perth's is a big-one, Sam Kerr. Indentified by Tom Sermanni as one of the most talented players in the league, she will be missed. But an interesting match-up, Perth didn't have a great start last week with a 0-2 loss to Melbourne while Newcastle could only manage a draw with Adelaide. Will be interesting to see if Perth can turn their home ground into an advantage this year, which they didn't really do last year. If they can gain points in all their home-games, that should be enough to make the finals for the first time. Seems Perth coach John Gibson agrees with me, as in the Glory press release “It is a very, very short season, we require a victory this weekend and we will be going out there to win the game” Gibson said.
“Home ground advantage is crucial and we will be looking for maximum points from all five home games. It is a great venue at ME Bank Stadium and it’s our first home game so we need to come up with the points this weekend.”
 He's also promised to provide some exciting football.
 “We will go in with a slightly different approach but the basic organisation will stay pretty much the same. The fans might see us be a little bit more adventurous this weekend," Gibson said.
The match is also a fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation with both teams wearing pink armbands during the match and proceeds of ticket sales and merchandise going to the fight against cancer, so get along for a great game and also to support breast cancer research.

Canberra United v Sydney FC at McKellar Park, Canberra
Local kick-off: 5.00pm
Referee: Peta McCallum
So Sal Shipard has been named to play again for Canberra, but it doesn't seem very likely as per my story in The Canberra Times today.
'Canberra United coach Ray Junna doesn't expect Sally Shipard to be available for another month as the stoush over her international clearance from Spain escalated this week. Shipard signed for a club in Barcelona two months ago to play futsal, with the intention to stay on and play out the season. But a one-week trip back to Australia last month caused the former Matilda to change her plans and restart the Australian soccer career she abandoned when she retired last year. The contract Shipard signed in Spain had a clause that if she wanted to play outdoor soccer, she could. But after she signed for United two weeks ago, the clearance process has been held up by the Spanish club's demand for money. Just 24 hours from last weekend's round one game United discovered Shipard wouldn't get the clearance and that Barcelona FC was demanding $8200 [or 5000 euro] in expenses.
Canberra has refused to pay and Junna said he wasn't confident the issues could be resolved easily. ''I've seen these types of things drag on in men's football and they can certainly take a while, it's turning into a big of a saga,'' Junna said. ''So if she plays in the next month I'll see that as a bonus but I'm probably not expecting her to play.''I'll be very happy if I am proved wrong though.'' It's a huge blow for United as the former Matildas World Cup midfielder would have made a perfect replacement for Emily van Egmond, who is away on Australian representative duties.'
 Hmm, so can Canberra rebound after their worst loss in the short W-League history last weekend? Also spoke to Heather Garriock today, Sydney FC captain, who said the focus this week had been all about tactics to hopefully rectify their poor start last week, ie 18 shots on goal to the Mariners six but the Central Coast won 3-1. She thinks they are ready to improve, particulary as on paper, they have an amazing team and she doesn't think their short preparation should be an excuse. Fingers crossed its a cracker at McKellar Park!

Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar at Epping Stadium, Epping
Local kick-off: 6.00pm
Referee: Catherine Hofmann
So Melbourne Victory will be confident after their 2-0 start to the season, but Brisbane more so thanks to their 3-0 romp over Canberra. A very interesting match-up. Also interesting in that best mates Sasha McDonnell and Kara Mowbray, who moved to Canberra last year to play for United in the first Westfield W-League season, could play against each other this week. Mowbray played for Melbourne and was in the thick of the action, while McDonnell didn't make the bench for Brisbane but has been included in an extended squad this week. Also two of the keepers in Australia at the moment going up against each other in Casey Dumont and Melissa Barbieri, so goals could be harder to score than last week. If Brisbane striker Courtney Beutel is in the same amazing form as she was last week though, I expect Brisbane to come out on top.

SUNDAY, Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Local kick-off: 12.15pm
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
It's only been a short history, but Adelaide probably won't like to remember the last time they played the Mariners. The 5-0 demolition in Adelaide last year was led by Kyah Simon for the Mariners, who is obviously not there anymore, but going on last week's 3-1 win over Sydney FC they have a more than capable replacement in double-goal scorer Michelle Heyman. Heyman is certainly hit the spotlight this week, she is the focus of the preview from the Mariners this week, saying it was a great way to start the season. “It was just an amazing feeling, the girls put together such a huge e ffort at training and it paid off in the match,” Heyman said.“All the hard work from training in the pre-season, and the girls just gave 110% percent – the final result showed."
An interesting inclusion note for Adelaide though, former Mariner Karina Roweth has signed with them in time for this weekend's game. In the few games I saw her play last year, thought she was a gutsy, technically good defender. Watch out for how she goes for her new team.
And keep an eye out for more on Mariner Heyman on girlswithgame tomorrow! Enjoy Round 2!