Friday, November 13, 2009

Westfield W-League previews... from others

As I'm just a little flat-out again, here are some previews from the very talented staff at the Central Coast Mariners and Canberra United to read while I get my own stuff happening. Well written and interesting, thanks both Joseph (Mariners) and Chris (Canberra).

Washington to Central Coast – Golebiowski leading Mariners cause
By Joseph Carlucci
The dream of each Australian female footballer is to play at the highest level and represent the Matildas at a World Cup, and for the lucky few that get the chance to don the Green and Gold, the feeling is immense.
One talented footballer, the Central Coast Mariners ‘veteran’ Kelly Golebiowski – at the age of 28 – whom has not only sported the Matildas jersey at a World Cup and an Olympic Games, but also played in the Women’s MLS in the United States alongside an iconic symbol of women’s sport, Mia Hamm.
“It was definitely a career highlight to play and train with Mia Hamm , as has been playing for Australia,” said the former Washington Freedom player.
“It was quite indescribable, Mia (Hamm) was a player that I looked up to, I mean I had posters of her in my room, she was my idol and to play with her was a tremendous experience.”
Golebiowski returned to Australia following an extended stay in the United States, and following a first season with Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League, has arrived at the Central Coast Mariners where the attack-minded player is really enjoying her football.
“We are all having a great time this season, each and every squad member is challenging for starting spots, and we are really making it difficult for the coach each week; the depth is fantastic,” said Golebiowski.
 At 28-years of age, Golebiowski does not mind being called the ‘veteran’ of the side, nor does she mind the extra responsibilities on her s houlders amongst a relatively young playing squad.
 “I enjoy being the old head in the team, giving the girls some advice from my experiences in football both with the Matildas and overseas; it really is an honour.
 “And, when you see the efforts that each player puts in, our results are testament to the work ethic of the team altogether,” Golebiowski's aid.
The Mariners’ sit in second-spot on the W-League ladder, three-points behind Brisbane Roar, though despite the general on-looker still doubting the Mariners’ title ambitions, Golebiowski remains adamant her team will continue to turn heads between now and the season’s end.
“We all enjoy the ‘underdogs’ tag, it is fine by us if we are written off, no problem at all with that.
“We’ve got a strong self belief amongst the group, and this has been our driving force with our results, which are perfectly reflected by t he League ladder and results to-date,” said Golebiowski.
Despite the W-League in Australia lacking the prowess of the American women ’s league in Mia Hamm’s day, Golebiowski remains confident that women’s football in this country is certainly on the rise.
“We have a young competition here, we are only now into the second season.
“In the US, they had a lot of money injected into the game and that allowed for the competition to develop.
“In Australia, we now have a stepping stone, which is fantastic for all of the players in the country,” continued the Mariners’ attacking midfielder.
The only downside at this point is the short season, as a ten-round regular season is definitely not enough.
“In saying this though, the platform is there, and we all need to work hard to keep women’s football growing,” said Golebiowski.
The Mariners head to Adelaide to face bottom-placed Adelaide United, though despite the Round 2 defeat of the South Australian outfit in the Central Coast Mariners’ first ever W-League match at Bluetongue Stadium, Golebiowski and Co. will not be taking their opponent lightly.
“We won’t be looking at the fact that they are last, we can't afford to do that.
“As I said about our self belief, this has been our strong point, and we will continue to play as we have with the same intensity as we have up u ntil now.
“Also, with a short season, we cannot afford to drop points, so the g irls will all be out there to continue the good that we have achieved to-dat e,” ended Golebiowski.
The Central Coast Mariners next match of the Westfield W-League season will be against against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium this Saturday, 14 N ovember. Kick-off is at 2:30pm ACST (3:00pm AEDT), and will be broadcast liv e and exclusively on ABC1.

Finals football starts early for Canberra, by Chris Gottaas,
The pressure of finals football starts this weekend against the Perth Glory with Canberra United needing to win the majority of its remaining fixtures to secure a berth in the Westfield W-League finals.

 Down but not out, the club remains in sixth place with a win and two draws from the opening six rounds but a win this weekend could see Canberra leap frog Perth into fifth and sit on the cusp of the top four.
While the task at hand will be a challenge, Canberra United is very confident of being able to contest this year’s finals series according to midfielder Snez Veljanovksa.
“It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks,” Veljanovska said.
“The next few games are vital to us in terms of winning and hopefully making the top four.
“It would be great to move up the ladder but we’re just taking it one week at a time and if we can beat [Perth] then great but we’re certainly going to be up for the challenge and ready.”
Hosting the Glory for the first time on home soil, Veljanovska believes the side took a lot of confidence from last outing against Perth in Round Three which saw Canberra come from two goals behind to draw.
Perth struck twice in the first ten minutes of the match but a season defining second half saw the gutsy side draw level with goals from Tseng Shu O and Ashleigh Sykes as the club recorded its first point of the season.
“I think we can take a lot of confidence out of that one because we now know that we’re capable of winning the game and beating them,” Veljanovska said.
“We know how they play and they’re obviously playing under our conditions so it will be a lot better.
“We’re up for the challenge and I think we can dominate in this game.”
Canberra has made a habit of conceding early in matches, a practice the side is looking to amend.
“It’s been talked about a lot [at training], basically we need to stop doing it,” Veljanovska said.
“We definitely need to get going from the first whistle so we need to work hard and not let anyone score against us in the first few minutes of the game and that’s what’s really costing us at the moment.”
 The whole side is focused on the next few weeks and vying for positions with vital matches against Perth, Newcastle and Melbourne in the next three weeks.
The girls are working really hard at the moment at training,” Veljanovska said.
“Everyone is really trying to earn their spot, do what they can and put in the effort at training so I think that’s really going to help in the game.”
For 22-year-old Veljanovska, last weekend was her first start for Canberra United after making six appearances for the club as a substitute, a feat she hopes to achieve a few more times this season.
“It was definitely nerve racking, it took me a little while to get into it but once [the game started] I was switched on and did whatever I could,” Veljanovska said.
“It was a great experience and I’d love to experience it more often.”
“I would love a few more starts.”
The Perth Glory will travel to the national capital for the first time as Canberra United host Round Seven of the Westfield W-League at McKellar Park on Saturday evening with kick off at 5:00pm.

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