Oh dear, am so behind this week. Sorry! But I'm back and promise to update regulary from now on. So to Round 8, and it's really becoming crunch time now. Some interesting match-ups, that could mean a shake-up of the top-four for the first time in a few rounds. If the Mariners beat the Victory by one or more goals and if Canberra United beat Newcastle by two or more goals, then they will move into fourth spot. Hmm, Canberra's late season run looks very familiar to me! Wish I could get to Sydney this weekend for the double-header, but for anyone who is there, definitely head down. Two excellent games for the price of one!
SYDNEY FC v PERTH GLORY at Leichhardt Oval, Leichhardt. Local kick-off: 3.00pm. Referee: Prue Donohue. Live and exclusive on ABC1 and ABC HD from 3.00pm AEDT.
So Perth's meltdown of a season continued last week when they were on the end of another record score. The 4-0 win was Canberra United's biggest ever W-League win. Perth striker Lisa de Vanna did not have a good game. Well, actually, she did play well for the first half, but started to get frustrated, yell at her team and then didn't even warm-up with them after the break. After some heckling from the hill, she also gave the crowd the one-finger salute, before she was subbed off early. Now that Katie Gill is in this week, perhaps she'll perk up with a striker the quality of Gill alongside her? There is no doubt that Gill and de Vanna are a class forward act. Could they be the catalyst to surprise Sydney this week? And don't forget that Sam Kerr is back from Australian duty. She's definitely a game-changer. If Perth do lose, that is pretty much their season gone. While Sydney will want to win to make sure they secure their finals spot and not scrape in like last year. Whatever happens, it's sure to be an entertaining game with players like de Vanna, Gill, Kerr, Cathrin Paaske, Heather Garriock and Sarah Walsh. Not only some of the best players in the league, some of the best players in the world.
Sydney FC squad: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigan ALLEN, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Lisa GILBERT, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE, 12. Michelle CARNEY, 13. Catherine CANNULI, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’NEILL, 18.Brittany WHITFIELD, 19. Leena KHAMIS, 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk)
*two to be omitted*
In: Teigan ALLEN (international duty), Brittany WHITFIELD (international duty)
Unavailable: Nicola BOLGER (knee - season) Danielle BROGAN (knee – season)
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, 10. Ciara CONWAY, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Katie GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 15. Alex SINGER, 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 18. Ellis GLANFIELD, 19. Katarina JUKIC, 20. Zoe PALANDRI
*three to be omitted*
In: Ciara CONWAY (promoted), Katie GILL (new signing)
Out: Jaymee GIBBONS
Unavailable: Collette McCALLUM (ankle – indefinite)
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS v MELBOURNE VICTORY at Leichhardt Oval, Leichhardt. Local kick-off: 5.00pm. Referee: Kirralee Gardener
If Melbourne could cause an upset win here, they could almost seal their finals spot with a meeting against Canberra next week. Last week the Victory managed to claim a point off Brisbane, for the second-time this year, when they played out a 1-1 draw. But this week they are without American Julianne Sitch and Queenslander Kara Mowbray, whose contract has expired as the Australian under-16 player she was in for is back. Mowbray I think will be a big loss. She's scored some crucial goals for them this season and from her time in Canberra last year, I think is a gutsy, strong player. The Mariners have Michelle Heyman in fantastic form, she scored the league's 200th goal last week on her way to a hat-trick, and just seem to be getting better. Hard to go past the Mariners, but the Victory just keep improving. A fascinating game.
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. Trudy 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: Trudy CAMILLERI (promoted), Elizabeth O'REILLY (promoted), Britt SIMMONS (promoted)
Melbourne Victory squad: 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, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 18. Ursula HUGHSON, 19. Enza BARILLA, 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
*one to be omitted*
In: Stephanie CATLEY (returns from international duty) Katrina GORRY (returns from injury), Caitlin FRIEND (returns from international duty), Enza BARILLA (returns from illness)
Out: Gulcan KOCA (not selected), Julianne SITCH (suspended), Kara MOWBRAY (contract expired)
NEWCASTLE JETS v CANBERRA UNITED at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle. Local kick-off: 2.15pm. Referee: TBA
So on paper this looks like it should be a bit of a walkover for the improving Canberra United team who have finals in their sights. But the Jets, despite their not winning a game, haven't actually conceded THAT many goals this year and a team out to play for pride is always dangerous. The loss of Jets captain Hayley Crawford, who was red-carded last week, will hurt their chances though. Crawford played for Canberra last year and was a crucial part of the midfield that drove them to the first W-League grand final. I'm sure she would have loved to play against Canberra. They do have their under-16 players back, but then again so do Canberra and their's is Emily van Egmond, who used to play for Newcastle and has been one of Canberra's best in the two games she has played this season. United will be very disappointed if they don't win, but they also aren't complacent if you read this preview from Canberra United.
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 2. Libby SHARPE, 3. Pelay INGLES, 5. Stacey DAY, 6. Amber NEILSON (c), 7. Gema SIMON, 8. Bronte BATES, 9. Kate HENSMAN, 11. Carlie IKONOMOU, 12. Emma STEWART, 13. Caitlin JARVIE, 14. Hannah BREWER, 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT, 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 17. Madeline Searl, 18. Leia SMITH, 19. Tara ANDREWS, 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk) *three to be omitted*
In: Hannah BREWER (International Duty), Madeline SEARL (International Duty), Tara ANDREWS (International Duty)
Out: Harmonie ATTWILL (not selected), Nicole JONES (not selected)
Unavailable: Hayley CRAWFORD (suspended - 1 week), Loren MAHONEY (injured)
Canberra United Squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Rebecca KITING, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 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. Jen BISSET, 20. Jocelyn MARA, 22. Lucy ALLAN
*one to be omitted*
In: Emily VAN EGMOND (returning from international duty), Lucy ALLAN (promoted)
Unavailable: LIN Chiung Ying (injury – knee – season), Christine WALTERS (injury – calf – indefinitely), Sally SHIPARD (awaiting international clearance).
BRISBANE ROAR v ADELAIDE UNITED, Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane, Local kick-off: 6.00pm (7.00pm AEDT). Referee: Rebecca Durcau
So I suppose the big question here is, is the 6-0 record of the biggest margin in W-League history about to fall? I think Adelaide United will be doing everything possible to ensure it doesn't. At least the heat in Brisbane won't affect them, after more than a week of 40-degree heat in Adelaide, I think these girls will be ready for everything! They also have some handy inclusions, two players from the Australian under-16 team and Angela Fimmano, who is Adelaide's poster-girl this season but has been injured. Brisbane are without defender Brooke Spence with an ankle injury, but it's not too bad when you can call in another Matilda to replace her (Pam Bignold or Karla Reuter). Could this be the game where Brisbane really wrap-up the league championships? With the end of the season quickly approaching, Brisbane don't have a firm grip on the championship yet, like they did last season, with the Mariners creeping closer and closer and even have a better goal difference. But a big win here could change that and I'm sure Brisbane want to make sure they can go back to back after their impressive season.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9 Jenna TRISTRAM, 10.Lana HARCH, 11. Aivi 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: Leah CURTIS (promoted), Jenna TRISTRAM (promoted), Pam Bignold (promoted)
Out: Brooke SPENCE (ankle - season)
Unavailable: Emily GIELNIK (foot)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 5.Ashlee FAUL, 6.Thomai KEZIOS, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 8.Ruth WALLACE, 9.Angela FIMMANO, 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 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), 21.Greta FRENCH-KENNEDY
*one to be omitted*
In: Ashlee FAUL (returns from international duty), Ruth WALLACE (returns from international duty), Angela FIMMANO (return from injury)
Out: Renee HARRISON (suspended – 1 week), Katerina BEXIS (hamstring – 1 week)
Unavailable: Ebony WEIDENBACH (ankle – 1 week), Ruth BLACKBURN (ankle – season) Marijana RAJCIC (ankle – season)