So now we are here at the penultimate round of the Westfield W-League for season 2009. Has it come all too fast, well yes, but also remember that the best part is still to come! This weekend has some cracking games. So particulary for anyone a little bored with the A-League and wants some games that are really season-defining ones, you can't go past the girls this weekend. And with three of the games at some of Australia's best venues, Bluetongue, Hindmarsh and Melbourne's Olympic Park, it's a great chance to see some great football at great grounds.
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS v NEWCASTLE JETS, Friday 27 November 2009, Bluetongue Stadium, 5:15pm local. Newcastle regain captain Hayley Crawford from suspension, while the Mariners as pretty much as they have been all-season, at full strength. They have a golden chance to try and wrap-up the league championship title and Renee Rollason is confident. So what has been the difference for the Mariners this season, when they have gone from wooden-spoon fodder to title contenders? Rollason puts it down to experience. "We, the girls that were part of last season’s team, did really well, though perhaps we just lacked experience at certain times which saw us miss out on the finals," she said. "This season, with the addition of Kelly (Golebiowski) and our three American imports (Jillian Loyden, Kendall Fletcher and Lydia Vandenbergh) we have that extra experience that has added what we lacked last time around." Read the full story from Mariners W-League man Joseph Carlucci here.
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: Jessica SEAMAN, Elizabeth O'REILLY, Britt SIMMONS
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. Caitlin JARVIE, 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT, 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 18. Leia SMITH, 19. Tara ANDREWS, 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk) *two to be omitted*
In: Hayley CRAWFORD (return from suspension)
Unavailable: Madeline SEARL (injured), Loren MAHONEY (injured), Hannah BREWER (illness)
MELBOURNE VICTORY v CANBERRA UNITED, Saturday 28 November 2009, Olympic Park, 3:00pm local. Live and exclusive on ABC1 and ABC HD from 3.00pm AEDT.
The Melbourne Victory media-release pretty much says it all. Canberra and Melbourne Victory Women currently occupy fourth and fifth respectively on the Westfield W-League ladder, separated only by goal difference with two games remaining in the 10-round season. With Central Coast Mariners, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC havin g already guaranteed places in the four-team Finals Series, Melbourne Victory and Canberra will likely battle it out for the last remaining spot.
After three weeks on the road (including the home game in Shepparton) that have delivered two draws and a loss, Melbourne are desperate for a win at home.
Adding to the mix, is that Melbourne and Canberra have some fantastic history. Well fantastic for Canberra, in three games, the Victory have never claimed a point. And then there is THAT game from last year, when Amy Chapman slotted the 93rd minute winner to book Canberra's finals spot. Which will still be haunting every Melbourne player that played in that game last year. Melbourne captain Tal Karp wants some pride.
Melbourne Victory Women co-captain, Tal Karp, said this week’s match is do-or-die for the team.
“We haven’t taken a point off Canberra in two seasons, so this Saturday is definitely a grudge match for us,” Karp said.
“We need the points to progress – but we also need a positive result to reclaim a bit of pride - our girls are hungry for the win.”
Karp said the team must play smarter if they’re to beat Canberra.
“Last time we played Canberra, they were better organised than us. I think we have the quality of players to beat them, but we need to play as a team.”
The Round 9 match has been moved due to the condition of Bob Jane Stadium's surface, but will still be broadcast live and exclusively as scheduled on ABC1 from 3pm.
“The team is really looking forward to playing at Olympic park. It is such a fantastic surface - probably one of the best parks we have played on all season,” Karp said.
“Most of the girls are really excited, although some are little nervous. Broadcasting is such a good thing in terms of boosting the popularity of our game and the numbers of girls playing football in Victoria - we intend to make the most of it!”
A big in for Canberra with Thea Slatyer, who has returned from overseas touring just in time to play a part. Slatyer doubles the Matildas caps in the team and while United already have plenty of capable defenders, it means they can now move someone like Bronwyn Studman, Nicole Sykes or Ellyse Perry (probably Perry), into the midfield where they can really use their pace. Melbourne have American Julianne Sitch back from suspension which will be a boost.
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, 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 18. Ursula HUGHSON, 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
In: Julianne SITCH (returns from suspension)
Out: Enza BARILLA (not selected)
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, 13. Thea SLATYER, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jen BISSET, 20. Jocelyn MARA
*two to be omitted*
In: Thea SLATYER (new signing)
Out: Lucy ALLAN (short term contract ended)
Unavailable: LIN Chiung Ying (injury – knee – season), Christine WALTERS (injury – calf – indefinitely), Sally SHIPARD (awaiting international clearance)
ADELAIDE UNITED v SYDNEY FC , Saturday 28 November 2009, Hindmarsh Stadium, 3:30pm local, 4:00pm AEDT. An interesting kind of preview on the Sydney FC website where coach Alen Stajcic says Sydney FC want to make the top-five, hmm, do you mean top-four? The report also refers to the team's 4-2 win over Perth. Ahem, make that 5-2. But lets not dwell on that, instead it's another interesting match-up. Last week Adelaide almost pulled off the upset of the season (or perhaps even biggest upset in W-League history) when they went 2-0 up against Brisbane and hung-on for a 2-2 draw. They still have everything to play for, and as stated in the FFA mid-week preview, Adelaide's last win in the W-League was against Sydney at Hindmarsh Stadium. A 3-2 win last year. Renee Harrison back from suspension is a boost, and the Reds have plenty to play for.
Adelaide United squad: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 3.Renee HARRISON 5.Ashlee FAUL, 6.Thomai KEZIOS, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 8.Ruth WALLACE, 9.Angela FIMMANO, 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), 21.Greta FRENCH-KENNEDY *three to be omitted*
In: Renee HARRISON (returns from suspension), Katerina BEXIS (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Ebony WEIDENBACH (ankle – 1 week), Ruth BLACKBURN (ankle – season) Marijana RAJCIC (ankle – season)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigen 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, 19. Leena KHAMIS, 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk) *one to be omitted*
In: Lisa GILBERT (promoted), Alesha CLIFFORD (promoted)
Out: Brittany WHITFIELD (injured)
Unavailable: Nicola BOLGER (knee - season), Danielle BROGAN (knee – season)
PERTH GLORY v BRISBANE ROAR, Saturday 28 November 2009, Clipsal Stadium, 3:00pm local time.(6:00pm AEDT). So Perth must win to keep any chances of finals hopes alive and no doubt they will want to make-up for the 6-0 thrashing the Roar handed-out last time. Coach John Gibson certainly does.
“It will be a very tough game this weekend against Brisbane, we have a score to settle after the result last time we played them and we are definitely going into the game looking to win” said the Glory coach. The last time the Roar visited Perth in season one of the W-League, Brisbane escaped with a 5-3 win thanks to two last minute goals after trailing the home side 1-3 at the main break and Gibson will be hoping for a similar positive response this time around, barring the glut of goals against.
“The amount of goals conceded recently is not a concern in regards to individuals, it’s the whole group defending collectively that we need to work on. It takes a whole unit to defend, and we have been working on that at training during the week. A lot of it is organisation, and the errors we have made are because of a lack of concentration at vital moments in the game” said Gibson. Without those lapses in concentration, Gibson feels that the league table would look a lot different in complexion, with the Glory currently sitting four points outside of the fourth finals position.
“For large chunks of games this year we have competed very well and it has been pleasing to see that level of competition against some of the country’s best players.”
“Finals are still in the back of our minds, but mainly we are focusing on our performances and the processes involved in making sure we are not only competitive, but in a position to take maximum points from our remaining matches.” Lisa de Vanna is suspended again, this time for gathering too many yellow-cards this season. But perhaps a break is what she needs? Up in Brisbane after their shock 2-2 draw last week, they have brought back some of their best-players, Courtney Beutel, Kate McShea and Aivi Luik. Coach Jeff Hopkins is still thinking that the league title is within reach, from http://www.brisbaneroar.com.au/, “I guess the main thing is we now have to put that game behind us and start looking forward to Perth,” Hopkins said.
“Perth is a very, very tough road trip for us.” Hopkins said he hoped his team would take some lessons from the draw with Adelaide, particularly tightening up on set-pieces, an area where the Roar has conceded twice in two weeks. Despite thrashing Perth 6-0 at Ballymore Stadium three weeks ago, Hopkins said there would be no complacency in the preparation for the match.
“Firstly they are a very good side with some excellent attacking players and secondly the length of the journey,” he said.“We’re going to prepare very well for it this week with a light week, we’ll travel to Perth the day before and stay the night after.
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, 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 *one to be omitted*
In: Katarina JUKIC (promoted)
Out: Lisa DE VANNA (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: Collette McCALLUM (ankle – indefinite), Ciara CONWAY (knee – 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) *three to be omitted*
In: Courtney BEUTEL (promoted), Kate MCSHEA (promoted), Aivi LUIK (promoted), Alisha FOOTE (promoted)
Unavailable: Emily GIELNIK (foot), Brooke SPENCE (ankle - season)
Remember to check out, http://www.thewomensgame.com/, for more great W-League stories and news from Perth. Stay tuned here for a Tom Sermanni wrap on the AFC under-16 girls tournament.