Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Westfield W-League grand final - who will make it?

So the semi-finals are just days away now, and I bet there is nerves in every camp. But who is shaping up to be favourites?
Although I'm going against my own hopes here, I do think Sydney FC should beat Canberra on Saturday. I mean, just look at those players! Cathrin Paaske, Julia Rydahl, Heather Garriock, Sarah Walsh, Kyah Simon. They are all top international class players. Add in a backline that has held together very well strengthened by a solid performance from Nikola Dieter in goals, they have experience and class all over the park. And I think after speaking to Sydney FC coach Alen Stajcic this week, they know not to underestimate the fourth-placed team. When I asked him if losing last year's semi-final to Brisbane Roar on penalties had given the team extra motivation to make it, he said that game was crucial but maybe not for that reason.
"It was a good lesson for us, because we know anything is possible, we'll draw a bit of motivation from that because last year we were the team that just snuck into the four and we almost made it. So we'll know that anything can happen and make sure we are aware of that."
A few other answers...
Was winning the league championship really important? I think so. It was a real confidence booster, we really struggled with confidence last year and now we have a group of really talented players, so now to have the mix of both those things has been key.
Are you confident of beating Canberra? I just think that if we play to the level we are capable of, I don't think any other team can match us. Canberra do have a couple of weapons, Ashleigh Sykes and Tseng [Shu O] and Lydia [Williams] in goals is very hard to get past, but I'm pretty confident that if we can play to our potential then we should win.
And on Ellyse Perry, who this week is still likely to have one training session with Sydney FC in Sydney even though she will play for Canberra United this weekend? Perry lives in Sydney, so has trained with Sydney FC all season during the week, with one training session in Canberra each week before the games. "She's been training with us for two or three years, so I don't think she'll pick up anything extra this week, we might just kick her a bit harder (said with plenty of laughs)," Stajcic said.

But as for the talented Miss Perry herself, who this weekend will have another triple-treat with cricket for the NSW Breakers on Friday and Sunday, to fit in the W-League semi-final on the Saturday, she thinks Canberra are well placed for an upset. "I think the funny thing about finals, across any sport, is that it seems to bring teams to the same level. Just the weight that is placed on the game, it brings sides a lot closer together.
Perry also thinks that Sydney FC's greatest strength could also be it's greatest weakness. "I think all teams have weaknesses, Obviously Sydney have a team that has some quality players, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult if you have such a great team of individuals but things aren't going their way, maybe that could be a bit hard to deal with."
Perry nominated shutting down Sydney's attack as the crucial part of Canberra's chances.

And a quick word from Brisbane Roar, where Jeff Hopkins is pretty happy after his team's final round 6-0 smashing of Newcastle - a hit of form right when they needed it. "Apart from Jenna [Tristram], who injured her knee last weekend again, we'll have a full squad to choose from and we just put in a great performance on the weekend," Hopkins said. "The Mariners are a good side, we have a lot of respect for them, but we just found some form at the right time."

And don't forget to check out and check out the W-League team of the year story. Anyone not in there you think deserves to be so, or anyone who is in there that you think shouldn't be? Well let us know!

No comments:

Post a Comment