Saturday, August 29, 2009

The rumour mill...

With so very little official news around, except for Canberra United, what's a girl to do to find out what's happening in the W-League? Welcome to an unofficial, but credibly sourced gossip sesh.
So the rumour I heard today? That Matildas striker Katie Gill will play for Perth this season.

Perth already have Lisa de Vanna, the source also said she's staying, so that could be the Matildas current starting strike pair in one team. They have also apparently nabbed goal-keeper Emma Wirkus, who played for Adelaide last year. So the glory now have Matildas Gill, de Vanna, Wirkus, Collette McCallum and a handful of talented young Matildas like Sam Kerr. Under new coach John Gibson, who was Canberra United assistant coach last year, could they shake up the top-four? It looks like Newcastle, who have lost Cheryl Salisbury to retirement, Emily van Egmond to Canberra, and possibly top-goalscorer Katie Gill, could be set to slide. Still, only a rumour, albeit one I believe, stay tuned to see if its confirmed. Picture, Katie and Emily celebrate a goal for the Jets last year, could they both be gone?
Also it's not strictly Australian women's football, but the latest FIFA update on all things international football is up here. Well worth reading, particulary the amazing Sky Blue FC story from the American WPS.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Things getting a move on in the nation's capital

The W-League's only independent club - freely going on its own without an A-League partner and also doing a pretty damn good job at it - announced another player and coach signing yesterday.
As mentioned here as a possible, Emily van Egmond has followed her former Socceroo dad to the ACT and will play for Canberra United this season.
Van Egmond played eight games for the Newcastle Jets in the W-League last year and the midfielder also scored twice. Not only that, she has been a regular part of Young Matildas squads for the past two years and if not for an ill-timed ankle injury would have made her Matildas debut in January this year - all this and she's only 16! I confess I haven't seen her play that much, but in the couple of games I did last year for the Jets, she was impressive. Could be very, very useful for United on a wing or in the middle this year. See why Emily came to Canberra here,
And also yesterday, United announced that Caitlin Munoz will be a scholarship coach for season two. Munoz can't play this year because of having her third right-knee reconstruction, yes, third, but jumped at the chance to still be involved in the ACT club. She's Canberra born and bred and while she's only 25, has 10 years of elite experience including 52 Matildas caps. While she joked yesterday that she has spent most of her time 'picking up cones at training' so far, she'll be an important asset, particulary as it's the first time new coach Ray Junna has coached women. Read about Caitlin here,

Monday, August 24, 2009

So the season kicks off in six weeks time...

But there is little news around apart from the official release of the draw. The season will be 10 weeks again, despite talk last year that a home and away regular season might be possible this year. First round kicks off on Saturday October 3 with a grand-final rematch between premiers Brisbane Roar and Canberra United in Queensland. Also the league will stay at 8 teams, with no new team from either the Gold Coast or North Queensland Fury.

So apart from that news, here is a quick wrap of what else is happening.

Over at Adelaide United - Have signed SA girls Ashlee Faul and Ruth Wallace, re-signed goal-keeper Sian McLaren and midfielder Angela Fimmano Queensland based pair Georgia Chapman and Tenneille Boaler. New additions are Tenneille Boaler and back in Australian women's football for the first time in years, Georgia Chapman. Matilda Amy's twin sister has been playing in Sweden, but will make her return to the national league (she played for the Canberra Eclipse in the old one) for Adelaide. Mike Barnett returns as coach.
Up at the Central Coast, or more correctly, NSWIS, the Mariners haven't made any announcements yet. But their star, Kyah Simon, is weighing up her options and may switch to Sydney FC. Stephen Roche returns as coach. Picture, Kyah Simon in action for the Mariners last year.

Down in Victoria, the Melbourne Victory have been pretty active in the pre-season. They travelled to China earlier this year and have started playing trial matches. No official news on signings though. Matt Shepard will return as coach.

At Newcastle, still no official word on a coach as last season's coach Gary Phillips has left to take up a position in the AFC. Retired Matilda Joey Peters has been taking on most of the training duties, but will she be the W-League's first playing coach? Could lose Emily van Egmond to Canberra, as her dad Gary has just taken up a post as an AIS coach, but are likely to regain Hayley Crawford who played for Canberra last year.

Way over in the wild west, Perth Glory have a new coach for season 2009. John Gibson was an AIS men's scholarship coach and then Canberra United assistant under Robbie Hooker last year.

In Brisbane, Jeff Hopkins will coach again and if anything Queensland can only be stronger. Remember all those players that had to have knee reconstructions? Jenna Tristram, Kim Carroll? They should be back. Have apparently signed Amy Chapman from Canberra but she won't play this season due to her own knee reconstruction, (her third, ouch!).
Brisbane celebrate winning last year's grand final.

Not really any news coming from the harbour city's team, Sydney FC, apart from that Young Matildas coach Alen Staijic will coach them again.

To finally, down in Australia's national capital who have been very busy in recent weeks. Canberra United will have a new coach this year, Ray Junna. Robbie Hooker is now Australia under-17 women's coach. Junna already has more than half of his squad signed-up, including last year's captain Ellie Brush, Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams, Grace Gill, Cian Maciejewski, Bronwyn Studman, Ashleigh Sykes, Nicole Sykes, Christine Walters, Ellie Raymond, Kahlia Hogg and Jennifer Bisset. May also be a W-League trendsetter as are close to signing some players from Chinese-Taipei. Would be the first internationals from Asia to play in the W-League. Bad news is that they will be without Chapman and Munoz, probably the two best players from season one, due to injury.

That's all for now, but stayed tuned as (hopefully) news starts rolling out.

A new focus...

So after my first attempt at this failed kind of miserably, this space is having a makeover. From now on, it will be a hub to find out about all things W-League and Australian women's soccer in Australia, Matildas, Young Matildas and every other age-group in between.
But particulary with the second W-League season just a few months away, and not much news out there at all, I will endeavour to find some.
Watch this space.