Thursday, September 9, 2010

Matildas camp ahead of Peace Cup and Germany friendly

The Matildas have a busy month ahead of them, with the Peace Cup in Korea and then a friendly against Germany in Germany on October 28. Yes, that's right, Germany, the second best women's team in the world. What a test that will be.

Here are the players that went into camp today at the Australian Insititute of Sport in Canberra -

Emma Wirkus (Adelaide), Victoria Balomenos (Adelaide), Collette McCallum (Perth), Sam Kerr (Perth), Laura Alleway (Brisbane), Karla Reuter (Brisbane), Kim Carroll (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Amy Chapman (Brisbane), Brooke Spence (Brisbane), Joanne Burgess (Brisbane), Elise Kellond-Knight (Gold Coast), Casey Dumont (Gold Coast), Aivi Luik (Gold Coast), Tameka Butt (Gold Coast), Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Lydia Williams (Canberra), Emily Van Egmond (Canberra), Sally Shipard (Canberra), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Ellie Brush (Albury), Kyah Simon (Sydney), Thea Slatyer (Sydney), Kylie Ledbrook (Sydney), Leena Khamis (Sydney), Teigen Allen (Penrith/Sydney), Michelle Heyman (Sydney), Ellyse Perry (Sydney), Danielle Brogan (Sydney), Caitlin Foord (Sydney)

Head Coach: Tom Sermanni, Asssistant Coach: Robbie Hooker, Goalkeeper coach: Paul Jones

Obviously this camp is missing all those Matildas who do ply their trade overseas, Sarah Walsh, Heather Garriock, Katie Gill, Lisa de Vanna (who if you didn't already notice, has been splashed across news today for all the wrong reasons) and Lauren Colthorpe.

But nice to see Amy Chapman, Victoria Balomenos and Caitlin Munoz back from injury (what else but knee reconstructions), and Ellyse Perry back from her Australian cricket duties.

On Friday morning, the team's patron, Australia's Governer-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, will also drop in and speak to the girls about their AFC Cup win and anything else on their mind, over a cup of tea.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

GirlsWithGame monthly wrap in women's football - August 2010

So apologies again for the sporadic posting that has become a trademark at GirlsWithGame. But here is my compromise, in the lead-up to the W-League, a monthly wrap of all the happenings and then from November a more consistent focus on the W-League. Heading into next year's FIFA Women's World Cup, it's going to be a cracker of a season.

So firstly, what's the latest W-League gossip?

Well the hottest property to come from the Mariners collapse is Michelle Heyman, and this story in the Illawarra Mercury seems to suggest she could be in Canberra this season. Fourfourtwo also carried the story, but am not sure they can actually carry that exclusive tag off given the Mercury story was three weeks before? Given United's biggest problem last year was scoring goals, she would be a handy addition. But remember United will also have Caitlin Munoz back this season. I saw Caitlin play in Canberra not long ago, and she is in tip-top shape. Canberra have also signed on former AIS assistant Ray Junna for his second season in the coaches box. Ellyse Perry, who claimed every award at Canberra last season, is also likely to be back for another go round in the capital. Perry didn't play in the Asian Cup this year because she was winning the International Cricket Council's Twenty20 World Cup, but given there is no major cricket tournaments on in the middle of next year, it's very likely she will make a return to the Matildas team in time for Germany. Here's her latest from the FIFA website.

At the Newcastle Jets, Sasha McDonnell and Kara Mowbray have signed on for their third club in three seasons. The pair, who are from Queensland, started with Canberra United, then McDonnell went to Brisbane for season two and Mowbray went to Melbourne. Now both are reunited at the Jets. Read more in this Newcastle Herald story, where coach Wayne O'Sullivan reckons it will be their best yet. Hayley Crawford will be captain again.

Melbourne Victory have a new coach. Vicki Linton will be the second female in charge of a W-League team after Nicola Williams coached Perth Glory in the first season.

Of course, the draw is also now out. Starting on November 6, it will be the longest W-League season so far, but that doesn't actually mean any more games. But because of byes and breaks throughout the season, there will be 12 weeks of action, but each team will play 10 regular season games, the same amount as the first two seasons, and also have two byes. The final will be in February 12. Find it all here.

In Matildas news, Australia's national women's team, have reached their highest FIFA ranking, with their AFC victory pushing them from 14th to equal 11th (with Italy). Matildas mentor Tom Sermanni said that a long term aim is to get into the top-10 and stay there.

Australia's greatest female footballer has been recognised by the Professional Footballer's Association and the FFA, with a new Cheryl Salisbury medal awarded to the best female footballer each year. Of course, given it's a PFA award, it's voted for by the players. Read all about it here.

In related news, Salisbury has been busy since retiring, she's become a mum. See Josh Leeson's story in the Newcastle Herald.

And in some international news, at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, which is where I was lucky enough to be in August, the Chilean women's football team won the Gold medal at the first official IOC youth event. I managed to sneak into the football venue more than once and watched the Chilean girls in their first game against Trinidad and Tobago. Composed, physical and yet pretty technically awesome, I think these girls could go a long way.

For more international news, see FIFA's official August round-up here, including the wrap-up from the second season of the USA's Women's Pro Soccer league.

And lastly, make sure you become a Matildas fan on facebook. Because lately, the page has been updated more often with some great links. So become a fan, make comments, because it seems like the FFA are listening.