Sunday, November 29, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 9 review

Well well well. What a round! And the key word? Revenge.
Melbourne claimed the perfect revenge for THAT round 9 game last year when Canberra booked its place in the finals and ended the Victory's season, with the Victory's 1-0 win this year all-but securing a finals place for them. Then Perth Glory had its grudge match against Brisbane, after being smashed 6-0 in its last game just last month, and two goals from Katie Gill was enough to hand the Roar only its second ever W-League loss. It also meant Brisbane cannot win back to back league titles, while the Mariners are now in the box-seat to complete their fairytale journey of wooden-spoon fodder to league champions. Although, sets-up a controversial game next week with Sydney FC and the Mariners playing off effectively for the league championship, perhaps a little weird when most of them are NSWIS scholarship holders? But anyway, that's still a week away. For now, read ahead for all the details from what was an amazing round of football in Round 9 of the W-League.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 3 (Michelle HEYMAN 36’, Kendall FLETCHER 71’, Lydia VANDENBERGH 74’) bt NEWCASTLE JETS 1 (Tara ANDREWS 44’) at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. So the Mariners knew a win here would make them tough to catch in the league championship, whatever the result in the final match in Round 10. And they managed to get it, after the poor Newcastle Jets suffered defeat in almost exactly the same way in two weeks. The Mariners scored first, just like Canberra did last week, before Tara Andrews equalised and the scores were tied for about 30minutes. Although, by then the game was pretty different as Newcastle were down one Matildas midfielder after Amber Neilson was red-carded for dissent. Anyone know what she said? Anyway, the rest went pretty much exactly the same as the week before. Last week against Canberra it was a goal to Tseng Shu O and then Kahlia Hogg, in the 74th and 76th minutes that gave Canberra a 3-1 win. On Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium, it was the Mariners two field-playing American imports (as opposed to its other one, goalkeeper Jillian Loyden), who scored in the 71st and 74th minute to give the Mariners the three points. So Newcastle have just one game left to try and avoid the wooden-spoon. And it's against Brisbane Roar who will desperately want some form heading into finals, but have struggled recently.
Referee: Peta McCallum, Assistant referee: Liz Shorter and Penelope Nash,Fourth official: Catherine Nash
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (GK) 2. Caitlin COOPER (c), 3. Lyndsay GLOHE 4. Rachael DOYLE 9. Renee ROLLASON (7. Teresa POLIAS 90’ )10. Kendall FLETCHER 11. Michelle HEYMAN (5. Jessica SEAMAN 87’) 12. Samantha SPACKMAN 14. Ashleigh CONNOR (13. Trudy CAMILLERI 70’), 16. Jenna KINGSLEY, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH
Substitutes not used: 20. Rachel COOPER (GK)
Yellow Cards: Caitlin COOPER 77’
Red Cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets line-up: 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (GK), 3. Pelay INGLES, 5. Stacey DAY (18. Leia SMITH 52’) , 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON, 8. Bronte BATES (9. Kate HENSMAN 63’), 10. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 11. Carlie IKONOMOU, 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT (13. Caitlin JARVIE 80’), 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 19. Tara ANDREWS
Substitutes not used: 1. Alison LOGUE (GK)
Yellow Cards: Bronte BATES 39’, Carlie IKONOMOU 79’
Red Cards: Amber NEILSON 24’

MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Katie THORLAKSON 87’) bt CANBERRA UNITED 0 at Olympic Park, Melbourne. Well as a Canberra fan it was devastating to say the least, but will admit that Melbourne played very very well, created a number of chances and it took some excellent goal-keeping from Lydia Williams and defending from all of United's back-four, Nicole Sykes, Ellie Brush, Bronwyn Studman and Ellyse Perry to keep them out. In the end, the sustained pressure just worked when they conjured a goal from about the third rebound from a corner. It first was cleared back to the corner taker, Julianne Sitch, who smashed it back in again, it then went out to someone, couldn't see who, who put it back in from Melbourne and it rebounded off Jen Bisset on the goal-line where it fell to Katie Thorlakson, who basically didn't have to move and just pushed it in. It was definitely perfect revenge from last year's Round 9 game between the two teams, when Canberra ended Melbourne's finals hopes sealed their own. For Melbourne co-captain Tal Karp, a former Canberran, it was a grudge match. "Absoutely, before this game we hadn't got a point against Canberra and we desperately wanted that to change and get this game, we needed it for the finals, for myself personally and for the team it was a grudge match, we needed the points and we got them," Karp said.
Melbourne coach Matt Shepherd said reverting back to four-four-two after the girls had pestered him about it, had worked perfectly. Instead of not being able to get around Canberra's diamond midfield set-up with their own like earlier this year, with four across the middle, they completely dominated Canberra in the midfield. Katrina Gorry was particulary outstanding, her pacey runs caught Canberra on the break a number of times.
For Canberra, Ashleigh Sykes and Tseng Shu O just didn't get that much of the ball and apart from a clear handball that should have been a penalty and an Emily van Egmond header that went just wide, they didn't have that many clear-cut chances. Which United coach Ray Junna admitted, but said he thought his team didn't deserve to lose. "I don't think they deserved a win, I think a draw would have been a fair result," Junna said. "So we lacked a bit of penetration up front, we didn't really get in behind them, but I don't think we deserved to lose. "We just lacked a bit of movement, people were trying to pass it in rather than take it in, dribble it in and commit people, and we didn't do that today. The field was a bit big big and we got a bit stretched and I don't know, just that decision around that final third is the critical factor in football and we didn't have that today."
Williams, who had one of her best games all season despite the loss, with some cracking saves, said it was disappointing as she felt Melbourne had wanted it more. "That's just football for you, anything can happen, unfortuntely they scored a scrappy goal and at this point in the competition any goal is a goal, it's just unfortunate that they wanted it more than us on the day and I guess that's whats disappointing about it," she said. But she also joked that with Perth the only chance Canberra have to make the finals now, she would be calling all her contacts over there to make sure they did it for Canberra. And also quickly on the weather, from 43degrees in Newcastle the week before, to about 18degrees and rain for most of the second-half in Melbourne, what a difference a week makes for Canberra! crazy!
Referee: Catherine Hofmann, Assistant referee: Elizabeth Hyland and Jonathan Barriero,Fourth official: Stan Tasic.
Melbourne Victory line-up: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC (3. Marlies OOSTDAM 77’), 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 10. Deanna NICESKI (8. Katie THORLAKSON 56’), 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN-KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 18. Ursula HUGHSON (9. Stephanie CATLEY 85’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Canberra United line-up: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Kahlia HOGG, 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 8. Emily VAN EGMOND, 9. Grace GILL (2. Rebecca KITING 67’), 10. TSENG Shu O, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jen BISSET
Substitutes Not Used: 6. Ellie RAYMOND, 13. Thea SLATYER, 20. Jocelyn MARA (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

SYDNEY FC 6 (Sarah WALSH 8’, Heather GARRIOCK 10’/74’, Leena KHAMIS 26’, Brittany WHITFIELD 90’+1, Kyah SIMON 90’+3) bt ADELAIDE UNITED 2 (Racheal QUIGLEY 82’/90’+2) Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide. So Adelaide's last W-League win was in last season when they beat Sydney FC 3-2 at Hindmarsh, but they just couldn't complete that kind of upset on Saturday. Particulary after Sarah Walsh and Heather Garriock set the score at 2-0 after just 10minutes, before Leena Khamis made it 3-0 after 26. The rest of the goals were basically scored in junk-time to take it out to 6-2, but good to see young Adelaide striker Rachel Quigley on the board again. She's actually now third in the league in terms of goals-scored with five, and considering Adelaide have only scored seven, that's a pretty decent record. But good to see Kyah Simon get on the board for Sydney FC, I'm pretty sure that's her first goal this year. They certainly seem to be hitting their straps at the right time of the year and can still claim the league championship if they beat the Mariners next week. And what a game to be on TV as the ABC match of the round. Whoever wins, wins the league championship. Couldn't get a better one! So Mariners fans, get on down to Bluetongue. Everyone else, make sure you watch! Also well done Adelaide on finding four female referees for this game. Great to see all girlpower on the pitch!
Referee: Lee Corey, Assistant referee: Airlie Keen and Stacey Sasopoulos, Fourth official: Ana Nevjestic
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk) (20.Kristi HARVEY (gk) 46’), 5.Ashlee FAUL, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 8.Ruth WALLACE (9.Angela FIMMANO 46’), 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 13.Lauren CHILVERS, 14.Donna COCKAYNE, 15.Tenneille BOALER, 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH (3.Renee HARRISON 80’), 18.Rochelle KUHAR
Substitutes Not Used: 19.Nenita BURGESS
Yellow Cards: Donna COCKAYNE 62’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC line-up: 1.Nikola DEITER (gk), 4.Alesha CLIFFORD, 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8.Julie RYDAHL, 9.Sarah WALSH (2.Teigen ALLEN 60’), 10.Kylie LEDBROOK (18.Brittany WHITFIELD 76’), 11.Cathrine PAASKE, 15.Kyah SIMON, 16.Linda O’NEILL, 19.Leena KHAMIS (13.Catherine CANNULI 72’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20.Carla MONFORTE (gk)
Yellow Cards: Cathrine PAASKE 74’
Red Cards: Nil

PERTH GLORY 2 (Katie GILL 17’/63’) bt BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Courtney BEUTEL 11’) at Clipsal Stadium, Perth. So at the start of the season I labelled Perth as one team that should make the finals. They can't now, no matter what happens in their last game (although they can keep Melbourne out), but finally they have produced a result that I think is worthy of their team. Yes, Sam Kerr and Katie Gill are stars, but they do have some quality players across the park but it just hasn't come together all that often for Perth this season. In fact, it's looking very much like last year when they finally got their good game going, only to just miss out on finals as they ran out of games. As far as a longer season goes, which will hopefully happen next year, I think Perth will be the team to benefit from it most. But anyway, to the actual game, while the Sportal report talks about just how dominant Brisbane were I think it's an important note that shots on goal don't always equal dominance. From other accounts, Perth held possession well and made the most of their chances, Brisbane did not and didn't actually pressure Emma Wirkus much. (Much like in Melbourne, where Canberra failed to actually test Melissa Barbieri). But the message is clear, Brisbane will need to up their game now before finals or they face the prospect of missing out on a chance to defend their premiership win.
But over in Perth, John Gibson was a very happy man. “Certainly we knew it would be a tough back end of the season but we trusted everything we have done this year and the girls worked really hard.”

“They deserve everything they got. We rode our luck a little bit at times but they just worked their backsides off for each other and that was fantastic” said Gibson. “All the departments, from our defenders to our midfielders to our forwards, were fantastic today and it was really pleasing.” He was also, not surprisingly, please with Katie Gill who was also in action at the other end of the ground, like saving shots off the goal-line for Perth as well as scoring. “Katie did exceptionally well for us today. She is a wonderful asset to the group and adds a bit of experience and some leadership. It was quality play today by her and Sam [Kerr] and it was good to see. For us now it is about getting positive results and moving forward. We have a really young group so I am looking forward to progressing with them next year.”
Referee: Rebecca Durcau, Assistant referee: Tim Mihevc and Trent Fleskens, Fourth official: Josh Mihevc
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Emma WIRKUS (GK), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Sam KERR, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (c), 9. Dani CALAUTTI, 12. Katie GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 15. Alex SINGER, 17. Marianna TABAIN
Substitutes Not Used: 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 18. Ellis GLANFIELD, 19. Katarina JUKIC, 20. Zoe PALANDRI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Katie GILL 61’, Elisa D’OVIDIO 72’, Marianna TABAIN 90’
Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6. Joanne BURGESS, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Lana HARCH, 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 18. Courtney BEUTEL, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT
Substitutes Not Used: 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 12. Steph LATHAM, 15. Leah CURTIS, 20. Kate STEWART(gk)
Yellow Cards: Ellen BEAUMONT 86’, Karla REUTER 90’
Red Cards: Ni

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 9 preview

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
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil
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)
Out: Nil
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)
Unavailable: Nil
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)
Out: Nil
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“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)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Emily GIELNIK (foot), Brooke SPENCE (ankle - season)

Remember to check out,, 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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 9 snapshot and other news

So the FFA sent out its media snapshot this week and for a week of W-League that has huge importance in the context of the season, it kind of missed a few interesting tid-bits. So here is an extended snapshot for anyone who wants a little bit more!

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS v NEWCASTLE JETS, Friday 27 November 2009, Bluetongue Stadium, 5:15pm local. In the context of the Mariners season, this is up there with one of the most important. A win over Newcastle would keep them ahead of Brisbane Roar, who face a tricky game against Perth, and in front with one more round to go in the race for the league championship. It would be a huge accomplishment for the Mariners to do so, considering they don't have one senior Matilda while Brisbane have Matildas that can't even make its bench. Newcastle certainly proved tricky for Canberra last week though and have been scoring more goals near the end of the season. I'm certain they'll want to trip-up any teams finals or title hopes. The first W-League Friday night game this season, and I think possibly ever, hopefully there is a few at Bluetongue stadium to see the local F3 derby match.
Also, see the Newcastle Herald's game-report to see just how tough the conditions were at last Sunday's game.

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.
Well well well, a Round 9 clash between Melbourne Victory and Canberra United, where the winner stands to gain a place in the finals and the loser miss-out after coming heart-breakingly close. Wait, doesn't that sound familar? Oh yes, that's exactly what happened in season 1. Back then, in my top-five moments from W-League season 1, I put Amy Chapman's goal (that was definitely intended as a cross as it sailed in from 30m out and into the top-right corner, so utterly perfect) that won them the game as number one. The final score of 3-2. It's up there with some of the best ever sporting events I've seen. And I'm betting that Melbourne do not want their finals chances to come down to a scoreline like that again. But Canberra will be confident, in three W-League games against Melbourne, it hasn't lost one. And it's also kept two clean sheets, including the 2-0 win this year that was Canberra's first-win of the season.
I'm betting it will be fast and furious. Luckily, everyone else gets to watch it this weekend as well as it is the ABC TV game of the week. Clearly the FFA had remembered last year's result when they did the fixture, and history has repeated itself perfectly to set-up a cracker.

Also down in Canberra, inagural season vice-captain and former Matilda Thea Slatyer has rejoined her team for the final two games (and anything beyond that!). Slatyer has been travelling pretty much since the last W-League season finished, but arrived back in Australia just in time for the end of the season. She started training last week, but all the paperwork is now done and she's expected to line-up against Melbourne. Read the story on Canberra United's website here.

ADELAIDE UNITED v SYDNEY FC , Saturday 28 November 2009, Hindmarsh Stadium, 3:30pm local, 4:00pm AEDT.  Buoyed by an outstanding performance against the Brisbane Roar last weekend, Adelaide go into this match with an extra touch of confidence, having defeated Sydney FC in their last encounter (3-2) at Hindmarsh Stadium on November 11 last year – Adelaide’s last win in the Westfield W-League. So this is one FFA W-League preview snapshot that did really catch my eye. Given Adelaide's impressive 2-2 draw with Brisbane, that going on the match report could have maybe even been a win, could Adelaide finish its season as the W-League giantkiller and build some nice momentum into next season? Sydney though are still in the race for the league title if they can win this one, so I'm sure that's motivation enough for the Sky Blues. But still, wouldn't be surprised with any result here.

PERTH GLORY v BRISBANE ROAR, Saturday 28 November 2009, Clipsal Stadium, 3:00pm local time.(6:00pm AEDT). The Glory, having conceded 17 goals in their past four matches will be aiming to avoid Brisbane scoring their 50th Westfield W-League goal, the Roar currently on 47 goals in their 20 matches to date - an average of 2.35 goals per game. Ouch, that 17 goals in four-matches is not a pretty statistic. But now with Katie Gill, Sam Kerr and Lisa de Vanna perhaps a little less grumpy and more in goal-scoring form (she did find the back of the net in the 5-2 loss to Sydney), Perth will be keen for some pride and goals to finish off their season. And particulary after the last time these two teams met, just a few weeks ago, Brisbane put a record-equalling six goals past the Glory. If Brisbane do lose, it will decrease their chances of claiming back to back league championships.

So a thrilling round awaits! Remember to also check out previews an interviews with W-League players over at, and stay tuned for a bit of a wrap from Matildas coach Tom Sermanni on the Australian AFC under-16 campaign.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 8 review

So now just two regular-round games to go and things are getting interesting. Mainly as Canberra United have made the top-four for the first-time this season and are now in the box-set to make it. Canberra, Melbourne or Perth now can't afford to drop a game if they want to keep their chances alive, which is going to make for some blockbusters next week. But before then, let's see just what set-up this three-into-one doesn't go finals conundrum.

SYDNEY FC 5 (Julie RYDAHL 12’ (pen), Leena KHAMIS (14’/19‘), Cathrine PAASKE 39’, Sarah WALSH 84’) bt PERTH GLORY 2 (Samantha KERR 6‘, Lisa DE VANNA) at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
So with Katie Gill and Sam Kerr on the pitch, Perth had a much better start than their past few games. But Sydney's clash overcame them in the end. Still what a game for TV, you couldn't ask for much more than seven goals. It does mean now that Perth's finals chances are pretty much gone. In terms of pure points they can still make it, but the 6-0 loss to Brisbane followed closely by the 4-0 one to Canberra has hammered their goal difference into very negative territory. On the flip-side, Sydney FC could now very well fancy themselves as contenders for both the league title and the premiership.
Referee: Prue Donohue
Assistant referees: Sarah HO and Liz SHORTER
Fourth official: Laura ELLIOT
Sydney FC line-up: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigan ALLEN, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c) (12. Michelle Carney 58’), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH (18. Brittany WHITFIELD 84’), 10. KYLIE LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’Neill, 19. Leena KHAMIS (13. Catherine CANNULLI 80’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Emma WIRKUS, 3. Carys HAWKINS (16. Sadie LAWRENCE 88’), 4. Samantha KERR (19. Katrina JUKIC 81’), 5. Shannon May, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (c), 9. Danielle CALAUTTI (11. Lisa DE VANNA 48’), 12. Katie Gill, 13. Elisa D’Ovidio, 15. Alexandra SINGER, 17. Marianna TABAIN
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Zoe PALANDRI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Katie GILL 34’, Lisa DE VANNA 85’
Red cards: Nil
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 2 (Michelle HEYMAN 28’/53’) bt MELBOURNE VICTORY 0 at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney.
So with two rounds to go, can anyone catch Michelle Heyman for the golden boot? I don't think so myself. The former Sydney FC substitute player has continued on what was a cracking season in the NSW Women's Premier League, when she scored more than 20 goals, to 10 goals in eight W-League games. The loss means Melbourne have dropped out of the top-four, and must be feeling deja-vu at that fact they've been pushed out by Canberra. But back to the Mariners, who are now the out and out favourites to take the league title. Well you would think so, with games against Newcastle and then a tricky one against Sydney FC, but still it's a handy one-point gap to have over Brisbane. Who would have thought at the start of the season a team without one single senior Matilda, would win the title? What's what saying again, a team of champions will always lose to a champion team? Seems it could be apt.
Referee: Kirralee Gardener
Assistant referees: Leanne Smith and Katie Patterson
Fourth official: Penelope Nash
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER (C), 3. Lyndsay GLOHE, 4. Rachael DOYLE, 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI (16. Jenna KINGSLEY 84’), 9. Renee ROLLASON (13. Trudy CAMILLERI 59’), 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Samantha SPACKMAN, 14. Ashleigh CONNOR, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH (7. Teresa POLIAS 90’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Rachel COOPER (gk)
Yellow Cards: Jenna KINGSLEY 88’
Red Cards: Nil
Melbourne Victory line-up: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk) (C), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC (8. Katie THORLAKSON 64’), 3. Marlies Oostam, 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maria RUYTER-HOOLEY, 9. Stephanie Catley, 10. Deanna NICESKI, 12. Monique HANSEN-KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY (19. Enza BARILLA 46’), 18. Ursula HUGHSON (14. Selin KURALAY 50’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

CANBERRA UNITED 3 (Cian MACIEJEWSKI 9’, TSENG Shu O 74’, Kahlia HOGG 76’) bt NEWCASTLE JETS 1 (Amber NEILSON 53’ (pen)) at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle.
So Canberra's late run of season form continues, and sets-up a very familar-looking clash in Round 9, but before we get to that - it almost didn't happen. First of all on Sunday, it was crazy conditions in Newcastle. The temperature was 42-degrees on the ground and it was a humid, terrible heat that was energy-zapping. I have no idea how those girls made it through the match without fainting, and they certainly deserve a round of applause for just getting through that game. But at the end of the day, Canberra dominated the chances and deserved to win. After scoring in just the 9th minute, from an Ellyse Perry free kick that almost curled by itself until Cian Maciejewski made sure of it with her head, Canberra should have gone into half-time 3-0 up but didn't. That allowed Newcastle back into the game and then took their chance when awarded a penalty. Really shouldn't have been a penalty, but anyway. Amber Neilson took it beautifully. It then looked like Canberra were going to throw-away a golden chance to control their own finals destiny as scores were locked at 1-1 for 20minutes, before some individual brilliance from Tseng Shu O and Kahlia Hogg took the score to 3-1, in the 74th and 76th minute. But special mention to Ashleigh Sykes, who set-up both Tseng's and Hogg's goals beautifully. Newcastle showed some great passages of play in stages, but on the whole just weren't consistent enough. A tough game to judge though on the heat, it really was crazy!
Referee: Peta McCallum
Assistant referees: Penelope Nash and Catherine Nash
Fourth official: Tanya De Boer
Newcastle Jets line-up: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 3. Pelay INGLES, 6. Amber NEILSON (c), 7. Gema SIMON, 8. Bronte BATES, 13. Caitlin JARVIE (9. Kate HENSMAN 64’), 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT, 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 17. Madeline SEARL (11. Carlie IKONOMOU 59’), 18. Leia SMITH, 19. Tara ANDREWS (12. Emma STEWART 83’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk)
Yellow Cards: Pelay INGLES 87’
Red Cards: Nil
Canberra United line-up: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Kahlia HOGG, 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 8. Emily VAN EGMOND (12. Snez VELJANOVSKA 76’), 10. TSENG Shu O, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES (2. Rebecca KITING 57’), 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jen BISSET (9. Grace GILL 49’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Jocelyn MARA
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

BRISBANE ROAR 2 (Tameka BUTT 42’, Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT 53’) drew with ADELAIDE UNITED 2 (Racheal QUIGLEY 10’, Ruth WALLACE 20’) at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane.
Well well well, wasn't this a surprise! In what was previewed everywhere as perhaps a chance for Brisbane to break the record for goals, Adelaide United instead claimed it's third-point for the season which was enough to move away from the wooden-spoon spot. But what I'm interested to know is why Casey Dumont was on the bench? Was it a 'we're going to win anyway, we'll give Kate Stewart a go this season' type-decision?, or is Casey injured? Either way, dropping that point now means the Mariners are in the best spot to claim the league championship, so Brisbane have dropped a golden chance to all but secure its back to back titles.
Referee: Rebecca Durcau
Assistant referees: Renee Coghill and Christie Robb
Fourth official: Brooke Staff
Brisbane Roar line-up: 20. Kate STEWART (gk), 3. Karla REUTER 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Lana HARCH (9. Jenna TRISTRAM 71’), 12. Steph LATHAM (6. Joanne BURGESS 38’), 13. Tameka BUTT, 14.Sasha MCDONNELL, 16. Lauren COLTHORPE, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk), 15. Leah CURTIS
Yellow Cards: Lauren COLTHORPE 84’
Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 5.Ashlee FAUL, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY (6.Thomai KEZIOS 90’), 8.Ruth WALLACE (9.Angela FIMMANO 69’), 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 13.Lauren CHILVERS, 14.Donna COCKAYNE, 15.Tenneille BOALER (19. Nenita BURGESS 79’), 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH, 18.Rochelle KUHAR
Substitutes Not Used: 20.Kristi HARVEY (gk)
Yellow Cards: Ashlee FAUL 44’, Donna COCKAYNE 47’
Red Cards: Nil

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 8 preview

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)
Out: Nil
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)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil
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)
Unavailable: Nil

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)
Out: Nil
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)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AFC under-16 women's third-placed play-off - Japan 6 bt Australia 2

So unfortunately the Australian under-16 girls team has failed to qualify for next year's FIFA under-17 women's World Cup after going down to Japan 6-2 in the third-placed play-off at this year's AFC under-16 championship in Bangkok tonight.
 Japan went up 2-0 right on halftime, and then they opened the floodgates in the second-half. Japanese striker Kyokawa Mai scored five goals in the win. Tara Andrews and Caitlin Foord scored for the Australian team, with both goals coming in the last 30minutes.
 The match card is up on the AFC website with all the details.

AFC under-16 girls semi-final preview with Robbie Hooker

Tonight the under-16 Australian girls team will play for a place in the 2010 FIFA under-17 World Cup. The team won eve ry one of its three group games, against China, Taiwan and Japan, but then lost its semi-final against North Korea – who are the reigning world champions at that age group.

But tonight they will play Japan in Bangkok and the winner will be the third-placed team in this year's AFC under-16 c hampionships. The top-three teams go through to next year's FIFA under-17 World Cup.
girlswithgame caught up with Australian under-16 head coach Robbie Hooker to find out what the feeling is like in camp as the team aim to be the first since 2006 to qualify for an age-group FIFA World Cup.

GWG: So heading into tonight's game, are you confident?
Robbie Hooker: We're reasonably confident, to score three goals against North Korea who are the reigning world champions in a game that we probably should have won, and to beat Japan and China in the group games, it goes to show we really aren't that far away from the top teams in the world.

Will you be very disappointed if Australia doesn't qualify for the World Cup? It absolutely will be very disappointing as our goal in coming here was to qualify for the World Cup. And really, we should be able to beat Japan and I think we will go into this game as favourites. But football is a funny game and it doesn't always go to form. Still I think we have shown enough that we can win this game.

Will you make any changes to the starting line-up from the semi-final? We might, Tara Andrews [who scored all four goals in Australia's first group 4-0 win against China] has been out since the first game with a hamstring injury, but hopefully she will be able to play some part of the game.

Given that she did do so well in the first game, will that be a good confidence boost for the team? It certainly will, she's got a lot of good qualities and Japan haven't played against her yet. I'm not sure if they watched our first game against China, but they probably haven't seen her play at all, so she could be a bit of an unknown which is great.

Is there any areas of your game you need to improve from the last one against Japan? They've got a couple of tricky players that we need to make sure we don't give too much space to them. But we have played well so far. Against North Korea, had that game gone the other way which it was a chance to do, we would be talking about a completely different situation now. But we know we aren't too far away from those top teams.

So game kicks off at 8pm AEDT, score-up ASAP from hopefully about 10pm when it finishes. Good luck everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Westfield W-League previews... from others

As I'm just a little flat-out again, here are some previews from the very talented staff at the Central Coast Mariners and Canberra United to read while I get my own stuff happening. Well written and interesting, thanks both Joseph (Mariners) and Chris (Canberra).

Washington to Central Coast – Golebiowski leading Mariners cause
By Joseph Carlucci
The dream of each Australian female footballer is to play at the highest level and represent the Matildas at a World Cup, and for the lucky few that get the chance to don the Green and Gold, the feeling is immense.
One talented footballer, the Central Coast Mariners ‘veteran’ Kelly Golebiowski – at the age of 28 – whom has not only sported the Matildas jersey at a World Cup and an Olympic Games, but also played in the Women’s MLS in the United States alongside an iconic symbol of women’s sport, Mia Hamm.
“It was definitely a career highlight to play and train with Mia Hamm , as has been playing for Australia,” said the former Washington Freedom player.
“It was quite indescribable, Mia (Hamm) was a player that I looked up to, I mean I had posters of her in my room, she was my idol and to play with her was a tremendous experience.”
Golebiowski returned to Australia following an extended stay in the United States, and following a first season with Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League, has arrived at the Central Coast Mariners where the attack-minded player is really enjoying her football.
“We are all having a great time this season, each and every squad member is challenging for starting spots, and we are really making it difficult for the coach each week; the depth is fantastic,” said Golebiowski.
 At 28-years of age, Golebiowski does not mind being called the ‘veteran’ of the side, nor does she mind the extra responsibilities on her s houlders amongst a relatively young playing squad.
 “I enjoy being the old head in the team, giving the girls some advice from my experiences in football both with the Matildas and overseas; it really is an honour.
 “And, when you see the efforts that each player puts in, our results are testament to the work ethic of the team altogether,” Golebiowski's aid.
The Mariners’ sit in second-spot on the W-League ladder, three-points behind Brisbane Roar, though despite the general on-looker still doubting the Mariners’ title ambitions, Golebiowski remains adamant her team will continue to turn heads between now and the season’s end.
“We all enjoy the ‘underdogs’ tag, it is fine by us if we are written off, no problem at all with that.
“We’ve got a strong self belief amongst the group, and this has been our driving force with our results, which are perfectly reflected by t he League ladder and results to-date,” said Golebiowski.
Despite the W-League in Australia lacking the prowess of the American women ’s league in Mia Hamm’s day, Golebiowski remains confident that women’s football in this country is certainly on the rise.
“We have a young competition here, we are only now into the second season.
“In the US, they had a lot of money injected into the game and that allowed for the competition to develop.
“In Australia, we now have a stepping stone, which is fantastic for all of the players in the country,” continued the Mariners’ attacking midfielder.
The only downside at this point is the short season, as a ten-round regular season is definitely not enough.
“In saying this though, the platform is there, and we all need to work hard to keep women’s football growing,” said Golebiowski.
The Mariners head to Adelaide to face bottom-placed Adelaide United, though despite the Round 2 defeat of the South Australian outfit in the Central Coast Mariners’ first ever W-League match at Bluetongue Stadium, Golebiowski and Co. will not be taking their opponent lightly.
“We won’t be looking at the fact that they are last, we can't afford to do that.
“As I said about our self belief, this has been our strong point, and we will continue to play as we have with the same intensity as we have up u ntil now.
“Also, with a short season, we cannot afford to drop points, so the g irls will all be out there to continue the good that we have achieved to-dat e,” ended Golebiowski.
The Central Coast Mariners next match of the Westfield W-League season will be against against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium this Saturday, 14 N ovember. Kick-off is at 2:30pm ACST (3:00pm AEDT), and will be broadcast liv e and exclusively on ABC1.

Finals football starts early for Canberra, by Chris Gottaas,
The pressure of finals football starts this weekend against the Perth Glory with Canberra United needing to win the majority of its remaining fixtures to secure a berth in the Westfield W-League finals.

 Down but not out, the club remains in sixth place with a win and two draws from the opening six rounds but a win this weekend could see Canberra leap frog Perth into fifth and sit on the cusp of the top four.
While the task at hand will be a challenge, Canberra United is very confident of being able to contest this year’s finals series according to midfielder Snez Veljanovksa.
“It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks,” Veljanovska said.
“The next few games are vital to us in terms of winning and hopefully making the top four.
“It would be great to move up the ladder but we’re just taking it one week at a time and if we can beat [Perth] then great but we’re certainly going to be up for the challenge and ready.”
Hosting the Glory for the first time on home soil, Veljanovska believes the side took a lot of confidence from last outing against Perth in Round Three which saw Canberra come from two goals behind to draw.
Perth struck twice in the first ten minutes of the match but a season defining second half saw the gutsy side draw level with goals from Tseng Shu O and Ashleigh Sykes as the club recorded its first point of the season.
“I think we can take a lot of confidence out of that one because we now know that we’re capable of winning the game and beating them,” Veljanovska said.
“We know how they play and they’re obviously playing under our conditions so it will be a lot better.
“We’re up for the challenge and I think we can dominate in this game.”
Canberra has made a habit of conceding early in matches, a practice the side is looking to amend.
“It’s been talked about a lot [at training], basically we need to stop doing it,” Veljanovska said.
“We definitely need to get going from the first whistle so we need to work hard and not let anyone score against us in the first few minutes of the game and that’s what’s really costing us at the moment.”
 The whole side is focused on the next few weeks and vying for positions with vital matches against Perth, Newcastle and Melbourne in the next three weeks.
The girls are working really hard at the moment at training,” Veljanovska said.
“Everyone is really trying to earn their spot, do what they can and put in the effort at training so I think that’s really going to help in the game.”
For 22-year-old Veljanovska, last weekend was her first start for Canberra United after making six appearances for the club as a substitute, a feat she hopes to achieve a few more times this season.
“It was definitely nerve racking, it took me a little while to get into it but once [the game started] I was switched on and did whatever I could,” Veljanovska said.
“It was a great experience and I’d love to experience it more often.”
“I would love a few more starts.”
The Perth Glory will travel to the national capital for the first time as Canberra United host Round Seven of the Westfield W-League at McKellar Park on Saturday evening with kick off at 5:00pm.

AFC under-16 girls semi-final - DPR Korea 4 bt Australia 3

So very late last night Australian time, unfortunately the Aussie girls had their first loss of the AFC under-16 tournament when DPR Korea came back to clinch a 4-3 win in the 85th minute. Australia had scored first, in just the 8th minute through Brittany Whitfield and but then Korea equalised in the 18th minute. But Foord scored again in the 28th minute to put Australia up 2-1. Korea then found the back of the net again just before half-time, in the 37th minute, to bring the score back to 2-2. Emily van Egmond then scored to put Australia up 3-2 after 64minutes, before goals to DPR Korea in the 77th and 85th minute meant that they progress to the final, to play the Korea Republic. It now means Australia must win the third-place play-off against Japan to make next year's under-17 World Cup. But they have already beaten Japan in the tournament, 3-1 in the group stages.
Match report is up at the AFC website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

W-League visits Shepparton - why regional games are a great idea

So in last week's preview I added in a few sentences about just how excellent an idea it was to move a W-League game to Shepparton, citing the 'Canberra effect'. Which is, there isn't much else happening there over summer so why not move women's games to areas where they don't have to compete with men's for attention? So anyway, after Teo from Shepparton news emailed me last week to point out his podcast where he had some interviews with Melbourne Victory people, he kindly followed up with what he was able to write in the newspaper. As you can see, it gained a whole page and more.

So this is exactly why I think more of these games should be moved to regional areas. Yes it's great that the women in Queensland get to play on Ballymore Stadium, but what about moving a game to Cairns? which doesn't have an A-League team and in summer the biggest thing happening is the men's basketball - which is at night and indoors.
Yes, most of the clubs are linked to men's A-League clubs and its great if they can play curtain raisers o nthe big grounds. But while the league is still growing, getting the product out to as many people as possible surely is just as important as just playing the games. And making the W-League game the biggest thing on in a particular place that weekend, makes more people go along.
Hence, the Canberra effect.
In Canberra, apart from local cricket the biggest things on in summer are the Canberra Capitals playing in the WNBL and now Canberra United in the W-League. For The Canberra Times season preview this year, we did a combined eight-page lift-out with stories, player profiles and statistics. While the Sydney newspapers have had a few W-League results in, they have had hardly a fraction of the coverage Canberra United and the Newcastle Jets have, (cheers to you, Newcastle Herald!), I'm not sure about TV and radio coverage in other areas, but the girls are on WIN and ABC weekly and on both commercial and ABC radio as well. Which is why Canberra have some of the strongest crowd numbers - people know about them. So congratulations to Shepparton for turning on the welcome mat for the W-League and hopefully there are more regional visits to come in the next few seasons. Certainly something like a Canberra United game in Dubbo, taking the game to the Sykes' sisters, could work. Anywhere else you think a W-League game should go?

Westfield W-League Round 7 news

So I flagged it months ago on here and it seems like Katie Gill is finally back in the country and set to play for Perth Glory this weekend. Well according to the FFA snapshot they sent out yesterday, which suggests she will be a prime candidate to score the leagues 200th goal when it goes off this weekend. Which is very unlucky for Canberra as it seems to remind me very much of this time last year, when Gill stepped off the plane from Sweden straight onto the field for the Newcastle Jets and scored two excellent goals to hand the Jets a 2-1 win. Now she will be straight off a plane against Canberra again, except this time she'll be playing for Perth. It shall be a very interesting match-up at McKellar Park this weekend, so make sure you get down there Canberrans.

Other interesting tidbits ahead of this weekend's round courtesy of the FFA snapshot for Round 7,
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Saturday, 14 November 2009, Hindmarsh Stadium, 2.30pm local (3.00pm AEDT)
This is the Westfield W-League Match of the Round live and exclusive to ABC1 and ABC HD
After securing their first point in five matches last weekend, Adelaide United will now be aiming to record its first win in over a year – Adelaide’s last Westfield W-League victory was on 9 November 2008, a 3-2 win over Sydney FC

Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 14 November 2009, Seymour Shaw, 4.00pm local
Newcastle are aiming to break an eight-match winless streak – the last time the Jets won a Westfield W-League match was on 20 December 2008, a 2-0 win over Sydney FC

Canberra United v Perth Glory
Saturday, 14 November 2009, McKellar Park, 5.00pm local
A strange record exists between Canberra United and Perth Glory – not only are they the only teams to have been involved in a 2-2 draw in the Westfield W-League, in fact, both previous matches between Canberra and Perth have ended 2-2

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 14 November 2009, Ballymore Stadium, 6.00pm local (7.00pm AEDT
Having remained undefeated for its 16 consecutive match, Brisbane Roar have now surpassed South Melbourne’s 16-match undefeated streak achieved in the 2000/01 NSL (men’s) season. The Roar is therefore aiming for its 17th undefeated match in a row - the last time a 17-match undefeated streak was attained in an Australian national football competition was in 1986/87, when Apia Leichhardt ultimately achieved a 22-match undefeated streak on its way to the 1987 national championship

Monday, November 9, 2009

AFC under-16 championships in Thailand game three - Australia 3 bt Japan 1

So Australia move through to the semis of the AFC under-16 women's championships as the only team not to drop a game after beating Japan 3-1 in Thailand tonight. The two Korean teams, DPR Korea and Korea Republic drew in their round game, so they both finished on seven points in Group A while Australia topped Group B with a perfect nine points, three wins from three games. Australia will now play DPR Korea in the semi-finals on Thursday in Thailand. If they win that match, then they will have qualified for the under-17 FIFA women's World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago next year. The top-three teams go through from this tournament. But remember it's been four-years since an Australian women's youth team has made one of these events, so while they are in a great position - there is still plenty of work to do in the finals. Here's hoping this is the team to do it!
But to Monday night's game, three first-half goals to the Aussie girls set up the win. Brittany Whitfield scored in the 14th minute, followed by Teigen Allen in the 29th and then Caitlin Foord in 45+1.
The match-card is up here, more to follow tomorrow.

*And now an update from Tuesday, the FFA report is now up.
 Australia fought back from a goal down to defeat Japan 3 – 1 in the final game of the group stage in the AFC U16 Women’s Championships in Thailand. Australia finished top of Group B and set up a semi-final clash with defending champions DPR Korea, who finished runners-up in Group A.
 Japan took an early lead in the 7th minute when a Haruka Hamada cross found Kanna Oda unmarked at the back post for her shot to rebound off the goal post and onto Australian goalkeeper Brianna Davey who could do nothing but watch it fall into the back of the net. Australia managed to equalise in the 13th minute after a Teigen Allen corner was fumbled by the Japanese goalkeeper Mayu Yoshida for Brittany Whitfield to pounce on the mistake and slot the ball into the empty goal. Both teams looked to push forward and gain the upper hand, however it was Australia’s Teigen Allen who managed to break the deadlock in the 28th minute after receiving the ball just outside the 18-yard-box. After beating her defender Allen unleashed with a shot that the Japanese goalkeeper could do nothing to stop.
Australia then extended their advantage in first-half stoppage time when Caitlin Foord beat the offside trap courtesy of a through ball from Emily Van Egmond to finish precisely and round out the scoring.
The second half went by without much incident as Australia held onto their two goal advantage to finish the group stage with 14 goals for and only 1 against.
"We already knew we were through to the semi-finals but for the girls to fight back from one goal down so early in the match is testament to how much the players want to win and how unified they are as a group," said Westfield Australia U16 Women’s Head Coach Robbie Hooker.
"We'll look to continue working on the technical side of our game but tactically we are playing very well and the players are now focused on the semi-final against DPR Korea."
Australia’s next game is against DPR Korea on Thursday 12 November at 7.00pm local (11.00pm AEDT) at the Supachalasai National Stadium. Japan will face Group A winners Korea Republic.

Westfield W-League Round 6 wrap

So it feels like only a day ago I was previewing this round and then it was all over. Oh that's right, because I did only preview it on Saturday. But anyway, it might have been one short-sharp round with all the games over in a matter of hours - but what a round. Goals everywhere - and not just from one team as in last week's game - and interesting results for the top-six. Basically from here, any of those teams could still make the finals. So here is the wrap (which yes, is late again, sorry for the slackness!).

BRISBANE ROAR 2 (Jo Burgess 6', Elise Kellond-Knight 74') bt CANBERRA UNITED 1 (Cian Maciejewski 58') at McKellar Park. Crowd 602. Referee, Pru Donohue. So as I spoke about before, it's  a great W-League rivalry. It certainly lived up to it. It was a great game, plenty of chances from both teams, some great saves and some great goals. But Canberrans, where were you? The lowest crowd of the year so far - you had better bring it next week or I will be really angry. Anyway, Canberra United will be able to take plenty from the game even though they lost it. First of all the first goal was freakish. Yes, Lydia Williams fell over while running backwards to try and get it, but I don't think she would have got to it anyway, it was just a crazy shot that dipped just under the crossbar. Burgess even offered up a hand in way of apology when the shot went in and the referee took extra long to signal it, as really, no-one could believe it had gone in. For the next 50minutes or so, the game was played on very even terms. Although, to be picky, Brisbane did force Williams into more saves than United did for Dumont. But United thoroughly deserved its equaliser and none more so than the player who scored it - Cian Maciejewski. She had hardly slept and hadn't eaten for almost 24-hours before the game after tending to her sick dog (which sadly died overnight on Friday), but she still turned up to play and was one of United's best. Her volley from a Bec Kiting cross was excellent and what a way to score her first W-League goal.
Unfortunately, it United just didn't have enough to keep out Brisbane and Elise Kellond-Knight put in a contender for goal of the year. She took a few touches along the top of the box before curling in a shot in the top-right corner. Not much but perhaps not letting Brisbane have as much time to shoot could have stopped that one. Canberra looked very good though and with four winnable games to finish the season, could definitely make the finals. Coach Ray Junna thinks they need to stop letting in easy goals though.
"Testament to the girls they gave it their all, that was our goal to come our here to play a bit of football and take it to them, which they did, but again unlucky with two, pardon the french, shitty goals again, the first one was soft, the second one she was stretching for, it happens, but it seems to happen more to us than anyone else, but we have four more games and we'll keep plugging on," he said. "It's certainly not out of our grasp so we'll certainly give it a go." Jeff Hopkins was happy to get the win, but not overly happy with the performance after the 6-0 smashing the week before. "We're also a little bit disappointed in the way that we played, credit to Canberra they really came at us there, especially in the way that they played in the second half, but after the way we played last week and the way he have been playing, we are a little bit disappointed with today," Hopkins said. Although he did say, perhaps they were lucky to get the three points.

"I think most probably looking back on the game a draw would have been a fair result, but the quality and the character of our team really shows through when times get tough and in tight games that's what makes the difference so I'm really proud of all the girls and how they played." And the crucial touches that did hand them the game, Kellond-Knights goal followed by Casey Dumont's two goal-line saves in the final five minutes? "[Elise] normally just stands on that foot, I couldn't believe it," [lots of laughs], "It was a great strike from Elise, she does srtike the ball really well with either foot and Casey is doing what she does most weeks when she gets tested.
 "I believe she is the best goalkeeper in the country and I'm sure it wont be long if she keeps going like that she'll be proving that at the top level."
Referee: Pru Donohue
Referee assistants: Brett Woodford and Greg Taylor
Fourth official: Gary Vandeburgt
Canberra United Line-up: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (c), 2. Rebecca KITING, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 7. Ellie BRUSH (6. Ellie RAYMOND 90’), 9. Grace GILL (5. Kahlia HOGG 60’), 10. TSENG Shu O, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 19. Jennifer BISSET (22. Lucy ALLAN 63’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Jocelyn MARA
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Pam BIGNOLD (13. Tameka BUTT 65’), 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Lana HARCH (12. Stephanie LATHAM 86’), 11. Aivi LUIK, 18. Courtney BEUTEL (14.Sasha MCDONNELL 65’), 19. Ellen BEAUMONT
Substitutes not used: 20. Kate STEWART (gk)
Yellow cards: Sasha MCDONNELL 79’, Tameka BUTT 90’
Red cards: Nil

NEWCASTLE JETS 3 drew with ADELAIDE UNITED 3 at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle. So first things first, Adelaide have scored a goal, yay! Three of them! yay! But wow, neither of these teams can buy a win can they? Previous to this game the only point they had each claimed was from a 0-0 draw in Round 1. The round 6 game had plenty more excitment, but unfortunately the same amount of points. Which certainly makes the battle for the wooden spoon interesting.  Can this be the kickstart of a late season run though? Now both teams have scored a few, will they suddenly find the confidence? Very hard to judge until next week is my judgement. But on a positive note, quotes from both sides on Sportal. Newcastle captain Hayley Crawford was positive after the result. Obviously we would have preferred to win but we showed great character to come back into the game after being down 3-1," she told Sportal. "If we can start games the way we finish them then we will get that win we are looking for." Tennille Boaler said the result was a good one for Adelaide United, who picked up their first goals of the season. "It was good to get some goals and hold a lead but they fought back hard," she said. "In the end though, there were some positives signs there for us."
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Referee assistants: Tanya De Boer and Catherine Nash
Fourth official: Kiralee Gardener
Newcastle Jets line-up: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 2. Libby SHARPE, 3. Pelay INGLES, 5. Stacey DAY, 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON, 9. Kate HENSMAN (22. Nicole JONES 79), 10. Hayley CRAWFORD(c), 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT, 18. Leia SMITH (8. Bronte BATES 75’), 21. Harmonie ATTWILL (4. Loren MAHONEY 68’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk)
Yellow cards: Stacey DAY 58’, Amber NEILSON 75’
Red cards: Nil
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk), 2.Ebony WEIDENBACH, 3.Renee HARRISON, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 12.Katerina BEXIS (13.Lauren CHIVERS 64’), 14.Donna COCKAYNE (6.Thomai KEZIOS 90’), 15.Tenneille BOALER, 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH, 18.Rochelle KUHAR
Substitutes not used: 19. Nenita BURGESS, 20.Kristi HARVEY (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 2 bt PERTH GLORY 1 at Clipsal Stadium, Inglewood.
So the Mariners keep up their good form, but what has happened to Perth? Well missing Collette McCallum I expect hurt them a lot and the player that starred when they did win, Sam Kerr, is still overseas. It now seems after all promise from the start of the season, Perth's shot at finals is fading. They now have a crucial game against Canberra next week. Although, going by my reckoning, it's about time that Katie Gill started to appear for Perth. Canberra will not like that AT ALL, after what she did in Round 1 last year. Meanwhile, the Mariners simple 'win the ball and shoot game' has them sitting pretty. An unfussy team who are great to watch for their unrelenting attack, they certainly deserve their spot. Now it just will be interesting to see how they go in finals against the likes of technically excellent Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar. So far though, Mariners coach Stephen Roche is a happy man, from the Central Coast's media release. “We are enjoying it. We are enjoying the training, we are enjoying the football. We will just keep enjoying it and see what happens,” said Mariners head coach Stephen Roche. “Same story as last week with Canberra. We made a lot of chances and should have shut the gate at the end of the first half. “We are really concentrating for the full match. Last year we still played good attacking football. Last year we put a lot of teams under pressure but had some really bad lapses in concentration. This year it’s a lot better,” Roche said.
Referee: Lee Corey
Referee assistants: Josh Mihevc and Trent Fleskens
Fourth official: Tim Mihevc
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Emma WIRKUS (gk), 3 Carys HAWKINS, 5 Shannon MAY, 8 Tanya OXTOBY (c), 9 Danielle CALAUTTI, 10 Ciara CONWAY (6 Ella MASTRANTONIO 33’), 13 Elisa D’OVIDIO (21 Jaymee GIBBONS 90’), 15 Alexandra SINGER, 16 Sadie LAWRENCE, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 19 Katarina JUKIC (11 Lisa DE VANNA 41’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Zoe PALANDRI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Alexandra SINGER 31’, Ella MASTRANTONIO 77’, Lisa DE VANNA 83’
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2 Caitlin COOPER (c), 3 Lyndsay GLOHE, 4 Rachael DOYLE, 8 Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI, 9 Renee ROLLASON (13 Trudy CAMILLERI 76’), 10 Kendall FLETCHER, 11 Michelle HEYMAN (16 Jenna KINGSLEY 90’), 12 Samantha SPACKMAN, 14 Ashleigh CONNOR (5 Jessica SEAMAN 90+2’), 19 Lydia VANDENBERGH
Substitutes not used: 20. Rachel COOPER (gk)
Yellow Cards: Kendall FLETCHER 16’, Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI 56’, Ashleigh CONNOR 63’
Red Cards: Nil

MELBOURNE VICTORY (Julianne SITCH 62’) drew with SYDNEY FC 1 (Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY 90’+4) at Deakin Reserve, Shepparton. Well well, Melbourne almost came up with the win they needed to put a nice little gap between them, Perth and Canberra, but an own-goal in the 94th minute helped Sydney to claim a point. The Victory couldn't have got much closer to one. It's made it an interesting road to finals now, with Melbourne certainly open to a charge from Perth or Canberra. But anyway, the game sounds like a cracker. And yay, it looks like the intrepid Sportal reporter in Shepparton has included some quotes. A cracking report from James Ranson here. From Laura Alleway, who is refreshingly honest,"Shattered to go down late on, the girls dug really deep and played really hard. Melissa Barbieri had an absolute blinder of a game," she said. "It's just incredible really, we've got Julianne in the middle who just rips players to pieces, she has been outstanding, I don't really have words for her," she said. "We're a better team this season and Katie (Thorlakson) gives us so much strength up front," said Alleway of the Victory's international recruits.
"We still have a few things to work on, we've got five Queenslanders in the team which is difficult to coordinate because we live so far away from each other, but we work for each other and that's what's great about the team this season."
Referee: Catherine Hofmann
Referee assistants: Elizabeth Hyland and Stan Tasic
Fourth official: Jonathon Barreiro
Melbourne Victory line-up: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 3. Marlies OOSTDAM, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7. Sarah GROENEWALD (18. Ursula HUGHSON 64’), 8. Katie THORLAKSON (10. Deanna NICESKI 74’), 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 19. Enza BARILLA (4. Tal KARP 45’), 21. Kara MOWBRAY
Substitutes not used: 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Sydney FC line-up: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL (13. Catherine CANNULI 81’), 9. Sarah WALSH, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’NEILL, 19. Leena KHAMIS (12. Michelle CARNEY 81’)
Substitutes not used: 5. Lisa GILBERT, 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Saturday, November 7, 2009

AFC under-16 qualifiers - Australia 7 bt Chinese Taipei 0

Australia's second game of the 2009 under-16 AFC championships has just wrapped up and it's another win for the Aussie team. Which means, barring any huge upsets, they have made it through to the semi-finals of the titles. To make it to next year's under-17 FIFA women's World Cup, they need to finish in the top-three so it means they are halfway there. According to the match statistics, Australian coach Robbie Hooker gave most of his first-team a rest, with Emily van Egmond, Sam Kerr, Erika Elze and Tara Andrews all on the bench, and instead gave some of the other girls in the squad time against Chinese Taipei. Caitlin Friend scored a hat-trick, Samantha Hatzirodos a brace, while Sharni Brown, Heidi Makrillos and Rebekah Stott added the others. The Australian team plays its last round game against Japan on Monday.
From the FFA match report,
Rebekah Stott opened the scoring in the 3rd minute after finding herself on the end of a corner by Caitlin Friend that was flicked on at the near post by Heidi Makrillos. Makrillos then added to Australia’s lead in the 5th minute, when she managed to collect a wayward Chinese Taipei goal kick and calmly placed the ball back over the head of Chinese Taipei goalkeeper, Lin Shih-Ting.
Australia continued to dominate the play when Sharni Brown added to the lead in the 12th minute.
Brown then turned provider with a pin point cross for Michaela Hatziridos to head home and extend Australia’s lead in the 19th minute.
Hatziridos then found her name on the score sheet again in the 33rd minute after finishing off a Teigen Allen cross who had advanced out of the back line into the attacking third.
With three minutes left in the half Caitlin Friend found herself unmarked inside the 18-yard-box to finish off Australia’s scoring for the half.
Chinese Taipei proved much more resilient in the second half and looked to have shutout the Australians.
However, with four added minutes of stoppage time in the game, Caitlin Friend managed to beat the offside trap, courtesy of a through ball from Makrillos. Friend, in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, neatly slide the ball past the advancing Lin Shih-Ting. This rounded out Australia’s scoring for the afternoon, with Chinese Taipei conceding 7 goals.
Westfield Australia U16 Women’s Head Coach Robbie Hooker was pleased with his teams performance and happy to see his players continued progression in the tournament,
“We used a very different line-up in today’s game but I’m glad the girls stepped up and put their case forward for selection in the semi-finals,” said Hooker.
“We still have Japan to play and it would be fantastic to finish top of Group B and also try to continue our run of clean sheets.
“We have to continue playing positive football and work on our technique but all-in-all I am very pleased to have made it to the semi-finals without yet conceding a goal,” finished Hooker.
Australia’s next game is against Japan, who beat China 3-1 in the other Group B match, on Monday 9th November, 4.00pm (8.00pm AEDT), at the Supachalasai National Stadium in the match that will decide who ends top of Group B.

Westfield W-League Round 6 preview

So sorry everyone on the latest of the preview this week. Have just been a little busy, but here it is anyway. A shortened version this week so we can just get right to the juicy stuff. All games are today, so a very short-sharp round with (hopefully) lots of action.

CANBERRA UNITED v BRISBANE ROAR at McKellar Park, 3pm. Live on ABC TV.
Refereee: Prue Donohue. So the W-League may have only been going for a total of 18 rounds - but this rivalry is already a great one. Canberra and Brisbane have played each other four times, including in the first ever Westfield W-League grand final earlier this year. Brisbane have the better record, with two wins out of those four games. But Canberra are also the only team to have ever taken three points from the Roar. That was back in Round 2, 2008 when Lara Boon was the goalkeeper instead of Casey Dumont (who was away on international duty), and a mistake allowed Kara Mowbray to shoot into an open goal. They won 1-0. But it wasn't just a fluke, in the round nine game, only an 89th minute goal from Vedrana Popovic helped Brisbane to come away with a point. Brisbane have comprehensively won the past two games, the grand final 2-0 and the Round 1 2009 rematch 3-0, but can Canberra put the spark back into the rivalry today? It does seem hard. From my preview, that was kind of cut in today's paper but here it is in the full version, they are certainly down on numbers. But in saying that, Jeff Hopkins also said this week he would never underestimate Canberra and expects today's game to be a cracker. If Tameka Butt does play her first game in three weeks in a return from injury, she could be the difference. But the message is, if you are in Canberra, come along to McKellar Park, wear green and support United. It is the TV game after all - make sure everyone knows United have plenty of support!
 Canberra United co-captain Ellie Brush will be given until the last minute to prove her fitness for today's crucial clash against Brisbane Roar at McKellar. Brush tore ligaments in her right ankle in last weekend's draw with the Central Coast Mariners and has not trained this week, but yesterday she was confident she would be able to take her place at the centre of defence against Brisbane.
 ``I think I will be able to play,'' Brush said. ``I still need to have a fitness test, but it's just kept improving and I've done everything I can to make sure I can play.''
 It would be a huge boost to the team if Brush could line-up, given defender Lin Chiung-Ying is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury and Ellyse Perry is out on cricket commitments.
 If Brush could play, Ray Junna would need to make just one change to his starting back-four and is likely to give Bronwyn Studman her first start this season. Studman impressed after she was subbed on for Brush last weekend.
In Perry's spot in midfield, Junna is likely likely to hand 15-year-old Kahlia Hogg her first W-League start.
Injury replacement-player Lucy Allan, who was a senior member of the team last year but wasn't given a senior contract at the start of this year, is will be considered for a midfield or defence role. Whatever does happen with his line-up today, Junna said he certainly wouldn't ask his team to play defensive despite the fact that United need a result in the round six game to keep its season alive.
``There is no use going out there and building a wall and trying to defend, I think the second we do that everything we have been working towards goes to waste,'' Junna said.
 `We've been playing attacking football and we'll go out there and give it a go.
``If it doesn't work well then that's ok and we'll learn a lesson, but there is no reason to stop playing the way we have been.''
Also if anyone can't make the game and would like to listen to it, you can hear myself on air with the excellent Russ Gibbs and lovely Luzy Zelic on the livestream of 2XX 98.3fm radio, We live call every Canberra home game on the Canberra community station.

NEWCASTLE JETS v ADELAIDE UNITED at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle. 4pm. Referee, Kate Jacewicz. So the replay of the Round 1 game that saw a 0-0 draw and the only points that each team has claimed this season. But in recent weeks Newcastle have been steadily improving, they have scored some goals and apart from the blip against the Mariners, have generally kept a fairly tidy defence. But Adelaide United will be very keen I think to firstly, score its first goal this season, and secondly perhaps claim the three points in the second real chance they have had to do so this year. This game could decide the wooden spoon, so the chance to avoid it will be plenty of motivation. I think the Jets may just have Adelaide at home though, particulary with the strong crowds they have been getting at Wanderers Oval. Adelaide have a few new players this week, including Thomai Kezios and Greta French-Kennedy.
PERTH GLORY v CENTRAL COAST MARINERS at Clipsal Stadium, Inglewood. 3pm Perth time, 6pm AEDT time. Referee. Lee Corey. So Perth are very keen to make up for last week's 6-0 thumping at the hands of Brisbane. “It’s about getting back on track, it was obviously a very disappointing result last weekend and we are looking for a positive reaction from the team against the Mariners on Saturday” said Glory coach John Gibson. “We need to get back to basics, do the things that have worked well for us in the past. If we do the one percenters, we can compete and have a chance at success.”
“The players have been switched on at training, we have worked on a few things for the weekend and have looked fairly sharp, so we are hopeful of a much improved showing.”
They have Lisa de Vanna back from suspension, but they could lose another Matilda Collette McCallum for the rest of the season. She has an ankle injury that could put her out for six weeks. Mariners have included a few players like they did for last weekend's Canberra game, but ended up going in with an unchanged line-up. A very interesting game in terms of the top-four.

MELBOURNE VICTORY v SYDNEY FC at Deakin Reserve, Shepparton, Victoria. 7pm. Referee, Catherine Hofmann. So this is another game moved from Bob Jane Stadium as the ground has been judged unfit for use, but I think it's actually kind of fantastic. Shepparton, and the rest of country Victoria for that sake, doesn't get to see much elite level football (apart from the odd men's VPL game), so taking the game to areas like this is a fantastic idea. It's also a fantastic idea just for the 'Canberra factor' as I think I will call it. In Canberra at around this time, there isn't much else on in terms of outdoor sport. Pretty much just local cricket, so for a great afternoon's entertainment on a lovely day - you can't beat an afternoon at McKellar Park for some top-quality football. If other games were taken to rural areas where they aren't competing with cricket or other major events in capital cities, I think it would boost crowd numbers. But back to the game. Another very interesting one when it comes to shaping the top-four. Sydney FC finally hit top form last week, can they carry it on? They have an unchanged line-up. The Victory have included three of their most experienced players. All have international experience, Marlies Oostdam, Julianne Sitch and Selin Kuralay. For more from Victory's camp, check out this podcast from Victorian radio host Teo here.

And also remember to check out this week for Ann Odong's stories, including speaking to Leeanne Grantham and Julie Rydahl.