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.

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