This weekend marks a historic time for women’s football with the kick off of the Westfield W-League, but Canberra United FC will celebrate a milestone of our own.
This weekend marks a historic weekend for women-s football with the kick off of the Westfield W-League, but Canberra United FC will celebrate a milestone of our own when the recently established club lines up for the very first time in round one against the Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon in Newcastle.
After a four year hiatus, women-s football and Canberra returns to the national scene as the local side looks to repeat the success of 2001 when the former Canberra Eclipse claimed the championship courtesy of a second half strike from Caitlin Munoz over the NSW Sapphires.
Seven years later, a possible eleven players could be making their national league debut this weekend but Canberra United Head Coach, Robbie Hooker, is confident his side can claim the victory away from home to kick start the season.
“If this wasn-t the inaugural season and your first game was away to Newcastle you-d probably say we-d be happy with a draw but realistically with the squad we-ve got, up against the team they-ve got, I-d expect we-d be able to come away with the three points,” Hooker said.
“If you can get a win away from home in the first game it would be a great start to the season.”
Canberra United will be represented by a quality mix of youth and experience with nine players having either Matildas or Young Matildas experience while the rest of the squad is compiled of rising stars from the ACTAS program and local Club Pink Women-s Premier League competition.
“We-ve certainly got the players to do it, we-ve just got to make sure we go out there and do the job,” Hooker said.
Although the form of the Newcastle Jets remains a mystery, Hooker is wary but not overly concerned by the possible threat of the relatively unknown Newcastle outfit but has left nothing to chance in preparation for the Westfield W-League.
“[The Jets] have inspirational Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury who will be securing the backline, so we-d like to make sure we try to avoid her but upfront Kate Gill is back from Sweden so she-ll be someone we need to look after and finally a good young player in Emily Van Egmond could pose us a threat,” Hooker said.
“We-ll just have to have a look at the team line up when we get there and see what team they-re going with.”
“They-ve got three or four very good players but I-m not sure of the quality in the remainder of their side and I probably won-t know that for the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the game.”
“Most of [Canberra United] players have trained together at some stage, it just hasn-t all been at the one place at the one time so there have been some overlaps and some underlaps but I-m not too concerned about that because we-ve got some experienced players who have played at this level before so hopefully that counts for something.”
“We-ve done everything possible to ensure that all the players are on the same page come Newcastle with DVD copies of training along with phone calls and text messages keeping those players outside of Canberra in the loop.”
“Looking at the names on the roster, we-re a better side all around the park”
Canberra United Squad
1. Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 3. Amy CHAPMAN, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Sasha MCDONNELL, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Rebecca KITING, 9. Grace GILL, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12. Kara MOWBRAY, 13. Thea SLATYER, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 17. Christine WALTERS, 18. Lucy ALLAN, 20. Maja BLASCH (GK)
Unavailable: 2. Rhian DAVIES, 10. Hayley CRAWFORD
Canberra United-s Westfield W-League season kicks off away against the Newcastle Jets at Wanderers Oval on Sunday, 26th October starting at 1:30pm in a historic fixture for the local side.