A record run of games, an attempt to break the mould – Adelaide United’s women are without a in 30 games but there are signs of life.
Brisbane Roar-s unbeaten streak continued in Melbourne on Saturday in an action-packed Hyundai A-League match; 33 matches now without defeat.
In contrast, on the other side of the country the Lady Reds also saw their record run continue – Adelaide United now without a win in 30 matches in the Westfield W-League.
A grim statistic by any standards, yet what isn-t recorded in the stat book, is the renewed focus and commitment in a side who haven-t tasted that winning feeling since Round 3 in the 2008 season.
It-s cause for celebration that these women are even on the park this year, as that was not a certainty when Adelaide United changed hands last season. The women-s side it seemed, were the unwanted orphan deemed too expensive to run, for too little return.
It was Football Federation South Australia who stepped into the breach. A joint agreement with FFA and the State Government was reached, which saw all the women-s development pathways and programs integrated under the administration of FFSA.
National Women-s Coach Tom Sermanni is positive about the progress made in Women-s football in South Australia. Speaking from China where Australia is competing in the AFC U16 Women-s Championships, Sermanni highlighted the significant improvement the Adelaide United side have made in a short period of time, particularly when the Reds had minimal preparation time.
His firm belief in the role South Australian Football plays in the future of the national landscape, justified by the selection of three Adelaide United players in the national U17 squad.
Head coach Dave Edmondson seems an inspired choice to lead the charge. Installed only weeks before the league kicked off, he is familiar with what is required when coaching women-s football after his time in charge of the New Zealand U17 Women-s team.
Not just head coach, Edmondson is head of women-s football in Adelaide, which puts all age levels within his remit. It-s clear that his coaching regime has breathed new life into the team, with the Reds attempting energetic counter-attacking football.
Edmondson-s focus is firmly on the future, and while surely winning matches with the Lady Reds would be nice, it-s building the stars of tomorrow that form the bigger picture.
With 10 players in his squad under the age of 21, the addition of New Zealand Internationals Abby Erceg and Anna Green and the return of American striker Ashleigh Gunning, further support his ideal of having some experience to help guide young players.
They may be a way off dominating the W-League but the Lady Reds appear to be heeding the advice of their new coach. Following a 3-0 loss to table topping Canberra United, Edmondson asked for “more confidence and more willingness to take shots in the final third” – something Racheal Quigley certainly took to heart.
Her stunning overhead kick to put Adelaide in the lead on the weekend was a moment to remember and for the opposition, a glimpse of what may be yet to come.
Round 4 of the Westfield W-League: Adelaide v Brisbane at Burton Park, Newcastle v Sydney at Adamstown Oval and Canberra v Melbourne at McKellar Park. If you can-t make it to a game you can catch all the action of the Canberra v Melbourne clash at 3.00pm on ABC1.