Assistant Coach Caitlin Munoz is looking forward to this weekend’s crucial Westfield W-League clash with Melbourne Victory, not the least because the weather should be much cooler than the Newcastle fixture last week.
Assistant Coach Caitlin Munoz is looking forward to this weekend-s crucial Westfield W-League clash with Melbourne Victory, not the least because the weather should be much cooler than the Newcastle fixture last week.
Munoz experienced first-hand the extreme temperatures at Energy Australia Stadium as the Matildas international sweltered from her seat on the bench next to head coach Ray Junna. It-s fair to say all are looking for a drop on the thermometer this weekend.
“We-ve had a couple of games where it has been ridiculously hot so a cooler game might not be a bad thing for the girls!” Munoz said.
“In saying that though the girls did well with the heat. We needed a win to secure fourth spot, so to claim a result like that in the conditions we were forced to play in was excellent.”
Whilst it was an all-round team performance that impressed Munoz a couple of players did stand out.
“Kahlia Hogg was excellent and Ashleigh Sykes was a menace up front. But our defence was also strong, so all round it was a very good performance, all the players did really well,” Munoz said.
The Canberra United defence has certainly shored up in recent weeks, conceding a miserly four goals in five matches after conceding the same number of goals in the opening two weeks. The return to the club of defensive lynchpin Thea Slatyer should considerably bolster that impressive record even further.
“It-s a timely return as we have some niggling injuries to defenders and she can slot right into the team,” Munoz said of Slatyer-s return to the squad.
“At the moment the defence is pretty set, but Thea-s experience speaks for itself. There is no harm in putting in an experienced player. Thea is a very confident person and that should rub off on the players around her. She is also very vocal and sometimes we are a quiet side, so that will help us,”
United continue their preparations for Saturday-s match with Melbourne this evening with a training run at Deakin Stadium with ball retention and striking high on the agenda.
“We-ve had a couple of training sessions so far this week, just working on keeping possession and finishing our chances that we create in the final third. So far, it-s going really well,” Munoz continued.
“Finishing has probably been our biggest problem but now we are scoring goals when we need to be scoring goals. The players have worked hard on that and it is now paying off.”
United travels to Olympic Park in Melbourne on Saturday to face Melbourne Victory in Round Nine of the Westfield W-League with kick off at 3:00pm. With both teams on 11 points the result of this game could well decide the final spot for the semis. Tickets are available through Ticketek and the match will also be shown live on ABC 1.