Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker sees the next four weeks of the Westfield W-League season, starting this weekend at home against the Central Coast Mariners, as crucial for the club’s inaugural national league campaign.
Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker sees the next four weeks of the Westfield W-League season, starting this weekend at home against the Central Coast Mariners, as crucial for the club-s inaugural national league campaign.
Hooker believes the upcoming four games are winnable starting this weekend against the Central Coast Mariners (Rd 3) along with Melbourne Victory (Rd 4), Adelaide United (Rd 5) and Perth Glory (Rd 6) as Canberra United continues to chase the aim of finals football.
“There-s four games there that could potentially set up our season so they-re really important games,” a confident Hooker said ahead of Canberra United-s first home game.”
“Two being at home and two being away and then we finish with a run of three out of four home games so the next four games could set us up for the finals.”
Canberra United will be looking to capitalise on the relative inexperience of the Mariners when the two sides line up at McKellar Park on Sunday evening as the side looks to build on last weekend-s form.
“They-re quite a young side, they-ve got a couple older and experienced players, but generally speaking they-re a very young side but I think they probably lack some of the experience and organisation that our team has got.”
“We-ve got a little bit more steel and aggression around the park, hopefully we can use that to our positive on the weekend.”
Both Canberra United and the Central Coast Mariners are coming off maiden victories last weekend with the visitors defeating Perth Glory 3-1 while Canberra United enter this weekend following their confidence boosting 0-1 victory over league favourites Queensland Roar.
“The girls after the game were really excited about the win and I think there-s a little bit more self belief in some of the players who weren-t starting players before last weekend,” Hooker said of his team following their shock win over the Roar.
“The self belief that they can actually contribute to the team and make a difference, I think that-s a healthy thing to have in a team if you plan on making semi finals and finals.
With the team in such good form, Hooker faces a selection headache of a good kind ahead of this weekend with the side welcoming back Christine Walters, Bronwyn Studman and Ashleigh Sykes from national team duties but concedes that the returning players aren-t likely to start.
“It-s a great problem to have and I-m certainly not expecting the three players coming back from Malaysia to start the game unless there-s a significant change of thought between now and Sunday but they-ll likely to come off the bench.”
Canberra United line up in front of a home crowd for the first time this season and face the added pressure of expectation but focus not only remains on collecting the three points but ensuring that the strong anticipated crowd are left wanting more.
“I think there-s always added pressure when you play at home because you-re expected to win those games,” Hooker said.
“Not only do we want to win but we actually want to put on a product that going to make people want to come back and I think I need to have that in the back of my mind and the players as well but also remembering that we need to get a result.”
“Sometimes you need to do things that go against the grain of how you want to do things to get results and certainly we-re going to try and entertain firstly but also try to get a result.”
Tickets (Adults $5, Concession $2, Kids U12 Free) for the match against the Central Coast Mariners are available through the Capital Football, the Tradies Clubs in Dickson or Woden or at the gate.
Canberra United v Central Coast Mariners – Sunday 9th November, McKellar Park with kick off at 5:00pm (Gates open at 4:15pm)