The 2019 National Premier Leagues Women’s Capital Football season will kick off on Saturday afternoon with a Grand Final rematch between Belconnen United and Canberra FC.
The action continues into Saturday night with clashes at Riverside and Hawker Football Centre, before the new kids on the block Wagga City welcome Tuggeranong United to Rawlings Park to finish off the round.
All four matches will be streamed LIVE thanks to BarTV Sports, and those links are below.
Saturday – 3:15pm @ McKellar Park | Belconnen United v Canberra FC
POSTPONED | Monaro Panthers v Canberra Olympic
Saturday – 6pm @ Hawker Football Centre | Canberra United Academy v Woden-Weston
Sunday – 4:30pm @ Rawlings Park | Wagga City Wanderers v Tuggeranong United (This link will be updated)
Please note that squads have been submitted by clubs. For any name corrections please email David Jordan.
Belconnen United | 1st in 2018
Coached by Antoni Jagarinec
Belconnen United stormed to the treble last year as part of a dominant season, dropping just two points through the regular season before seeing off the Academy and Canberra FC in the Federation Cup Final and Grand Final respectively.
Antoni Jagarinec has retained much of the treble-winning squad once more despite the loss of Jessie Williams to AFLW, and United look well placed to make another trip to the big dance at season’s end. The winning squad starts from the back, seen last year as they conceded just six goals in the regular season while battering in 86 of their own, and with most of that experienced backline remaining Jagarinec has his squad in a good spot.
Maddy Whittall and Lauren Keir have both returned to the squad with a full season of Westfield W-League training and conditioning under their belt, and Whittall is a certainty to be high in the goalscoring ranks if she maintains fitness throughout the season.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash Jagarinec admitted that his side had experienced a ‘tedious’ pre-season without too many competitive matches, but said the team were still looking to get out on the pitch in round one.
“We are looking really good, it’s been a pretty tedious pre-season,” he said.
“The girls are looking good though, fresh and ready to go for a new season.”
“We haven’t changed too much, between playing style and the playing squad.”
“The core is the same, the leadership group is the same and there’s a couple of young girls who have joined us for a ride.”
Jagarinec also said he’s not buying into the hype of round one too much, but acknowledged that with a shorter season in 2019 the points are still important.
United will have a fractured start to the season, playing just two games and having a bye before the Easter break, so keeping the team in check through there will be key.
Regardless of how this team has fared or not fared in pre-season, they will begin the season as favourites in many eyes.
2019 BUFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Sally James
Defenders: Bronte Pyke, Lauren Keir, Catherine Brown, Jazz Zaebel, Karen Clarke, Jessie Rasschaert,
Midfielders: Michaela Day, Katie Woodman, Samantha Price, Caitlin Munoz, Nicole Jalocha
Forwards: Maddy Whittall, Ellie Raymond, Alexia Forner, Leah Carnegie
Canberra FC | 3rd in 2018
Coached by Nik Brozinic
After shocking Belconnen United in the 2017 Grand Final, Canberra FC struggled through an injury-hit season in 2018 and ended up third on the table before falling to United in the Grand Final. This season new coach Nik Brozinic has put a pre-season emphasis on injury prevention and fitness to ensure his side does not suffer a similar fate in 2019.
“The squad last year had a horrid run of injuries and that really put a huge dent in their season aspirations,” Brozinic said this week ahead of the season.
“The focus during pre-season is to try and avoid that same fate this season.”
“We are a strong and confident squad this year and if we can avoid the same injury issues that were present last campaign we will go through the season with a lot of confidence and with belief that we can really make a mark on all fronts.”
Grace Gill returns as the experienced leader for 2019, while Chantel Jones will remain a part of the group from the sidelines as she continues her recovery from an ACL injury sustained at Deakin last season.
Both are having an impact on the group though, and Brozinic emphasised the importance of having the two around, particularly in his first season with the senior group.
“Having Grace as a part of the squad and Chantel being in and around the group has definitely made it easier to integrate new systems and philosophies into the squad this year,” he said.
“They have bought into the brand of football we want to play this year and the leadership qualities that they possess transpose through the squad and onto the pitch.”
“Grace is a leader and a mentor to the girls, in particular the younger ones, and her impact on the squad has definitely made my coaching role a little easier.”
Brozinic’s side look to have closed the gap on Belconnen on paper but can use Saturday’s round one blockbuster to prove they have done it on the field as well.
2019 CFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Natasja Vasta
Defenders: Alice Churchill, Ivana Galic, Amy McLachlan, Lara Agnew, Isabella Tammaro, Bridgette Wright, Tiana Malnar
Midfielders: Jamie Berkeley, Grace Gill (C), Krista Hagen, Lucy Darcy, Sharon Chao
Forwards: Rachel Goldstein, Melissa Bunker, Brittany Palombi, Vanessa Ryan, Jordan Ujdur
Canberra Olympic | 4th in 2018
Coached by Andrew Woodman
Canberra Olympic will certainly be a different outfit to the one that went storming in to the top four in 2018, losing their five ex-Westfield W-League players in Grace Maher, Grace Field, Meg McLaughlin, Sally Rojahn and Bec Kiting over Summer.
That hasn’t phased new Head Coach Andrew Woodman too much though, and he is looking forward to taking Olympic back to the top four once more.
“Making the top four in 2018 was a significant achievement,” he said.
“Canberra Olympic is a big club and we will certainly do all we can to be up there again in 2019.”
“Our squad in 2019 is a bit of a combination this year.”
“[We have] talented young club players who have already made their own mark at First Grade level and can build on that, talented youngsters stepping up from our reserves and U/17’s, as well as some new additions to our squad from other clubs.
“Some of our players have also had some time away from the game and are now looking to take the next steps in their footballing journey.”
Olympic’s young squad will not be a concern in what is objectively a young league, but Woodman will need to ensure he gets things right from day one to not fall off the pace.
The 2018 side had patches of wild ups and downs, often hanging with the best in the competition before faltering against cellar-dwellers in the weeks following and that is a pitfall to be avoided in 2019.
They open their campaign against a new look Monaro Panthers team at Riverside and it is a chance for him and his group to establish where they will be at this season.
Woodman emphasised that building a strong culture is a key goal during this year, and that they are already well on the way after pre-season.
2019 COFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Cindy Chalker, Madeleine Sanfrancesco
Defenders: Olivia Catherall, Aoibhinn Crimmins, Emily Dillon, Jodie Kirkness, Victoria Jamieson, Emily Spiteri
Midfielders: Courtney Attwood, Laura Berry, Emma Croker, Kiara Gaspari, Kirsten Hurt, Georgina Woodward
Forwards: Kimiah Alberts, Lily Dawson, Emma Finch, Emma Guo, Natina Hunt, Eleanor Jones
Canberra United Academy | 2nd in 2018
Coached by Scott O’Donell
The 2019 Canberra United Academy squad has a vastly different look to that of the 2018 group who went all the way to the league Preliminary Final and a Federation Cup Final berth against Belconnen United.
Gone are Westfield W-League names Karly Roestbakken, Laura Hughes and Aoife Colvill, and Sarah Morgan is another departure whose role will take some filling.
Plenty of talent remains though especially in midfield, and this team will trouble most of the competition on their day.
At the core this team is still a development squad and under the tutelage of Technical Director Scott O’Donell there is plenty of room for them to improve.
Look for Bella Barac to make an impact in midfield as she was doing before a knee injury cut her 2018 season short, and Hayley Taylor-Young will be a handful for defences again with her pace and strength.
While the leadership of Roestbakken will be missed, and her top-flight experience, other players are set to step up including Jaide Trewin, now one of the older heads in this group.
At last Thurday’s Season Launch Trewin said the squad was looking strong and ready to go, and they will be hoping to show their readiness when they welcome Woden-Weston to Hawker on Saturday evening.
2019 CUA NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Isobel Davy, Alexandra Hinson
Defenders: Jaide Trewin, Emily Jensen, Annaliese Grove, Demi Nikias, Stefi Lejins, Alyse Jensen
Midfielders: Mia McGovern, Molly Lawless, Meg Roden, Bella Barac, Caitlyn Skillicorn, Bianca Kimpton
Forwards: Sasha Grove, Hayley Taylor-Young, Isabel Mulhall, Jenny Hill, Tianah Miro,
Gungahlin United | 5th in 2018
Coached by Diego Iglesias
Gungahlin are a side that have been there or thereabouts in the NPLW in recent years, and despite missing finals they were the only side to take points off Belconnen United in 2018 as they fought out a draw at McKellar Park.
But despite the player movement present in many other squads, Head Coach Diego Iglesias stressed ahead of the season that the club focus leans more towards the creation of a strong culture and development of a pathway within the club for young players.
His side missed finals by the slimmest of margins to a fast-finishing Canberra Olympic side in 2018, but said he believes the team is in a stronger position to succeed this season.
“I certainly think that we are in a stronger position this year,” he said last week.
“Last year we lacked depth across the club, we were going through a period of change and last year was the first phase of that.”
“The plan has been to improve the depth and while I was happy with the 1st grade team last year, I needed to improve the depth behind them which we have done.
“We are not completely there yet but we are in a strong position, so I am expecting better things from the group this year.”
There have been only minor changes within the first-grade team at Gungahlin, with a few additions and a few losses, but most of the change has been in the Reserves where Iglesias has bolstered the numbers and created a squad that can feed into first grade.
The team has a bye in round one before taking on Tuggeranong United at Greenway in round two, and a big meeting with Belconnen United awaits in round three at Gungahlin Enclosed.
That game will be the real test of where they are at for this season, and Iglesias should look to set his side up in the resilient fashion he did at McKellar Park last season, where they stonewalled Belconnen and looked to hit on the counter as they fought out a draw.
Expect Gungahlin to be a side hot on the heels of the likely top two of Belconnen United and Canberra FC.
2019 GUFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeeper: Kailey Tonini
Defenders: Alex Paterson, Olivia Moore, Dhiaan Sidhu, Ruby Gambale, Brigitte Sander
Midfielders: Stella DeMarco, Natalie DeMarco, Rachael Corbett, Maddie Perceval, Minna Wolf, Freyja Jacobson
Forwards: Ella Brown, Charlotte Lynch, Elke Aitolu, Erika Pennyfield
Monaro Panthers | 7th in 2018
Coached by Ian Worthington
Monaro were the big improvers in the NPLW last season as they picked up more points than 2017, scored more, conceded less and generally looked better across the park. In 2019, Head Coach Ian Worthington has recruited experience to join last year’s young cast, including a strong international contingent for the Riverside club.
Three Solomon Islands internationals will run out for Monaro with Margaret Kofel in goals, Francina Mautai in midfield and Liza Solo helping to lead the line for the Panthers up top, with American Kaitlyn Joy and Singapore’s Chris Yip-Au in the forward contingent too.
Earlier this week, Worthington spoke of his excitement for the internationals to join and make their mark on the squad.
“Our overseas players have been recognised for their experience playing in some of the biggest competitions in the world.,” Worthington said.
“Their knowledge and understanding of the game and handling of a professional environment will enhance our already talented squad.”
Panthers will host Canberra Olympic at a re-laid Riverside Stadium on Saturday evening, and Worthington will no doubt be keen to start off on the right foot, particularly at their home ground.
2019 MPFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Margaret Fakaabu Kofel, Liana Hall, Jelena Josipovic
Defenders: Charlotte Grandy, Thembi Compton, Gabby Markulin, Francina Mautai, Lila Brewer, Alyssa Bozinovska, Zoe Miller, Maddie Warburton
Midfielders: Alicia Meuronen, Sigourney Dunk, Liza Solo, Tori Treh, Siena Summers, Sofia Furlanetto
Forwards: Cheyanne Girvan, Chris Yip-Au, Kaitlyn Joy, Liz Edwards
Tuggeranong United | 8th in 2018
Coached by Michael Aldred
2018 was a tough year for Michael Aldred and his young Tuggeranong side, who were often plagued by injuries and featured players backing up across multiple grades in a day.
Heading into round one and a road trip to Wagga, Aldred has acknowledged that there are similar challenges ahead in 2019, but he is confident that the outlook is bright for his women’s program.
“Last year was a hard year for a very young group,” he said, “and this year’s group is even younger and will face similar challenges to last season.”
“We do have a group that is determined to look forward and will give everything they have in each game.
“The club has done some excellent work in recruiting and putting together sides in the younger age groups and the future looks bright across the women’s program.”
Part of the excellent recruitment Aldred spoke of includes the signature of English forward Alice Linn, who will arrive in Canberra after a few games of the season.
“Alice is a talented player who will naturally bring extra quality to the first team squad,” he said.
“She will miss the first few games but her arrival will lift everyone across the program.”
United will be looking to get off the mark early when they travel to Wagga Wagga on Sunday to face the competition’s newest outfit.
2019 TUFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Ashley King
Defenders: Steph Coates, Lara Mustaine, Sonya Sheedy, Zoe Terry, Amber Harvey, Claire Falls, Kimberly Lennard
Midfielders: Rhiannon Daisley, Sara Daisley, Kassandra Gugliemin, Chloe Daisley, Mackenzie Alcock, Beth Williams
Forwards: Alice Linn, Kristy Helmers, Sophie Bui
Wagga City Wanderers | 1st year in competition
Coached by Mick Godbier
The Wagga City Wanderers will enter the 2019 NPLW as an unknown proposition for many of the teams in the competition, as they begin their inaugural season. Mick Godbier will oversee the team in their first campaign, and they will be out to cause some shocks through the league. They have had hit outs against Canberra FC and Gungahlin as part of their pre-season so they know what to expect coming into the competition and will face Tuggeranong first up on Sunday afternoon at Rawlings Park.
Competition points aside, Godbier and his charges are just excited to be in the competition and have a pathway to a high level for the players in their club.
Earlier this week he said that the season had been ‘a long time coming’ for women and girls in the Riverina area and said everyone in the club was looking forward to it.
“This is really [the girls] first opportunity to play at that next level, that higher level than what they would play in Wagga,” he said.
“This season is about giving girls from the Riverina an opportunity to play at that next level, and so winning games will just be a bonus.”
If Godbier kept an eye on the competition last year he may fancy his side to pick up their first set of points when Tuggeranong visit on Sunday.
Wagga City’s squad will be updated soon.
Woden-Weston | 6th in 2018
Coached by Mark Boyd
Mark Boyd takes over a squad that has seen some changes since the end of 2018, when they finished 11 points outside top four after a run to the finals in 2017 under Diego Elmoudawar.
Some key, experienced members of the squad have remained with the Wanderers and particularly up front where Cassia McGlashan and Anna Vandenbroucke will continue to ply their trade. The addition of Shaquille Chong boosts the attacking stocks while Boyd’s squad looks solid across the park. Cristina Esposito is a handy recruit between the sticks and ahead of her a strong backline will form a good base for Woden-Weston to work off.
Ahead of the season, Boyd said he is looking forward to the campaign after seeing his side in action during pre-season.
“I’m excited about the upcoming season, looking forward to the challenges ahead and the continued development of our players,” he said.
“We had a pre-season game against Gungahlin United which finished as a 1-1 draw.”
“The girls played well, and they implemented our game plan, so happy with the progress so far.”
Woden-Weston open their season with tough matches against the Canberra United Academy and Canberra FC before sitting with the bye in round three, but Boyd said the team are welcoming the challenge of those early clashes.
“We have a couple of tough matches early in the season, but we are looking forward to those games.”
“As with any game we will implement our game plan and look to see where we can improve for the following week.”
2019 WWFC NPLW Squad |
Goalkeepers: Cristina Esposito, Lillian Geale
Defenders: Sarah Whitfield, Rosie Hughes, Bridgit Plummer, Iesha De Andrade
Midfielders: Tayla Zanotto, Jemima Millar-Carton, Samantha Briggs, Alex McKenzie, Briana Maguire
Forwards: Cassia McGlashan, Anna Vandenbroucke, Laura Croft, Shaquille Chong