Tuggeranong United have transformed since Paulo Romero took over the WNPL first grade side, with his squad now challenging some of the bigger clubs in and around Canberra.
Although the 2022 WNPL season hasn’t been what Tuggeranong hoped for at the outset, they are still taking several positive things from it and are keen for the next season where they will hopefully start stealing points from the big clubs and possibly challenge for the title.
Some positive singings at the start of the 2022 season for Tuggeranong helped boost their attack, with Lily Nicholls and Sophie Burns joining the club from the University of Canberra Stars. Both players brought pace and depth to the squad.
In addition to this, the club has always been about promoting from within, and with a lot of their defence out with sickness, the reserves have had to step up and perform against tough opposition.
Although their season has been far from the best, they have started to produce great performances and picked up a significant draw against West Canberra Wanderers in Round 11.
Tuggeranong were down 2-0 in the second half when they produced a great comeback, scoring two goals in 15 minutes. Although a draw might be disappointing to most clubs, West Canberra who sat at third when the sides met on Sunday recently had a dominant run of form, so it was a great result for the Tuggeranong side to rescue a point from the clash.
“Half our backline had been out sick, two with Covid and two with injuries, so this is why we had some new reserves in against West Canberra today,” Head Coach Paulo Romero commented after their excellent 2-2 draw with Wanderers.
“I was happy with the performance today, I was really happy with the second half, I thought we really took it up a notch and showed the way that we can play. I think if we started every game like that, we would see more results.”
Hoping to continue from their great performance against the Wanderers, United head North for a trip to Tuggeranong face Gungahlin United in Round 12. This will be a good test for the side as Gungahlin have also picked up their form after a draw against Canberra United Academy and a win against Wagga City Wanderers.
Romero plans to keep his starting XI that played against West Canberra as he was happy with the result they achieved and believes that they will be able to do it again against Gungahlin and, with several games still left in the season, Romero and Tuggeranong are aiming to get away from the bottom of the table and challenge for the middle.
“I think I will keep it the same, I think the girls played really well, I think the only change that I will make is the tactics that we play,” Romero said.
“I want to aim for the middle of the table, I think if we can play with this energy and this quality that we did against West Canberra, the sky is the limit, we can go for it.
“It’s just the first half that is killing us in most games. I think that if we play like we do in the second half for the full game. We can start challenging and matching every team in the competition.”
The 2022 WNPL season was a rebuilding phase for Tuggeranong United and they have certainly set themselves on the right path. With quality singings and a new exciting brand of playing style from Romero, there are big things to come in the 2023 WNPL season for Tuggeranong United FC and Paulo Romero.
Words: Matthew Williams