Tight as the competition has been after three rounds, the eight teams eye this weekend as a real opportunity to push on with their season. With noting to choose between the teams, it’s difficult to predict who might come out on top in Round 4.
A bit of Friday Night Live action will kick everything off when Canberra Croatia visits Tuggeranong United at Kambah. Zoran Glavinic saw his troops grabbing an important win against Belconnen last weekend and is after a third win in a row to definitely put the bad Olympic memories behind them.
Brittany Palombi has scored three of the four goals her team has netted in the past two games, demonstrating, if need be, her importance with the reigning League Champions.
Tuggeranong, on the other hand, suffered at the hands of the Grand Final and Federation Cup winners. At O’Connor, they fought well for 90 minutes, but ultimately conceded four, a performance reminiscing of the last couple of seasons in the south.
The last time they played Canberra Croatia, a heroic display allowed them to steal a point at home. They have since shown their ability to be as threatening offensively as they are combative defensively, making this Friday night encounter a must-watch.
The other three games take place on Sunday at 3pm. Canberra Olympic hosts ANU WFC with a clear goal, taking all three points in their second game at O’Connor in as many weeks.
If the win against Tuggeranong took time to take shape, two-goal Michaela Thornton and her teammates still showed all their experience and ability to impress their talent on their opponents. The University club is warned, Olympic is a team that will keep knocking at the door for 90 minutes.
Rob Illingworth can see the positive in his team’s potential so far in the Women’s NPL. They have scored in each of their first three league games, and displayed depth and a defensive solidity any team in the competition can be envious of.
The duel between the WNPL and the State League 1 Champions at O’Connor will be a real test of the actual level ANU WFC can potentially reach this season.
Belconnen United returns to McKellar Park for the first time this season when they meet West Canberra Wanderers at 3pm. The pace and intensity of the team coached by Scott Conlon was not enough to bring anything back from Deakin last Sunday.
Despite several clear chances, the Blue Devils even failed to find the back of the net for the first time in almost 2 years in WNPL. Expect them to enter the fixture with the ambition to right this wrong and bounce back immediately.
The Wanderers will stand in their way. Still winless, and the only team without a single point on the table, the team coached by Rey Castro needs something to click to really kick off their season.
In 2022, the Wanderers created the surprise of Round 7 by scoring twice in the first 20 minutes against Belconnen United, ultimately winning the game 2-1, exactly the kind of upset that would do them a world of good this time around.
The last game of the weekend might look like the most even on paper. Gungahlin United and Canberra United Academy ended their 2022 bouts on an even record (one win each, one draw), and are levelled on the table with six points each.
The Gunners have kept most of last season’s team unchanged and are reaping the reward of their work since Andrew Woodman took over.
The Academy have lived through some major changes in the off-season, yet their younger team has proved resilient and efficient enough to get two important wins, as well as showing a solid side in that second half against Canberra Croatia in Round 2.
A result against an experienced Gunners side would boost even more the confidence of Matty Moore and his troops.
Friday 28 April
Tuggeranong United v Canberra Croatia (Kambah 2, 19:45)
Sunday 30 April
Canberra Olympic v ANU WFC (O’Connor Enclosed, 15:00)
Gungahlin United v Canberra United Academy (Gungahlin Enclosed, 15:00)
Belconnen United v West Canberra Wanderers (McKellar Park 15:00)
|4||Canberra United Academy||3||2||0||1||5||4||+1||6|
|8||West Canberra Wanderers||3||0||0||3||1||5||-4||0|
4 Bessie RIETHMULLER (Belconnen United)
3 Tia BURRIDGE (Canberra Olympic), Brittany PALOMBI (Canberra Croatia)
2 Kiera BOBBIN (Belconnen United), Ginger OLIVER (Gungahlin United), Roxie SWART (ANU WFC), Michaela THORNTON (Canberra Olympic)
1 Latisha BABIC (Canberra United Academy), Isabella BARAC (Canberra Croatia), Ella-Rose BROWN (Gungahlin United), Tamara COCHRANE (Canberra United Academy), Alexandra COOK (Canberra Olympic), Alyssa DI-CAMPLI (Canberra United Academy), Sarah MATTHEWS (Tuggeranong United), Charli MITCHELL (Canberra Croatia), Alexandra NEALAND (Canberra United Academy), Rainey NILES (Tuggeranong United), Nikita PERRY (West Canberra Wanderers), Darby WHITELY (Gungahlin United), Elisha WILD (Canberra United Academy), Juliet WILLIAMS (ANU WFC)