With sunshine likely to be back on the agenda in the capital this week following two weekends of truncated match action, all four games should take place, and the Women’s National Premier League top three could use Round 6 to push on and increase their lead on the table.
The weekend in women’s football starts on Saturday afternoon at McKellar Park as Belconnen United and Canberra United Academy face each other ten days after the Federation Cup Semi-Final that saw the Blue Devils qualify for a second consecutive Cup Final with a 5-0 success.
Scott Conlon’s troops had a weekend off after the last four match, with their game at Tuggeranong United rained out. At home against the Academy, they will aspire to reiterate their AIS performance, and keep their good form of the early season.
During their weekend off, they lost the leader’s seat to Canberra Croatia, a spot they hope to win back with two wins, this weekend, and Wednesday evening when they face Tuggeranong in the postponed round 5 game.
For the Academy, playing the best team in the league has not been easy so far. During their encounter with Canberra Croatia, Olympic and the Blue Devils in the Cup, Matthew Moore’s players were unable to score, while conceding 11 times in total.
The young squad never ceased playing their brand of possession football, only struggling to find solutions upfront. The technique of Latisha Babic, the passing of Jaya Bowman and the pace of Tamara Cochrane are all weapons in the arsenal of the Academy that could provide a fifth goal for the Hawker team this season.
On Sunday, the league leader Canberra Croatia host ANU WFC at Deakin Stadium. Brittany Palombi is starting the season pedal to the metal, having already scored six times in WNPL. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get the three points last week, when Zoran Glavinic’s side wasted a two-goal lead last at home, against an inspired Gungahlin side.
This Sunday, against a team who has not played a game in two weeks, the Deakin side will only be happy if they get all three points.
Rob Illingworth’s troops must be itching to get back on the field. After their Round 4 and 5 encounters were rained out, the State League Premiers are back to it against their WNPL counterparts.
Their physicality everywhere on the pitch and ability to play rapid passing football could be key to holding their own against the reigning champions. ANU WFC will be eager to confirm their early season promise and getting even a point back from Deakin would be an excellent result.
The winless West Canberra Wanderers are travelling North to O’Connor Enclosed to face Canberra Olympic on Sunday. The week off might have allowed the Wanderers to regroup after their Round 4 defeat against Belconnen, but bouncing back against the WNPL champions and getting their first points will be no easy feat.
Rey Castro’s players have undoubtedly improved as the weeks have gone by but were not rewarded. They would need nothing short of an extraordinary performance to get a result away this weekend.
Nicole Begg’s team on the other end would be under pressure to record a win. They called on their experienced trio, Nicole Jalocha, Maddy Whittall and Michaela Thornton to edge off Canberra United Academy last week but are trailing league leaders Croatia by a point.
Just like Belconnen United, they play two games in three days, with another home game on Wednesday against ANU, and they will want to get six points from two games they start as favourites.
The team in form, Gungahlin United, faces Tuggeranong United at home to finish the round. After the Ginger Oliver show in Round 3 and the Cup semi-final, it was Erika Pennyfield under the spotlight at Deakin last week.
Andrew Woodman is building a cohesive team, full of talent, and slowly placing it as a serious outsider for the title race. If they can keep their defensive solidity and efficiency upfront, they could remain close to the top three after the weekend.
Tuggeranong started the season brightly before three consecutive losses to ANU, Canberra Olympic and Canberra Croatia. Paulo Romero had a week off to remotivate his troops and find a way to stop the negative streak.
Against the Gunners, Sammy Emms, Lara Mustaine and their defence will undoubtedly have some work to do. The solution to get points, however, need to come from the forwards: the Tuggies’ offense, so promising in their first game, has only found the back of the net once in their last three games.
Saturday 13 May
Belconnen United v Canberra United Academy (McKellar Park, 15:00)
Sunday 14 May
Canberra Croatia v ANU WFC (Deakin Stadium, 14:30)
Canberra Olympic v West Canberra Wanderers (O’Connor Enclosed, 14:30)
Gungahlin United v Tuggeranong United (Gungahlin Enclosed, 15:00)
Wednesday 17 May
Tuggeranong United v Belconnen United (Kambah 2, 19:00)
Canberra Olympic v ANU WFC (w0den Park, 19*:00)
|5||Canberra United Academy||4||2||0||2||5||7||-2||6|
|8||West Canberra Wanderers||4||0||0||4||1||9||-8||0|
6 Brittany PALOMBI (Canberra Croatia)
4 Bessie RIETHMULLER (Belconnen United)
3 Kiera BOBBIN (Belconnen United), Tia BURRIDGE (Canberra Olympic), Michaela THORNTON (Canberra Olympic)
2 Isabella BARAC (Canberra Croatia), Charli MITCHELL (Canberra Croatia), Ginger OLIVER (Gungahlin United), Erika PENNYFIELD (Gungahlin United), Roxie SWART (ANU WFC)
1 Latisha BABIC (Canberra United Academy), Ella-Rose BROWN (Gungahlin United), Tamara COCHRANE (Canberra United Academy), Alexandra COOK (Canberra Olympic), Alyssa DI-CAMPLI (Canberra United Academy), Hattie CRAM (Belconnen United), Rhiannon FENSOM (Canberra Croatia), Charli GREGSON (Tuggeranong United), Nicole JALOCHA (Canberra Olympic), Sarah MATTHEWS (Tuggeranong United), Alexandra NEALAND (Canberra United Academy), Rainey NILES (Tuggeranong United), Nikita PERRY (West Canberra Wanderers), Madeleine STEINACKER (Belconnen United), Darby WHITELY (Gungahlin United), Madelyn WHITTALL (Canberra Olympic), Elisha WILD (Canberra United Academy), Juliet WILLIAMS (ANU WFC), Reilly YUEN (Belconnen United)