Wanderers Westfield W-League head coach Dean Heffernan believes his squad will grow even more in belief and confidence after their landmark 1-0 win over China in a friendly on the Gold Coast on Sunday.
Amy Harrison scored what eventually proved to be the winner early in the game following a fine assist from Kristen Hamilton as the Red & Black beat the 15th in the world ranked Chinese.
It was a remarkable performance from the Wanderers women, who were far from overawed in playing against a national team for the first time in their short history.
A proud and buoyant Heffernan could not hide his delight with the result and the effort the girls put in, not just in the game but during the four day camp on the Gold Coast.
“We were very, very happy with the performance,” said Heffernan.
“It has been a great trip for us. We had a really solid week at training leading into it.
“Coming into the game, we knew the girls would be a little bit heavy and that was part of our plan.
“But, to see the way they went about their business in the match, competed for everything as always, the energy and the effort, it was really special.
“There was already a lot of confidence and belief in this squad and in themselves. But for them to go out and do what they did against the team ranked 15th in the world there is going to be so much more belief now, so much more confidence.”
The Wanderers, who are unbeaten in six games in the Westfield W-League this season, did the national competition and Australian women’s football proud with their performance.
It has set up the rest of the season for the Red & Black according to Heffernan.
“Every time they walk on the pitch they should know they can compete having outplayed an international team,” Heffernan added.
“But, we have to keep our head down, stay humble and keep working hard because that’s the minimum for us.
“As long as we work hard and play with energy and effort we know we can win against anyone.”
Heffernan said the Red & Black were able to use every player in the squad against the Chinese, who he believes were caught by surprise regarding the quality of the Wanderers.
“We didn’t ask for any feedback (from the Chinese), but we think they were surprised a little bit,” Heffernan said.
“They definitely expected to beat us. They didn’t and that is good for us.
“The other good thing is that we were able to give every player in the squad a run and even when we made mass changes during the second half, the quality did not drop.
“The full squad got to play and it was easy for them because nothing has changed for us since we walked in the door from day one in terms of our system of play, what we want to do and how we want to go about the games.
“It was easy to put those girls in and we created more chances to score.”
The Wanderers returned home this afternoon and will start preparations later in the week for the W-League game against Brisbane Roar at Marconi Stadium on Sunday.