Inside the W-League Revolution

Dean Heffernan has turned heads since jumping into the Wanderers Westfield W-League hot seat. 

Wanderers members and Kids under 16 go free to this Sunday's game at Marconi Stadium. General Public can get tickets here.

Unbeaten in six games and second on the table behind Melbourne City with a game in hand, the Red & Black have been the talk of Australian football with their outstanding and exciting brand of football.

Under the guidance of Heffernan, who is in his first season as a senior coach, and his assistant coaches Wanderers legends Michael Beauchamp and Catherine Cannuli as well as the backroom staff, the transformation from last season’s wooden-spooners to serious title contenders has been simply eye-opening.

With the season at the half-way mark, the Wanderers have won five and drawn one of their six games. 

Confidence and belief has understandably soared and that was seen in the side's remarkable 1-0 win over China, ranked 15 in the world, in a friendly last week. 

During their undefeated run so far, the W-League side has also created club history, including their best-ever start to a season, most wins in a season and record victories over Sydney FC and Canberra United.

Names like Lynn Williams, Kristen Hamilton, Denise O’Sullivan, Abby Smith, Alex Huynh, Sam Staab, Amy Harrison, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Ella Mastrantonio, Erica Halloway, and Courtney Nevin are on the lips of the fans.

But, the results are not flukes.

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As Heffernan, never one to pat himself on the back, is quick to point out, they have come about because of the tireless work and dedication from many inside the Wanderers family.

“So much work has gone into it behind the scenes,” said Heffernan.

“Obviously a lot of people only see game day and that is fine, it’s not a problem.

“The bigger the foundation, the higher you go and the more you can achieve and that is definitely something we have always thought about.

“From day one when we got the job, the three of us (Heffernan, Beauchamp and Cannuli) got together straight away ... recruitment, who do we want to keep from last year, who we want to track down, what sort of players we are looking for, what type of people are we looking for.

“It was a process that took a long time and there were some ups and downs for sure regarding signing players, thinking you have got them and then you don’t.

“We were lucky enough to basically get every player we wanted and that shows the support we have had from not only our staff in the scouting and the time and effort it has taken us to watch games and deciding on players, but also the club, the board, CEO "JT" (John Tsatsimas) and Football Operations Manager Gavin, to be there and help us get it over the line as well.

“The thing is, this is our first time coaching in a professional set up like this and I feel like we are doing what we set out to do at the start.

“But, we are always looking at things we can improve on and always reflecting every day after every session ‘how could we have done that better’ and how we could have got more out of that (training) session for the players.”

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While Heffernan is extremely proud of his squad and their achievements so far, he is determined to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground.

As someone who was a quality professional player, he knows how quickly the football landscape can change. 

“We think the key thing here is, we haven’t won anything,” he said firmly. “We haven’t done anything.

“Someone just congratulated us for beating China and I just said ‘yeah, but what does it mean?’.

“It doesn’t actually give us anything other the team (exceptional) chemistry and talk about things like confidence and belief.

“We already had that, but now after beating a team 15th in the world, we should have that in spades.”

The Wanderers will next take on Brisbane Roar at Marconi Stadium this Sunday. Kick-off is at 4:00pm.