It’s been three weeks since the Wanderers last kicked a ball in Westfield W-League, but head coach Dean Heffernan does not believe the break has done his team any harm in the lead up to the Sydney Derby at Cromer Park on Saturday.
Heffernan said his side are “in a good space” and is confident it has done them more good having given his players time to recharge the batteries at the pointy end of the season.
“Having three weeks off will always have its challenges but you get benefits from it as well,” said Heffernan.
“The girls have had plenty of time to get rest, physically and mentally, go visit families or do whatever they like to do.
“Now, we’ve got ourselves back and we have had a good couple of weeks to work on different things for the next couple of games we’ve got to finish out the season.
“So, we are in a really good space, everyone is happy and really looking forward to the game on Saturday.”
The Wanderers will be looking to create history by backing up their historic first round 5-0 win against the defending champions with another win. The Red & Black have never beaten Sydney FC twice in a season.
Still, as much as the win was widely applauded and a huge lift for the W-League side, Heffernan said it is not something they have been dwelling on.
“For us, that has long gone,” said Heffernan.
“Of course, we will always have fond memories of it but we know, come this game, it’s going to be a completely different challenge altogether.
“We know that Sydney is going to want revenge, why wouldn’t they?
“But we are ready for that. We are ready to really get out there and mix things up a little again in this Derby and get the win.”
Heffernan conceded this Derby will be slightly different from the first one at Bankwest back in December as both teams will be missing key players.
“Every Derby is going to be different. From our perspective, we have lost a few players - Erica (Halloway) to a knee injury, Abby (Smith), Lynn has been away for six weeks and Denise (O’Sullivan) has gone," explained Heffernan.
“So it’s a slightly different line-up for us, but an exciting one still. It always will be that way for our club and this team. We are, really excited to see what the girls can produce this week.
“Everyone is really keen to get back on and compete in a game.”
The second placed Wanderers, who are almost certain to secure a first time spot in the finals, will be looking to keep the pressure on leaders Melbourne City in the race for top spot.
They are five points adrift with three games remaining and will play the Victorians next Thursday at Marconi Stadium in one of the games of the season.
“There are no easy games in the W-League and the fact it is 12 rounds, it always seems like you are on the run in from day one,” added Heffernan.
“You need to get a good start and need to continue. We are now at the point where we need to finish off the good start we have had.
“It’s exciting and I know the girls are really buzzing to get back on to the field after three weeks off and we will be ready.”