Wanderers goalkeeper Abby Smith believes the team can go to another level in Sunday’s Westfield W-League Semi Final against City.
The classy American is one of the reasons for the Red & Black’s emergence as a force in the national competition after producing some strong performances during the regular season.
While she has never played in a Finals game before, Smith knows from her experience in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) back home just how much you need to lift when you come up against quality teams like the recently crowned W-League Premiers.
City, unbeaten during the regular season, boasts the most experienced squad in the competition with a host of Matildas and Internationals.
“City are a good team so it will be a tough game,” said Smith. “But, I think as a group we are very excited.
“Yes, we have done really well this season but we are going to have to bring our A-game on Sunday.
“You want to play your best and raise the level no matter what.”
Still, Smith, who joined the Red & Black at the start of the season, can’t wait for her first taste of Finals Football with the shot stopper admitting that she has some butterflies.
“I’m really excited. Obviously it is a big thing for the club and the team and we are really focused,” said Smith.
“On the inside I’m like little butterflies just because it’s fun.
“It’s always something we strive for when we are playing so obviously making Finals is exciting.”
Smith said she is feeling in good spirits and good health having recovered from a knee injury that sidelined her for a month midway through the season.
During that time the Wanderers suffered a bit of a slump and it was hard for Smith to watch from the stands.
“It’s all good now and I am all healed up,” added Smith. “Yeah, obviously injuries aren’t ideal.
“Anyone who has experienced them can speak to that. It is not the most fun, but it is not like I took the time off to have a vacation.
“You are in here, you are rehabbing, you are lifting, you are doing everything in your power to get back onto the field.
“It’s difficult not to be playing, but you have to be on edge.
“Watching your teammates from the stands, I’ve experienced it before so it’s not fun but you have to be the best teammate you can be, you cheer them on. It’s a shift in your mindset.”
Smith has enjoyed her stay at the Wanderers and playing in the W-League which has been her first experience of playing football overseas.
“This has been an awesome opportunity to be over here and play,” said Smith.
“It’s very different from being back in the States because it is a quick season here, so everything is at a faster pace for when the season is starting and ending.
“I feel like I have learned so much. It’s a different player pool so you have to adjust to the different players you are playing with and against.”