After coming away empty handed from this season’s first Sydney Derby, the Wanderers Westfield W-League side will be eager to level the score.It was barely a month ago that Sydney FC came to town and stole three points from a spirited Wanderers outfit.
On a warm afternoon in Parramatta, the Red & Black were left ruing a slow start and some avoidable errors, eventually yielding to a narrow 2-1 loss.
Though come 4pm Sunday at Lambert Park, Norm Boardman’s troops will have a unique opportunity to extract some swift payback in enemy territory.
The two sides are coming off contrasting weekends: the Sky Blues jumped into the top four with a 1-0 win over Adelaide United, while the Wanderers dropped to sixth place after a 4-1 loss to the ever-impressive Canberra United.
Yet heading into the Round 8 clash, only two points separate the pair on the ladder and Boardman is confident that his group will be better prepared than they were for the November encounter.
Reflecting on that meeting, Boardman feels that his fledgling young side was perhaps taken aback by the occasion.
“Sydney FC were very much focused on the importance of the derby,” said Boardman.
“I think some of our girls might’ve lost that in the bright lights.”
Granted, Boardman’s Wanderers, while earmarked by budding prodigious talent, is a team that is without much of the big-game experience that a seasoned unit like Sydney FC is able to boast.
Still, Boardman insists that he’ll be keeping the faith with his crop of generation next.
“We have a lot of youngsters in the side this year and it’s quite exciting for our club.
“We brought these girls into the squad for a reason and we’re certainly making sure they get every opportunity to perform as well as they can.”
Boardman will need all hands on deck to combat Daniel Barrett’s stout Sydney FC line-up, who will be hoping to welcome back star forward Kyah Simon from Matildas duty.
The Red & Black rearguard will also need to keep a close eye on veteran Leena Khamis, whose brace provided the difference the last time the two sides met.
“I’m very confident in this side. My staff and I have a lot of belief about what we can do this year.
“No matter what happens, we’re going to keep working towards the overall picture.”