Twelve months ago, I spoke to women’s coach Steve Roche at the launch of Westfield W-League 2012/13 season. With Round One just days away he was still trying to finalise his squad.
Twelve months ago, I spoke to women-s coach Steve Roche at the launch of Westfield W-League 2012/13 season. With Round One just days away he was still trying to finalise his squad.
Now, the Western Sydney Wanderers don-t mind doing things the hard way. A club that was set up in a matter of months and produced both a premiership winning men-s team and a women-s side that narrowly missed the finals in their first year, know how to battle out of a tight spot.
But this year Roche hoped for a different story and a major recruitment drive in the past few months has secured some seriously impressive names.
The Pièce de résistance was surely the poaching of Sydney FC Championship captain, Kyah Simon - so her recent season-ending knee injury came as a massive blow to both her and her new side.
When first choice goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold (ex-Canberra United) suffered a freak accident requiring many stitches and a stint on the sidelines, Roche must have thought he-d trodden on a black cat.
Fortunately, there were more than two targets on his hit-list.
A plethora of talented players have wandered west, and for some it-s even a “welcome home”.
Heather Garriock for example, grew up kicking a ball in a Western Sydney backyard. Her impressive CV includes stints in both the US and Europe as well as a championship in Sky Blue plus the small matter of 130 international caps.
In the same backyard all those years ago was fellow new signing Michelle Carney (yes, David-s sister) who has been on a three year hiatus from the Westfield W-League but certainly not from football.
As captain of the Illawarra Stingrays in the NSW Women-s Premier League, Carney recently picked up both the Player of the Year and Golden Boot Awards.
At the other end of the park, Caitlin Cooper joins from Canberra United while Matildas Vice-Captain Emily van Egmond has left Newcastle for the new challenge Western Sydney brings.
American Tori Huster has also been lured from the Hunter to bolster the Wanderers midfield and will be joined there by compatriot Shawna Gordon.
Matilda Alanna Kennedy and goalkeeper Dimi Poulos join the contingent who have crossed town with the latter likely to take the gloves in Mackenzie Arnold-s absence.
The experienced heads of Catherine Cannuli, Servet Uzunlar and Teigan Allen return from season one, along with Sam Spackman, Linda O-Neill, Jessica Seaman, Rachael Soutar, Georgia Rowntree and Jenna Kingsley - who makes her return from injury.
The RBB were the talk of the women-s game last season when they swelled the crowd and the noise in the Westfield W-League. Come down and join them - these ladies will give you plenty to sing for maybe even a spot in the season decider!
The Wanderers start their campaign on Sunday 10 November 2pm Marconi Stadium.