Ante Juric is coming into his sixth season as Head Coach of our Liberty A-League Women’s team, however he is no less motivated to push his players to reach their maximum potential as they search for more silverware.
On the day tickets to our opening home games went on sale, he said: “I feel good. I’m always rejuvenated when I see the girls and the efforts that they put in.
“I want us to give everything that we can and hopefully a third premiership which I don’t think has ever been done before.
“I love seeing the girls get called up to the Matildas and the Young Matildas. As long as the girls are pushing themselves and working hard, I am going to walk away happy. We have the chance to put ourselves in the history books and it’s something that drives me as a coach, and I’m sure it’s the same as a player and as a club.”
With the Liberty A-League season beginning the first week of the Men’s World Cup break, it allows more eyes to be on the Women’s game and with an expanded league and the upcoming Women’s World Cup, it is an exciting time for the game.
“When it comes to the girls, the club and the league as a whole, it is great,” he added. “Hopefully it gets a few more eyes and people watching us, but it is no use if people stay home. They need to come out and support us and what better opportunity than the break.”
“We still need to work hard to make sure that the football we play is enjoyable and worthwhile for people to come and watch.”
Pre-season is in full swing for the Women’s side as they look to go one better in the Grand Final and win their third premiership in three years.
“People don’t realise how hard it is to stay on top for so long. For us, it’s nothing new to be the number one target but we just worry about ourselves,” Juric said.
“Regardless of who’s out to get us, every team, every week, wants to beat us, so we do our thing, work hard and whatever happens, happens.”
Juric has worked with a number of the players for a few years and even with the new imports is impressed by the mentality of the side.
“Their mood is unbelievable. It’s like we’ve not been away. The spirit is still good, the vibe is good, so when I feel that atmosphere, I’m really happy.
“The new girls have settled in really well and the experienced lot are already stronger and ready to go again. It’s good vibes and positivity for sure.”
As with every off-season, players move between clubs and Ante Juric worked hard to ensure that his new players meet the high standards he sets.
“We lost some players in defence but we have brought in DA [Deborah-Anne De la Harpe], Anna Green and Kirsty Fenton and I must admit they have looked better in training than I had thought, which bodes well for the season.
“Up front we have added Madi [Madison Haley] but unfortunately we lost midfielder Taylor Ray to her ACL injury.
“When we have injuries, it gives an opportunity to a lot of the scholarship girls who make up the rest of our midfield, a real opportunity to shine. They are all stars of the future, and we just try to find that blend between youth and experience” Juric concluded.
Ante Juric’s team begin their season with a Grand Final re-match from Cromer Park as they take on Melbourne Victory on Saturday 26th of November, kicking off at 3pm.
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