Round one of the 2009/10 Westfield W-League season is rapidly approaching and Sydney FC isn’t letting its shoot-out loss to the Queensland (now Brisbane) Roar in the preliminary final of last year’s inaugural season temper its expectations for the coming campaign.
Round one of the 2009/10 Westfield W-League season is rapidly approaching and Sydney FC isn-t letting its shoot-out loss to the Queensland (now Brisbane) Roar in the preliminary final of last year-s inaugural season temper its expectations for the coming campaign.
“Our expectations are the same as last year – to be in the grand final,” said head coach Alen Stajcic. “We thought we underachieved finishing fourth last year. We thought we should have been in the top two.”
The Sky Blue women got off to a sizzling start in 2008/09, losing only once in their first five games. But then a rash of injuries led to the team only winning one of their final six matches in the regular season.
“We had injuries to three or four key players,” Stajcic explained. “The players we brought in to replace them were younger and a bit inexperienced.”
The W-League mentor believes his side is better suited to deal with such problems this season, however, saying he has a more versatile bunch who are comfortable playing in multiple positions.
Key contributors like Heather Garriock, Sarah Walsh and last season-s Westfield W-League leading scorer Leena Khamis will again be crucial to the team-s success, but Stajcic believes Sydney boasts talent across the park.
“While Heather (Garriock) and Sarah (Walsh) are probably bigger names, we have a lot of up-and-coming youngsters,” he said. “We-re balanced all the way down to number 20.”
This season, Stajcic predicts a high-powered brand of football from the Sky Blue women that will excite fans every week.
“There will be lots of goals,” he said. “We-re a very offensive minded team with strike weapons all over the field. It will be a good season.”
The race for the Westfield W-League title begins in less than two weeks time, with Sydney FC playing host to the Central Coast Mariners in a curtain-raiser to the Hyundai A-League clash between the teams at the Sydney Football Stadium on Monday, October 5.
Avoid the queues at the SFS Box Office on the Holiday Monday: CLICK HERE now to pre-purchase your tickets for the double-header clash.