Hawkesby: We pride ourselves on defence

Sydney FC midfielder Mackenzie Hawkesby believes that her side’s strong defence has been key to their impressive start this season.

Hawkesby is in fantastic form lately after the young midfielder scored a hat-trick in front of her hometown in Wollongong in Sydney FC’s 5-0 win over the Wellington Phoenix in the last round.

“It was really special for me to have all my family and friends in the crowd there who don’t really get much of an opportunity to watch me play,” Hawkesby said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever scored a hat-trick in my life but more importantly it was a great performance from the girls after our stumble the week before against the Wanderers, it was important for us to set the tone for the match and come out with a lot of energy.”

The win for Sydney FC was another clean sheet for the team, their fourth in five games and Hawkesby credits the squad’s discipline for that feat.

“We really pride ourselves on our attack but also more importantly our defence as well. We work really hard off the ball and we had a strong pre-season as well as having a very organized defence. Our four defenders at the back as well as Jada Whyman in goals have been absolutely brilliant so far.”

Hawkesby and her teammates now face a resurgent Perth Glory side who have recorded two wins in three matches so far this season.

“This weekend will be tough, they are a young and exciting team who have had a strong start. They have firepower up top but we’ll be mainly focusing on ourselves and looking at how we can be better as a team.”

Hawkesby is relishing her role in midfield alongside Taylor Ray who has also been in impressive form for Ante Juric’s side.

“Taylor and I have a strong partnership. We have played together for a number of years and I feel like we have stepped it up this year and for me, Taylor has been really outstanding so far. We love to control the middle of the park and dictate the play so it’s fantastic to play alongside her.”

Sydney FC face Perth Glory on Saturday night at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. The match was originally meant to be played at Leichhardt Oval however due to Covid-19 related issues with the broadcast production team the venue had to be changed. Kick-off is now at 7.45pm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Sydney FC Members and ticket holders will have access to the Izuzu Ute Men’s A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets which kicks off at 5.05pm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.