W-League | Canberra’s Maher and Burke lead the way

Canberra United coach Rae Dower has praised Young Matilda Grace Maher, highlighting her adaptability and maturity as a key reason for her development into a first team player.

“She’s so experienced I can play her anywhere basically,” Dower said.

“She’s got such an experienced and mature head on such young shoulders, she’s a great student of the game, a real deep thinker of the game.”

Despite having made only two appearances for United before this campaign, Maher is highly rated regardless of where she lines up.

“Let’s be honest she could probably start in any other team throughout the league… she’s obviously played most recently with the young Matildas as a centre-back so we’ve got options there, we’ve certainly got options for her to play in the midfield where she was on the weekend and with that great little left peg she can even play high up the field as well.”

Goalkeeper Trudy Burke is another player looking to make an impact this season after a strong start.

While comparisons to Lydia Williams will inevitably be made, Burke is choosing to focus on herself.

“Lydia’s a world-class goalkeeper but yeah I’ve come in to do a job and concentrate on my game and what my strengths are,” Burke said.

Burke praised the adaptability of her defenders to play a back three whilst keeping a cleansheet.

“Always good the keep a cleansheet, especially against Brisbane, very physical side so to make a few good saves and come away with the win was a good result.”

“We’ve had a few more training sessions under our belt now together and you can see we’re getting better and better as the weeks go by.”

Burke’s journey has not been an easy one, having only made 21 appearances across time at four W-League clubs.

That time included a previous stint in the nation’s capital and Dower lauded her ability to come back and work on her game.

“She had a point to prove, I thought she was much improved from the time she was last here and the only way that you can get better, especially as a goalkeeper and in this league is to play.”

“I’ve seen great improvement in Trudy in the last couple if year I still think she’s got a lot of improvement left and a lot of potential to continue to go further and her challenge now is to be consistent each week.”

“That’s the difference between this level and that next echelon for her.”

 

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Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.