W-League | Finals a goal not the focus for Canberra

Canberra United are insisting the focus is on themselves and not the rest of the competition as they head into the finals of the W-League.

Third-placed United face second-placed Perth Glory at McKellar Park on Saturday with both sides looking to guarantee a spot in the top four.

Coach Rae Dower said while the table was in the back of her mind, her team will be focused on getting a result come the weekend.

“Mathematically everything’s possible,” Dower said on Wednesday.

“The bottom line is we want to finish in the top four, that’s our first goal, we want to make finals and then it becomes a separate competition in itself.”

“At the moment if we take care of our own backyard then we’ll play finals football and that’s really what we need to be concerned about, just ourselves and nobody else.”

With Perth and Sydney still within touching distance, Dower is fully aware of the possible ramifications of the match against the Glory.

“This Saturday we’re treating the game like any other game, it’s three points.”

“It helps if we do that then obviously we put a little bit more pressure on Perth in terms of their finals push as well.”

Canberra will again be without captains Ellie Brush and Michele Heyman but Dower was convinced she saw enough character in the team’s 2-all draw with Adelaide to cover the loss of the experienced duo.

“In terms of the final score, probably a bit disappointing but in terms of the way we played it’s possibly some of the best football we’ve played all year.”

“Everyone was waiting to see what the response would be from the Sydney game and I couldn’t be prouder of the way that they actually bounced back.”

Canberra will also be buoyed with the news that youngster Nickoletta Flannery has received the December nomination for the W-League, NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.

Despite having only made six appearances for United heading into the season, 17-year-old Flannery has evolved into a regular starter and racked up an impressive three goals in four games last month.

Dower and Canberra will be hoping she can continue in that vain of form against an impressive Perth side boasting the likes of Matilda Sam Kerr.

Kerr is the league’s top goal scorer with nine strikes to her name and will no doubt be hungry to help the Gory shore up a top two spot.

The two teams face off at McKellar Park on Saturday afternoon at 4pm.

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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.