The mood among our team leading into every game is usually a buzz of excitement but the build up to the Sydney derby in particular brings with it an added sense of anticipation.

It’s been almost a year since the last time we faced Sydney FC and our rivals currently hold bragging rights after Kyah Simon edged them to a win with her penalty in Round 9 last year. The mood this week has been positive and we’re more than eager to get out there and show the fans what the rivalry brings out in both our teams.

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These games have a well earned reputation of being notoriously tougher and more competitive than the others and this Saturday will be no different. It’s always a point brought up in training just how important it is to lift for these games and it shows on the pitch. Everyone goes into that tackle a little bit harder and we’re always there pushing each other a little bit more just because we know how much it means for us.

It goes without saying it’s also a hugely important game for the supporters and the club. For the first time in the history of Australian football we’ll share the W-League derby spotlight with the A-League. It’s something that I feel really shows that the women’s game is stepping forward and it’s something that’s going to mark history. We’re really hoping and encouraging as many of those fans to come down early to watch our game. The Wanderers fans are known across the country and across all codes for their passion and to have them roll in early to fire us up is something I can’t wait to see.

Potentially more than 50,000 fans could show up for the derby and for a lot of the girls it will be their first time playing at a venue that comes close to the size of ANZ Stadium. Once they get there and feel that atmosphere walking out of the tunnel I think it’s really going to hype us up. It’s certainly a big step up from humble Marconi Stadium!

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This week we’ve discussed the individual nuances that Sydney FC bring as a team. As a whole we’ve been pretty consistent with our performances so we’re definitely confident that we can produce a result heading into this game. Clinically in front of goal we just need to tweak a few things and take as many opportunities as we can and churn out some goals.

I know it’s just as important for Sydney FC as it is for us so right now it’s about focusing on mentality. We need to head in there with the right frame of mind focusing on our preparation rather than theirs.

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The girls have come off a tough week against Perth Glory but we’re looking to use that result as a way to highlight our strengths. Last week we came up against Rachael Hill and Sam Kerr who right now are among the best strikers in the W-League. They’ve been nothing but consistent with their goal scoring so to keep them limited in their chances is something we have to give credit to our defenders for.

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We definitely feel hard done by over the result especially considering the amount of opportunities we created. This week in training our girls have been focusing on that exaction in the final third and I know if we can produce chances like we did against Perth we can come away with the win.

Each week is a new game, and as Saturday draws nearer all I’m focusing on is taking the three points against Sydney!

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A Western Sydney Wanderers defender, Alix will be writing a column before every Red & Black home game for the Westfield W-League 2017/18 season.