W-League: Roar coach wants season extended

-

Brisbane Roar coach Belinda Wilson has called for a more structured Westfield W-League calendar after her side was caught out by the early start to the new campaign.

Wilson was unable to bring her full squad together until just one week out from the opening round match against Perth Glory, with up to 10 of her players still committed to overseas contracts on the eve of the season.

Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Butt, Elise Kellond-Knight and Katrina Gorry were among the players to arrive at the club just days out from last Sunday’s season opener and it clearly affected last season’s grand finalists as they slumped to a 2-1 loss to Glory at Ashfield Sports Club.

Wilson was not looking for excuses for the shock defeat to Perth, but conceded her team’s preparation was far from ideal.

“I had 10 players last week and I had 20 players on Tuesday (prior to the game in Perth) so of course it’s going to make a difference,” Wilson said.

“We need to make sure (as a league) we have a calendar and that calendar is set so the players understand when we’re getting everyone back and we have a better lead-in time.”

Wilson added she had lobbied Football Federation Australia to have the W-League season extended by two matches so all eight teams played each other twice.

This season was brought forward roughly six weeks to accommodate the Asian Cup in January and will only feature 12 rounds before the finals series.

“It’s now its seventh season and we’re hoping and we’re pushing for the season to be extended for next year,” Wilson said.

“All we want is an extra two games so it’s a full league and that gives the girls more game time, better preparation in terms of national teams.

“It’s only going to help the game to grow if we actually respect the league.”

The Roar started slow in last Sunday’s season opener and conceded a goal in the 12th minute when Glory stalwart Kate Gill pounced on a mistimed save from stand-in Brisbane goalkeeper Kate Stewart.

Wilson admitted the new-look Glory, now boasting six Matildas players in their squad, had caught her side by surprise.

“They’ve changed their formation and they’ve changed the way they play, which sprung us a little bit in the first 15-20 minutes,” Wilson said.

“I thought in the first 15-20 minutes we gave Perth way too much respect. We allowed them to have the ball, we allowed them to get confident on the ball so we started on the backfoot and then they got that goal within the first 20 minutes.

“It was always going to be a struggle after that, being away from home.”

Despite the loss, Wilson took great pleasure in seeing youngsters Brooke Goodrich and Angela Beard make successful W-League debuts.

Wilson said striker Amy Chapman was recovering well from a knee injury, but was an unlikely starter for this Sunday’s home match against Sydney FC.

German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer is also unavailable for another week on national duties.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required