W-League Wanderers look for improvement

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After what could be described as a disappointing 2013/14 season for the Western Sydney Wanderers W-League team, the appointment of Norm Boardman as the club’s head coach along with stellar signings could see the Wanderers women’s squad rise into the top four.

Placed seventh on the 2013/14 table, it is clear that head coach Norm Boardman desires a top four finish for the exciting upcoming season.

On-loan at WSW, holding midfielder Keelin Winters.

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Image provided by Western Sydney Wanderers

Certainly, the squad has been refreshed with an abundance of young players whom are Western Sydney locals being added to the team, which Boardman describes as bringing “plenty of excitement and energy, and they definitely bring the unexpected every now and again”.

The prospect of playing against reigning champions Canberra United in the opening weekend of the Westfield W-League was a welcomed challenge for the head coach.

“You are better off playing the best first and welcome that challenge, and some of the girls are excited about the fact that they have got Canberra first,” Boardman said.

The Wanderers will be hoping there isn’t a repeat of their record defeat against the Canberra squad last season, which saw the Wanderers suffer defeat in a final score of 5-0. The Wanderers also went down to Canberra 2-0 earlier in the season.

Boardman, placed a particular emphasis on the role in which United striker Michelle Heyman will play against the Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, also suggesting that a motivation for the players to play exceptionally well is the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where players could be chosen to represent the Australian squad.

Despite the youthful and underdog aura that surrounds the Wanderers W-League team, the addition of Keelin Winters on loan from Seattle Reign adds a sense of maturity and wisdom to the squad.

Winters’ certainly acknowledged that there were some “quality young players on this squad” but concluded that there were quality players throughout the squad, regardless of the age differences.

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The aim for the club to be placed within the top four does not seem so farfetched when looking at Winters’ personal achievements, including her time spent at Bundesliga side FFC Turbine Potsdam and more recently Seattle Reign FC, which are both experiences Winters can bring to the Wanderers W-League squad.

Winters’ presence in the squad will certainly motivate the younger players to exceed their potential with the first round for the new squad perceived to be a chance to set the benchmark for their season.

“It will be good test for us to see where we are currently and where we need to get to, and so I think we’re going to be prepared for a fight and hopefully get a good result,” Winters said.

Winters hopes that the loud and exhilarating atmosphere provided at the men’s Wanderers games can be matched at the women’s games.

“Those fans can come out and support the women’s side and bring that loud atmosphere, that loud atmosphere that everyone likes to play in.

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Boardman echoed a similar calling.

“If we could get some of the Bloc at our games that would be fantastic.”

This Sunday’s game will certainly bring pent up tension and passion between the two squads since the last last time they had met, as each squad will either conform or challenge their newfound reputations.

Canberra United may perhaps live up to their championship title, or the Wanderers may force an upset with the underdog reputation of the squad fuelling the players’ potential to achieve a win in the first round.

The Western Sydney Wanderers will play Canberra United on Sunday 14th September 2014 at 3pm at Campbelltown Stadium, with the game also being played on ABC1 at 3pm.

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Jessica Csaszar
Jessica joined the team for 2014 covering Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League.

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