W-League: Finals start now for Glory

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Perth Glory is desperate to carry their winning momentum into next month’s Westfield W-League finals according to midfielder Marianna Tabain.

Glory will finish on top of the W-League regardless of the outcome of the club’s final two games against Sydney FC and Canberra United before the finals.

But Tabain said the newly-crowned premiers would not settle for anything less than taking maximum points from both fixtures ahead of a home Semi-Final at nib Stadium on December 13/14.

“I think it’s important for us to maintain momentum so we’re not going into (the semi-finals) thinking we’ve won,” Tabain said.

“We really want to keep that momentum going into the semis.”

There has been very little respite for the players since claiming the premiership, with coach Jamie Harnwell putting his squad through a punishing training session last Friday despite the team having no game last weekend.

The Glory women have conquered all before them this season, dropping just one game en route to winning a historic first piece of silverware for the entire Perth football franchise in more than a decade.

Tabain has been part of the Glory women’s squad since the very beginning in 2008 and she said this was the tightest group of teammates she had played with during her six years in the league.

“The additions of such quality players this year … on the field they’re really good, but off the field I think we’ve just seemed to gel really well and it’s helped our performance,” Tabain said.

“It’s been a difficult few years, but I’m happy to have stuck by the club and it’s times like this that need to be celebrated.

“Hopefully we can go on and do really well in the semis and make the grand final and win it. I don’t see why we can’t.”

Tabain has benefitted from having the likes of former Sydney players Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord around her this season and she has been one of Glory’s most improved players from the previous campaign.

But the 22-year-old, who has scored three goals this season, admitted to getting frustrated at times with her own efforts despite receiving widespread praise for improved individual performances.

“For me personally it’s been a bit of a frustrating season in terms of getting the ball and stuff, but it’s been really good to get results and to get three points on the board each week,” Tabain said.

“I think in the midfield it’s quite difficult to get the ball sometimes and a lot of us midfielders can get a bit frustrated (when that happens), but at the end of the day it’s about getting results and we’ve been doing that.”

Tabain scored the winner when Glory defeated Sydney 1-0 at home earlier in the season and she expects a tough encounter at WIN Stadium on Sunday.

“They’re a very structured side and they’ve got quality players all over the pitch,” Tabain said.

“I think if we can press them early and make it difficult for them to settle, that will give us confidence and then we can play our own game.”

Sydney, currently third on the table, is yet to secure a spot in the finals, but can finish as high as second if they win their remaining two games against Perth and the fifth-placed Newcastle Jets.

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