W-League | Dower: focus is on the team, not Lisa

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Canberra United coach Rae Dower insists that the side’s momentum will not be interrupted by the arrival of star striker Lisa De Vanna.

Speaking to the media after De Vanna’s first training session in the capital, Dower was quick to stress that it was business as usual for her players.

“The girls played pretty well over the weekend so I don’t think we’ll be making too many changes to that team against Melbourne,” Dower said on Wednesday.

The United manager played a straight bat to questions surrounding De Vanna’s debut, saying that the Matildas veteran was concentrating on match fitness before anything else.

“That’s Lisa’s first run this morning….we’re not even thinking about the first game at the moment.

“It’s just all about trying to get into the rhythm, get the legs going again, obviously getting some familiarisation with the rest of the team.”

She did however offer some insight into future team selection, stating that Canberra’s guest signing will face some stiff competition to break into the starting eleven, something not lost on the striker.

“We’ve had some pretty good chats about it and Lisa’s under no illusions, she’s not coming in to walk straight into a starting team,” Dower added.

“She respects certainly what we’ve done to date in the competition.”

The possibility of de Vanna coming off the bench to help United run out games was touted, with Dower pleased at yet another string being added to Canberra’s already impressive attacking bow.

“I think it’s more than likely you’ll see Lisa coming in as an impact player…if you just think of her coming in against a tired defence, that brings a whole new element to your gameplay.”

Canberra have a short break over Christmas before hitting the road yet again for their second trip to Melbourne in the space of three weeks.

Co-captain Ellie Brush is hopeful of a start against Melbourne Victory after she missed the match against Brisbane Roar due to a knee injury.

“She’s [Brush] actually really good today…she got a fair bit of movement out there today without the brace.

“I’d suggest she’d probably be in fairly strong contention for that 28th as well.”

Dower stressed the importance of finishing the year well with the team heading into the finals.

“On the back of a number of games coming up towards the end of the season we really want to be able to take maximum points out of all these away games so we can come home with that wind in our sails.”

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Dominic Unwin
Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.

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