W-League| Canberra unfazed over semi-final opponents

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Canberra United coach Rae Dower says her team doesn’t care who they face in the W-League finals, ensuring her side will be prepared to face anyone.

Speaking in the wake of United’s thumping 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory, Dower maintained her side won’t be sweating over final standings.

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“We don’t care, seriously, we just want to go and recover tomorrow,” the Canberra coach said.

“We’ll sit back, we’ll watch the results but as far as we’re concerned they can just kick the heck out of each other tomorrow, we don’t care.”

Canberra’s triumph at McKellar on Saturday elevated them to top spot on the ladder, one and three points ahead of Sydney FC and Perth Glory respectively.

With both sides playing away from home on Sunday, Canberra could well be premiers by the evening.

But Dower said all her team could focus on is themselves.

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“You’ve got to play whoever you’re told to play,” she added.

“There’s still things that we can do better, there’s still things we need to do better heading into next week.”

With finals very much visible on the horizon, Dower was pleased with her side’s attitude and focus, especially in the wake of last week’s frustrating 1-nil loss to Western Sydney.

“It was a great team performance first and foremost, we said that from the outset we needed a full team performance today to get the biscuits.

“We had to be clinical in taking our chances and we were and some of the team goals again today were just sublime.”

Despite the final score line blowing out, Canberra were made to work hard for their win against a Victory side who has endured a frustrating campaign.

Having pulled a goal back courtesy of a wonder strike off the kick-off via Christine Nairn, Victory could easily have snatched an equaliser.

Instead it was United, courtesy of 17-year-old Grace Maher, who made the breakthrough to put the result beyond doubt.

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Dower said Maher’s performance was just rewards after a big 12 months.

“I can’t play Grace enough kudos in terms of how hard she’s worked, last year was a disappointing in terms of not getting as many minutes as she would have liked.”

Maher echoed her coach’s sentiments, citing the physicality of the league as a big incentive for improvement.

“If anyone, I think Rae would know how much I’ve grown in the past six to eight months, not only as a footballer but maturity wise,” Maher said upon reflection.

“The W-league is such a physical game and that was an aspect of my game that we both identified was weak and in the offseason that was our main work.”

Canberra will await the outcome of Sunday’s matches before knowing their semi-final opponents.

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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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