Heffernan: O’Sullivan’s one of the world’s best midfielders

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Western Sydney Wanderers’ coach Dean Heffernan believes Irish import Denise O’Sullivan is one of the best midfielders in the world.

His praise was echoed by US Women’s National Team striker Lynn Williams after the Red and Black made it two wins from two to kick off the 2019/20 W-League campaign on Friday night.

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Being a teammate at back-to-back NWSL champions North Carolina Courage, Williams is well aware of the workhorse qualities O’Sullivan possesses.

The duo made their Wanderers debut in the club’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle Jets, showcasing their class in a dominant showing from Heffernan’s outfit.

While Williams was electric in the final third, a tireless performance in the centre of the park from O’Sullivan saw the host’s control possession with composure.

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“Any time I have Denise behind me in midfield I feel secure,” Williams said.

“I don’t know how she does it, she’s literally an engine and really knows how to throw her weight around.”

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Williams was pleased with the contribution of her side’s midfield three, which also included Australian international representatives Amy Harrison and Ella Mastrantonio.

With her and O’Sullivan only settling down under in the last week, the rapid attacker assured the Wanderers would have even more to offer in coming weeks.

“I think when we play together a little more we will be even better, but for what it is right now I thought today was great,” Williams said.

“They (Harrison and Mastrantonio) know spaces well and were trying to do what Dean told us to.”

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Coach Heffernan is satisfied with the “balanced” mix of youth and experience that his squad currently holds, particularly in midfield.

His praise of O’Sullivan after her first 90 minutes in red and black could not have been stronger.

“I think Denise O’Sullivan is one of the best midfielders in the world,” he said.

“The way her and Ella (Mastrantonio) complement each other is really good.”

Heffernan also lauded the leadership qualities of new club vice-captain Harrison and the pedigree of former Melbourne Victory lynch-pin Mastrantonio.

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“Ella has got some of the best technique I’ve seen in the boys game and the women’s game,” he said.

“She can pass the ball better than most people.

“Having Denise alongside her working tirelessly to get other people in the game in dangerous areas was very good to see.”

Feature image credit: Western Sydney Wanderers

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Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.