W-League mid-season report card: Canberra United

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With nearly half the season gone in the W-League, now is a perfect time to assess the good and bad of each club.

Semester summary: Despite their recent first loss of the season, Canberra United have had a solid first half to kick things off.

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Starting the season off with two injury-time victories, showing true guts and determination to secure all three points right at the end.

While taking down last season’s champions Melbourne City in the process.

Struggling clinically to finish off games earlier than they would like to, they have ended up being able to find a way to snatch a point or three by full-time.

Although Vicki Linton’s squad has proved to be a title contender, Sydney FC were able to remind them how much work is yet to be done.

Areas of excellence: Their defensive efforts have been a major factor towards being second on the ladder after six games.

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Their speed and strength to cut out their opponent’s chance to make a threatening play has been lethal from their youthful, yet experienced midfielders.

They also know how to flip the pressure back on the other team with their quick counter-attacks through the speed of players such as Paige Satchell, Nicki Flannery and Hayley Taylor-Young.

Their desire to stay in the game beyond the 90th minute has been what makes this team a force to be reckoned with.

Areas in need of improvement: One thing that has eluded them throughout all, except their game against the Western Sydney Wanderers, is their ability to seal the game earlier.

Their game against City could have been more comfortable if they were able to convert their first half chances.

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Even though they have found a way out in most of their games, the story could be very different. Especially from both of their draws.

Their defence also may have been exposed to the rest of the competition in their loss to Sydney with their lack of tightness on the player with the ball.

Top student: Hard to look past the one and only Michelle Heyman after the comeback season she is having.

Despite the crucial role everybody in this team is playing in their success so far, the role Heyman is playing has been nothing short of mesmerising.

Top scorer in the league, a leader within the squad and on the brink of making W-League history with one more goal to equal Sam Kerr’s goal scoring record.

Not much else you can ask for from your main striker.

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Needs improvement: Hard to single out a player in such a dynamic team at the moment.

But if one has to be noted, it would be Satchell’s threat on goal.

She is the most active player on the field. Fast up the line, comes back in defence, can lose track of how many positions she plays in a single game. She puts so much effort into everything she does.

But in front of goal, she has a bit to work on.

Grade: A-

Outlook: The rise of United has been wonderful to watch, even if more than half of their goals are scored after the 75th minute.

They rush for every ball, scurry for every tackle, and play with the whole of Canberra behind them in their sails.

They have become an exciting driven team that have come out for nothing less than success.

Feature image credit – Canberra United

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Rory O'Connor
23 year old student at the University of Canberra studying Sports Media.

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