W-League mid-season report card: Perth Glory

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With the W-League season already halfway gone, it’s time to reflect on each club’s performance before getting into the pointy end of the competition.

Semester summary: Perth Glory have not done too well thus far, currently sitting with one draw and two consecutive losses to their name.

One can not help but wonder if the cellar dwellers standing is a result of bringing in a shiny new squad and a coach to match, who are still yet to gel and perform as a strong unified side on the field.

Despite a weak start, the team’s two shortcomings have only been shy of one goal proving they have the determination and fire needed to stay in the game and pull out a win.

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Areas of excellence: Glory has shown their ability to play an end-to-end game this season, largely in part to their well-rounded midfield and defensive line-ups.

Their capability to obtain the ball and bring it down the field while creating a hard defense for opposition, when not in possession, demonstrates the team’s hustle at both ends of the pitch.

Notable performances go to Malia Steinmetz, goal scorer Caitlin Doeglas and Captain Natasha Rigby, whose efforts each game have added strength to the team both offensively and defensively.

This was evident in the team’s most recent match against Canberra United. Their efforts at both ends of the field allowed for a back and forth game that did not see a goal until the final minutes.

Despite having yet secured a win there is no doubt the side has strong, well-rounded teamwork that has led to a fairly equal share of possession in all their games up to now and may assist in the coming weeks in holding off opposition and finally securing a win for themselves.

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Areas in need of improvement: While the team has proven skill in all areas of the field, there must be a reason they remain winless at this stage in the competition.

It comes from their offensive work, as it appears to be a little slow.

You can see them thinking about their upcoming plays and what they are going to do next and if we can, surely the opposition can too.

This may be the result of a fresh team, who is yet to subconsciously understand one another’s playing styles, but something has got to give.

With any luck, it will improve as the season continues.

Top student: Gemma Craine, an absolute powerhouse. She is an active contributor to the team’s offensive side and shows excellent hustle and drive to keep the opposition on their toes throughout the full 90-minutes.

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Winner of the Premier Women’s Gold Medal Player of the Year Award in 2019, it is clear she lives up to the title on the field.

Despite being a new addition this season, Craine has more than assisted in carrying the team’s possession with multiple fast breaks on the field.

Her end to end work keeps the opposition busy and has helped the team maintains their slim margins in the season thus far.

Unfortunately, Craine was ruled out for the rest of the season by a hamstring injury sustained in their round two match against Adelaide United.

Needs improvement: Hana Lowry.

While she is one of the younger girls on the team, this is her second W-League season with the squad so expectations have risen.

Lowry is a strong player, however she seems tentative on the field. Her inconsistent passing and ball work have seen the ball conceded a few times.

This is rather strange to see, following her stellar performance in the back half of last season but hopefully she regains her confidence in the latter half of the season.

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Grade: C

Outlook: It is clear the squad demonstrates promise for the remainder of the season.

They are still yet to face seven of the competing teams, so there is plenty of chance for them to rise from the ashes and come together to prove themselves.

Should the girls focus of those aforementioned areas of weakness, they will come out a strong all-rounded team that will prove a force to be reckoned with.

With their next two games postponed, coach Alexander Epakis has time to light a fire under his team so they can climb up the ladder, away from the dreaded wooden spoon.

Feature Image Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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Breanna Redhead
WA based student journalist, covering Perth Glory for the 2020/21 A-League season