Western Sydney Wanderers A-League Women 2021/22 season preview

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After a disappointing campaign last season, Western Sydney Wanderers, who have appointed club legend Catherine Cannulli as head coach, welcome an array of fresh faces as they aim to return to finals football in 2021/22.

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Last season…

A-League Womens: 6th

They’ll win the league because…

With a new leader and squad additions, it’s an exciting time to be a part of this club.

Since Cannulli assumed the role of head coach, we’ve had some exciting developments with the women’s game in Western Sydney. The birth of the ‘Future Wander Women Program’ is an early sign of things to come. The development of a clear pathway to the top will hopefully bring with it, added emphasis for members of the club’s A-League Women’s side that there is a plethora of young girls on their heels now.

In addition, Cannulli’s new signings look to have complemented the current squad at the club. The mixture of experience and promising youth, most notably in Matilda Teigen Allen shows that Cannulli is looking for that perfect balance within her squad.

We have seen in years gone by with the likes of Ellie Carpenter, who played for the club whilst Cannulli was assistant coach, that the club is willing to give tomorrow’s stars a start. If Cannulli is able to find the perfect concoction from her assembled squad and harness the momentum of the exciting changes at the club, there’s nothing to say they can’t be right up amongst the very best sides this season.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

The club has featured in the finals just once in the past seven seasons and it’s a very big ask, with a new coach, to expect fireworks in her first season at the helm.

There’s no denying however, Cannull’s connection to the club having been there since 2012. That has to count for something and there are many fans who will be hoping so. She will have set a high standard and expect nothing less than that. With that in mind, there is a lot of youth in the squad this season so it would be fair to expect teething issues from top to bottom. 

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The off-season brought

Exciting talent.

High quality youngsters have been entering the league of late and for Cannulli, she has not been afraid to start off her tenure by bringing in players ready to make their mark. Bianca Galic to New Zealand Fern Malia Steinmetz, there are a number of young, talented players that will be called upon this season. 

Key player

Teigen Allen.

Coming into the side this season with a wealth of experience at international level, Allen will be one the side will turn to throughout the year. As the league has started to welcome more and more youth due experienced players moving abroad, the need for experienced players is key, especially if Cannulli wants her side to turn heads this season. 

Leading from the back, Allen is a defender who has represented her country a combined 97 times at under 17, under 20 and senior level. Experience like that is sure to be extremely useful throughout the season and at just 27 years of age, Allen has plenty of football in her. That and the added fact that her time spent playing next Cannulli for the club from 2012 – 2014 means that Allen is well aware of her surroundings and what will be expected of her from day one.

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One to watch

Libby Copus-Brown.

Mentioned earlier as a prosperous youngster, Copus-Brown is one that many will be keeping a fixed eye on this season. At 24-years-old, Copus-Brown has an astonishing eight years of experience to call upon. Having finally started to see more minutes in recent seasons she has to be a player ready to announce herself in the league this season.

Given her physical willingness in the centre of park matched with a fearlessness of driving at defenders, it feels as though the time is nigh for Copus-Brown to announce herself with the league and Australian women’s football. With her mentioned attributes, we expect that she becomes a stalwart member of Canulli’s side this season.

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INS: Ashlie Crofts (Canberra United), Malia Steinmetz (Perth Glory), Sham Khamis (Melbourne Victory), Clare Hunt (Canberra United), Teigen Allen (Melbourne City), Bianca Galic (Canberra United)

OUTS: Isabel Gomez, Chloe Middleton, Sarah Hunter, Aideen Keane, Susan Phonsongkhan

Full Squad List

Goalkeepers: Sham Khamis, Sarah Willacy

Defenders: Teigen Allen, Caitlin Cooper, Clare Hunt, Margaux Chauvet, Elizabeth Ralston

Midfielders: Teigan Collister, Libby Copus-Brown, Ashlie Crofts, Rosie Galea, Bianca Galic, Danika Matos, Olivia Price, Malia Steinmetz

Forwards: Sheridan Gallagher, Erica Halloway, Bryleeh Henry

Feature Image Credit: Steve Christo

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Joseph Esposito
A diploma graduated Sports Media student, currently studying Law. Football obsessed, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the upcoming 2021/22 A-League season.

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