A-League Women mid-season report card: Western Sydney Wanderers

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As the 2022/2023 A-League Women football season reaches halfway, The Football Sack examines Western Sydney Wanderers performance up to this point.

Semester summary: Same old struggles.

It has been a disappointing start to the 2022/2023 A-League Women season for Western Sydney Wanderers. You could say the Wanderers are slipping into their old habits of losing.

Last season was discouraging for the Wanderers and their fans, as the club failed to make yet another A-League Women’s finals, finishing ninth on the ladder out of 10 teams.

Old habits die hard. The Red and Black have remained at the bottom of the ladder thus far with one draw, five losses, and one win. They still sit 10th on the ladder out of 11 with only four points.

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With their slow start to the ALW season, they need to finish much stronger if they are any hope of playing finals.

Areas of excellence: Local players shining.

Western Sydney Wanderers have stayed true to their roots, and a little further afield, bringing in an impressive contingent of Sydney-raised players via coach Kat Smith to try to launch up the table.

The AFC/FFA Pro License holder has been a scout for the Matildas at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, a performance analyst and assistant coach for the Junior Matildas, and head coach of Alamein FC in the NPLW Victoria. So in the long run, her experience might shape up the Red and Black to return in good form.

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Areas in need of improvement: Lack of sharpness at either end.

Their attack looks good on paper, but they have struggled with scoring goals. The Wanderers have scored only three from seven matches this season. In a few of their matches, they enjoyed a lot of possession, but failed to create scoring opportunities.

The Wanderers also conceded goals in each of their first six matches. The only time they managed to keep a clean sheet was in their battle against Melbourne City – making the need for scoring goals consistently even stronger.

Top Student: Sheridan Gallagher is a prime example of a phenomenon.

The 21-year-old has come into her own in recent weeks, becoming a shining light in an otherwise grey period in Wanderers’ footballing history. Despite their struggles, Gallagher’s form could be the spark that turns the Wanderers’ season around in 2023. The youngster is the Wanderers’ top scorer this season.

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While Gallagher is in the spotlight, you can’t take your eyes off newbie Sarina Bolden either.

The Wanderers hadn’t won a game until Bolden arrived in Western Sydney. The Philippines national team striker has immediately linked up with the squad, having joined from Japanese side Chifure AS Elfen Saitama.

Bolden recently made her debut for the Red and Black side against Melbourne City, inspiring a shock win and the Wanderers’ first of the season.

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Class clown: Olivia Price is one of the most underrated players in the ALW.

The 26-year-old has only started three matches this season and seems to be proving more important off ghe pitch for this young Wanderers team.

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Grade: F

Outlook: Still time to take a few steps forward.

It has been a horror season for the Wanderers so far, but that doesn’t mean that it is all doom and gloom.

On paper, they have the talent to make the top four, and they should have performed better in their opening to the season.

Winning more games will not fix the Wanderers issues, but it will be significant moving forward.

Perhaps the new year brings forth fresh starts, new beginnings, and renewed optimism for the Red and Black, as we saw in their performance against Melbourne City.

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Feature Image Credit: Steve Christo

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Edith Yankuba
Edith Yankubahttps://www.afroaussiesandsuccess.com
A curious journalism student seeking knowledge from the world via stories and all things football. Covering the 2022/2023 A-League season for Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners.

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