W-League News Round-Up

There’s a new head coach at Brisbane Roar, three players announced by Adelaide United and two by Newcastle Jets. Impetus brings you up to date.

Brisbane Roar have announced Garrath McPherson as its new W-League Head Coach on a multi-year deal.

The appointment marks a welcome return to the Roar for the 38-year-old, who previously spent three seasons with the team as an assistant to Mel Andreatta.

That period included the Premiership-winning 2017/18 campaign and McPherson has continued to build considerable experience since contributing to that success.

He heads up the state’s National Training Centre program and coaches the Queensland Academy of Sport side in the NPL Women’s competition, positions that have seen him play an integral role in the development of many of this season’s squad members.

“Excited is the first word that comes to mind,” said McPherson, a former Male Champion of the Year nominee at the annual rebel Female Football Awards.

“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with players I’ve worked with previously, players who have come through our development systems and programs.

“It’s exciting for me to lead the next step in the Club’s mission, which is to give Queenslanders – whether they’re adopted Queenslanders or born and bred here – opportunities to play at the top level and continue progressing towards national team representation.

“I feel honoured to be able to continue the hard work that has been done by so many great people over the past decade.

Above: New Brisbane Roar head coach Garrath McPherson. Photo: @garrathmc

“The club has always been extremely supportive, back when I was with the team previously and now with providing this opportunity.

“I cannot wait to get on the pitch with the players and staff and get stuck into our preparations. Queensland has always had an incredibly strong footballing community and it’s going to be awesome to see everyone in the stands on our first matchday.”

Roar CEO David Pourre said the Club identified McPherson as the ideal candidate to drive the strong Queensland focus that has strategically been adopted in the run-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Garrath back to Brisbane Roar at this really exciting time for our W-League program,” Pourre said.

“Garrath knows what it takes to be successful in the W-League, having worked closely with Mel Andreatta for many years, and he’s someone we trust to set those standards.

“At the same time, we think he’s incredibly well-credentialled in player development environments.

“That’s going to be very big for the Club, and very important for football in Australia given the wonderful opportunities ahead of our game.

“There is so much to look forward to and so many talented players in this state. We want to reward their hard work and give them a platform to play at the top level.

“We look forward to seeing Garrath harness that potential as part of a team that will make our fans and Queenslanders very proud.”

Adelaide United continue to announce additions to their roster for 2021/22 with the news that Emily Condon, Annalee Grove and Miranda Templeman have all been signed up.

Condon will remain with the Club until the end of the W-League 2022/23 season after signing a two-year contract.

Emily Condon lies equal first in the Club’s all-time appearances list with 72 games and 12 goals to her name since joining the Reds ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

In 12 starts last season the 22-year-old was extremely impressive, scoring a career-high four goals and registered a further four assists.

Condon has spent the offseason with Salisbury Inter in the SA NPLW and has scored six goals in 13 matches in all competitions so far.

Speaking about entering her ninth season with the Club, Condon said: “I’m very happy to commit my future to Adelaide United.

Above: Emily Condon will return to Adelaide United red for the next two seasons. Photo: Adelaide United.

“We took great strides forward last season and I think we can only improve on the progress we made as we aim to play finals football.

“I’m really enjoying playing for Adrian (Stenta) and I’m excited for another season together with a great group of young footballers.”

Adelaide United’s W-League Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, said: “Emily enjoyed probably her most consistent season to date last year with Adelaide United and took her game to another level.

“It’s pleasing to know Emily will be with us for the next two years because she’s an integral player to our team and one of the most talented midfielders in the competition.

“Our squad is coming together quite nicely and fans should be looking forward to another strong and competitive season from our exciting, young group.”

The South Australian club have also announced that goalkeepers Annalee Grove and Miranda Templeman, have signed with the Club for the W-League 2021/22 season.

The pair are considered two of the best young shot-stoppers in the country.

Grove returns to the Reds where she made her W-League debut last season against Canberra United.

The 20-year-old, who has represented the Junior and Young Matildas, spent the offseason in Sydney with Bankstown City Lions in the NSW WNPL.

After re-signing with Adelaide, Grove said: “I’m really delighted to be back at Adelaide with this amazing team.

“I feel like we have unfinished business because of how close we came to reaching the finals last campaign.

Above: Annalee Grove returns to Adelaide United. Photo: Adelaide United.

“Last year I was fortunate enough to make my Reds debut and now I feel like I’m ready for that number one role if I keep working hard and stay focused.”

Meanwhile, Templeman arrives at the Club with a substantial amount of potential.

Originally from Perth, the 18-year-old is part of the Future Matildas program and previously represented Australia at U16 level.

Templeman, too, has plied her trade in the NSW WNPL during the offseason, but with FNSW Institute.

Speaking about joining the Reds, Templeman said: “I’m so excited to be moving to Adelaide.

“Growing up and playing the sport I love, my goal has always been to play professionally and, to now have that opportunity, my determination to make that dream a reality has only intensified.

Above: Young Western Australian Miranda Templeman joins Adelaide United. Photo: Miranda Templeman Facebook.

“I believe Adelaide is one of the best teams I could join for my development because of the opportunities it gives young players, which is exciting for me.

“Hopefully we can put together a solid season and secure a place in the finals.”

Adelaide United’s W-League Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, said: “We’re really happy with these two signings.

“Annie was obviously with us last year and got to experience playing at the W-League standard and I’m convinced she’ll only improve.

“Miranda is a really talented goalkeeper and arguably the best for her age in the country.

“She is still really young, but has all the necessary attributes to play at this level and it’s definitely going to be exciting to see these two provide competition for each other over the course of the season.”

Across in New South Wales, Newcastle Jets have announce that striker Sophie Harding and goalkeeper Claire Coelho have re-signed with the Club for the 2021/22 Westfield W-League season.

22-year-old Harding made her W-League debut for the Jets last season, making 11 appearances.

“I’m super pleased to be re-signing with Newcastle this year, it’s an awesome club and I’m excited to get to work with the girls and the coaches to build on last season,” Harding said.

“I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to come back for my second season in the W-League, and I’m looking forward to putting in the work to get some great results for the team and club.”

Above: Sophie Harding (centre, facing camera) is back at Newcastle Jets for another year. Photo: Newcastle Jets.

Coach Ash Wilson said; “Soph had a positive impact last year both on and off the pitch in her first ever W-League season. 

“She has a clear weapon in terms of her speed and poses a serious threat to other teams. But she also has a strong desire to learn and develop which is pleasing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what Soph can do in her second season and I know she is going to positively contribute to our team performances and style of play.”

Joining Sophie Harding at the Jets for another season is goalkeeper Claire Coelho.

The 25-year-old Port Macquarie product has been part of the Jets’ W-League set-up since 2013.

With 34 W-League games to her name following 11 starts last season, Coelho is excited to have secured her future and build on last year.

“The club is moving in a positive direction, so to re-sign and be a part of this new chapter is exciting,” Coelho said.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to train with the Jets Academy boy’s teams this off-season and coming into my ninth W-League season, it’s helped me feel ready for the challenge ahead.”

Above: Claire Coelho, seen here making a save against Adelaide United, has signed up for another year with the Jets. Photo: Newcastle Jets.

W-League Coach Ash Wilson said, securing Coelho is an important part of her roster puzzle.

“Claire continues to prove herself in the W-League,” Wilson said.

“She has been an integral member of the Jets W League squad for a number of years and I’m looking forward to seeing her step up again this season.

“Her communication, bravery and shot stopping abilities will be important to this team coming into the 2021/22 season.”

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