Round Four of the A-League Women was memorable for several different reasons. Our team of writers covering the competition, Ben Gilby, Kris Goman, and Kieran Yap hand out their weekly awards (28/12/21).
Above: Hannah Wilkinson (far left), the undisputed choice of Player of the Week, celebrates with her Melbourne City teammates on Boxing Day. Photo: Melbourne City.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Ben: Easiest pick of the season. Hannah Wilkinson was absolutely sensational in the Boxing Day derby for Melbourne City. Her cool finishes in scoring all of her team’s five goals took the headlines, but the link-up play and understanding she showed with Holly McNamara (who, on another week could have taken this award for her own display) was also superb.
Kris: It has to be Hannah Wilkinson with the fastest hat-trick (21 minutes) and matching Kate Gill’s five-goal record. That doesn’t happen very often. That also put her well in front in the golden boot race.
Kieran: Easy. Hannah Wilkinson, five goals, and all great finishes. A fantastic performance.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Ben: For the second week in a row, I’m going for Rado Vidosic – but this time directly due to his preparation and game plan for the Melbourne derby. All season in press conferences, Vidosic has spoken of his desire to see his side improve their high press and cut down the amount of time opposition have on the ball. All of these were in evidence in spades on Boxing Day and the way his side targeted specific areas of the Melbourne Victory defence were examples of a team that were prepared brilliantly.
Kris: I’ll go with Rado Vidosic. To see City tear apart Victory like that was unusual. Victory were down a few key players, but they are still the champion team from last year so the result was pretty unexpected.
Kieran: It’s Sergio Malfara. He stepped into the role for the day after Catherine Cannuli was forced into isolation. It was the second good performance in a row by the Wanderers against another strong team.
EVENT OF THE WEEK:
Ben: Brisbane Roar conceding two goals at the death to blow a lead yet again. The Queenslanders have let goals in from the 85th minute onwards in every game this season. Six goals lost in this period across the campaign have seen the Garrath McPherson’s side drop a potential seven points – a tally which would put them in fifth place, only outside of the top four on goal difference. As soon as Grace Maher hit that free-kick with two minutes to go, there was an inevitability that Canberra would score again to grab a draw, which is exactly what they did through Holly Caspers.
Kris: The hair grab by Sheridan Gallagher on Taylor Ray. While I think some of the reactions are bordering on bullying, it’s also the most talked about event of the round. It’s pretty clear she didn’t do it on purpose but it looked pretty violent and she was lucky to get away with a yellow.
Kieran: Grace Maher’s free-kick for Canberra United with two minutes of normal time left against Brisbane Roar. Perfectly hit and perfectly timed to change the course of the game.