With Round Seven done and dusted, all that remains is for Impetus’ A-League Women writing team of Kris Goman, Ben Gilby, and Kieran Yap to hand out their plaudits for Player, Coach, and Event of the Week. For the first time this season, there was quite a bit of diverging opinion (17/1/22).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Kris Goman: It’s got to be Cote Rojas this week with her hat trick and pure joy at scoring. She was able to start and let rip.
Ben Gilby: In any normal week, I’d be naming Cote Rojas as my winner as she did what she does best with that idiosyncratic big smile on her face. Yet this wasn’t a normal week. Perth Glory was missing five regular starters through a mixture of COVID and injury. Their front line was particularly impacted with Cyera Hintzen, Susan Phonsongkham, and Alana Jancevski all out. Two youngsters stepped up in particular. Deborah-Ann de la Harpe was a menace along the right and also hit a rocket of a free-kick. But, nudging ahead to take the award was Hana Lowry. The 18-year-old local product was hugely influential, showing maturity and passing vision beyond her years. On top of this, she scored a wonderful goal.
Kieran Yap: It’s got to be Cote Rojas. I was wondering how effective a replacement for Remy Siemsen she might be but three goals, including a very stylish chip answered that question. Another big Sydney win was largely due to her impact.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Kris Goman: I think Ante Juric this week for the dominant performance of Sydney. Even without Siemsen and Vine, they didn’t miss a beat. It’s a squad where everyone knows their role and what they’re supposed to be doing.
Ben Gilby: He might have missed the match due to being diagnosed with COVID that morning, but Alex Epakis more than earns the award this week. He had spoken all week about working with his depleted team to cut down on conceding set-pieces and matching Newcastle Jets’ physicality. They achieved both targets. He has instilled such belief and desire in his young side that to be disappointed not to get a win when without at least five key players shows what a tight team he has built in the West.
Kieran Yap: It’s Jeff Hopkins for me. Victory was without three of the best players from their opening games plus Melina Ayres. Alex Chidiac was returning from COVID and had to have game time managed. This was a challenging prospect against a Western Sydney Wanderers side in improving form. Hopkins reshuffled his lineup and trusted in the young players in his squad. It was a deserved win in difficult circumstances.
EVENT OF THE WEEK:
Kris Goman: Alyssa Whinham‘s goal and more precisely her facial expression after the goal. Pure joy and euphoria. It’s what the game is all about.
Ben Gilby: No question it’s Alyssa Whinham‘s wonderful reaction after scoring Wellington Phoenix’s opening goal against Brisbane Roar. One of my moments of the season so far.
Kieran Yap: Alyssa Whinham‘s celebration. After scoring an impressive opening goal against Brisbane Roar we saw an outpouring of joy and amazement from the midfielder. It was this week’s instantly shareable moment on social media.