Above: Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Catherine Cannuli speaking to the media on Thursday. Photo: Western Sydney Wanderers.
Round Nine of the Liberty A-League Women kicks off on Friday night with Western Sydney Wanderers hosting Adelaide United at Marconi Stadium. Impetus’ Ben Gilby heard from head coaches, Catherine Cannuli of Wanderers, and Adelaide’s Adrian Stenta (27/1/22).
Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Catherine Cannuli emphasized that she is positive her team has what it takes to improve their goalscoring record and make Finals football.
Cannuli began her media conference by addressing the disappointment of last week’s game against Perth Glory. “We’ve reviewed it. We had been getting better and better, but for some reason, we came out against Perth and, apart from the first 10 minutes we got on the back foot. It wasn’t a great performance, but we have to pick ourselves up.”
Asked about the team’s focus in training, the Wanderers head coach said: “Look, it’s no surprise. We haven’t been scoring goals (only two in seven matches this season) and that’s something that’s been the main focus for us over the last few weeks and it is something we will continue to work on.”
Western Sydney take this week’s game to Marconi Stadium, the only match scheduled in the A-League Women for the iconic 9,000 capacity venue during 2021/22. It’s a ground that Cannuli can’t wait to get back to.
“It’s got such good football history. As a young girl, I grew up playing at Marconi and watching the old NSL there. It’s special to get a game there, especially for the local community at Fairfield, and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd there. We often get a lot of the junior clubs supporting us there (see mini-article below).”
Cannuli closed by highlighting the aims she has for her team for the rest of the season. “We’re not going to give up. We’ve spoken about what this club is about and our culture. We’re going to go out there and get as many points as we can from every single game and we’re going to keep fighting for (a place in) that Finals series.
Club Welcome Grassroots Players To A-League Women Action
Western Sydney Wanderers FC will be opening the gates to all registered players under 16 at Friday night’s Liberty A-League clash against Adelaide United at Marconi Stadium.
Registered players wishing to claim their free tickets should click on this link.
Adelaide United head coach Adrian Stenta is determined that his side will produce a more ruthless display in the final third of the field as they travel to face Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night, a team they have never beaten in New South Wales.
He hinted that his team faced a performance from their last opponents, Wellington Phoenix, that they were not quite expecting. “They (Phoenix) played a lot more pragmatically than they had previously, stronger defensively, and were quicker than they had been before. It was a challenging game.
“Some of our build-up play was good and we managed to get ourselves into some good areas, but we were not as good as we needed to be in the final third.”
With the season now just past the halfway mark, Stenta reviewed his team’s progress so far.
“I’m reasonably happy, (but) we need to be more consistent. We’ve found it hard to string 90 minutes together and performances back to back. There’s been some real positives, but there is a lot of work to do.
“To be sitting in the position we are (Adelaide are in fourth place) and know that we still have some growth and improvement in us, fills me with some hope moving forward.”
Stenta highlighted his expectations of the game at Marconi Stadium saying, “Any away game is hard. It’s going to be a really tight game. Western Sydney have had trouble scoring goals, but they haven’t conceded many (only five in seven games). It’s probably going to be a game of few chances, so quality in that final third is going to be all important.
“They are a well set up team and defensively very sound. It’s going to be about keeping patient and trying to circulate the ball if we can, but like most matches, it will probably come down to a few key moments. We need to be aware of those and make the most of them when they present themselves.”
Stenta ended his media conference with positive selection news. “We’ve pretty much got everyone available for the first time this season, so it’s a tough week to pick a squad of 16 to travel and play. That’s a good position for me to be in and it’s up to the players to prove their worthiness at training.”