Above: Canberra United’s Grace Maher, who made her 50th appearance for the club in Tuesday’s 5-0 win at Western Sydney Wanderers. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.
Ahead of Canberra United’s game at Brisbane Roar tomorrow, Impetus’ Ben Gilby heard from the Greens’ Grace Maher and some news from the Roar camp (17/2/22).
Canberra United’s Grace Maher previewed tomorrow’s game at Brisbane Roar as well as revealing the importance that a strange atmosphere of calm in the dressing room pre-game had on recording their first win of the season at Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday.
“It was a fun bus journey home from Sydney. It was a lot louder than any we’ve had this season. Getting that first win had really been eating away at us, but there was something interesting yesterday. Myself, Michelle (Heyman) and Vicki (Linton, head coach) all noticed a sense of calm before the game between the players and we didn’t know how that would translate onto the pitch but we didn’t say anything as we just wanted to see what happened.
“Lo and behold, in the first 20 minutes, everyone was taking time to find the players and keeping the ball. We kept Wanderers on the back foot and got a goal. We took control from there and went on for the whole 90 minutes.”
With that first win under their belt, Canberra are back in action almost immediately, something that Maher is excited about.
“No matter whether you come off a win or loss, games in quick succession is good. You can put things behind you or build momentum. We love playing lots of games, that’s why we train every day and turn up. As much as its tough on our bodies, and this week we have double travel (Sydney on Tuesday is followed by Brisbane tomorrow), we’re super glad we got the result and we want to keep the momentum going.”
The impact of the Western Sydney game on Canberra bodies was particularly brutal as Canberra’s star revealed: “I don’t think I’ve ever had so many bruises in a game that were not self-inflicted! The body is sore, but we train for this. We have great staff and people around us who make sure we’ll be ready to go on Friday. The win makes the sore spots that bit more sweeter.”
Also making the win that bit sweeter was the fact that it came on Maher’s 50th appearance for Canberra United and she was wearing the captain’s armband.
“I was really emotional when I found out that I was going to be captain. The club means a lot to me, coming up from the juniors and playing in the W-League for eight years. Caps don’t come so quickly when we have such short seasons. All I could say to the team was how proud I was of the for the performance they put in bearing in mind how tough it’s been this season.
“We have a series of games in quick succession now. We want to get as many wins as we can now as we know we haven’t played well in some games and then in others we did play well but the results didn’t come.”
Tomorrow’s game now takes on added importance as Canberra travel to another team around them in the table as they look to close in on fifth spot in the table.
“Brisbane have just come off a really heavy defeat (8-2 to Adelaide United) and we’ve just come off a big win. We know they are quality as we had a 3-3 draw with them at Christmas. They’ve got Katrina Gorry who will jump on us if we have a bad game. We have to back it up.”
Brisbane Roar meanwhile, has confirmed goalkeeper Georgina Worth will miss the remainder of the Liberty A-League season due to a meniscal tear.
Worth will undergo an operation on the injury next week and is likely to spend upwards of six weeks on the sideline.
Everyone at Brisbane Roar wishes Georgie a speedy recovery.
As a result, fellow goalkeeper Chantelle Symes has been upgraded to a Liberty A-League contract.
Symes has been training with the Roar since December and will provide coverage and competition for Mia Bailey and Isabella Shuttleworth.