In the latest part of our WA On Wednesday series, Fremantle City‘s Tash Rigby, who also captains A-League Women side Perth Glory, speaks to Ben Gilby about Freo’s season ahead of her team’s Top Four Cup semi-final against Hyundai NTC on Friday (30/8/22).
Above: Tash Rigby in possession for Fremantle City this season. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Denyse McCulloch.
Speaking just days before Fremantle City’s NPLW WA Top Four Cup semi-final game against Hyundai NTC, Tash Rigby feels her teammates are in a good place going into their Finals campaign.
“We seem to be peaking towards the end of our season which is really positive and it feels like we have found our groove!” she said with that trademark smile.
“As a collective, we have had a tough season, with injuries, sickness, and other variables affecting our ability to field a consistent team. This has resulted in inconsistencies in our performance across the season.”
The campaign has also had challenges on a personal level for Rigby after she suffered an MCL tear that kept her out of action for eight weeks.
“I am almost back to full strength and fitness now which is great timing! I have really enjoyed playing more of an attacking role as a wingback as well this season, it has helped me develop a new side of my game.”
That role has seen Rigby flying up the flanks on a regular basis this season and becoming just as integral part of Fremantle’s attack as their defence.
The port city side began their run-in to the end of the regular season with tough battles against the eventual top two Perth RedStar and Perth SC, but the last three matches against Top Four Cup rivals saw the club end their campaign on a high.
“The performances against Murdoch, Balcatta, and NTC have been a great showcase of our potential and what we are capable of when we gel, it is also an example of our resilience and grit. Over the last few weeks, have been quite clinical in front of goal which is exciting.”
There has been a lot of discussion about the standard of the NPLW WA this season with a number of locally produced players going across to play in the eastern states. Rigby feels that this is just one of a number of barriers that the competition has had to overcome.
“In my opinion, although I was only a spectator during last season, I think that the quality of the league has taken a step backwards in comparison to last year. I think a lot of teams have struggled with injuries and COVID interruptions. I think also losing a few top-quality players and young stars to the eastern states has contributed to this as well.”
The reasons for the player losses are many, but the fact remains that in order for the NPLW WA to maintain an upward trajectory, its best players need to remain in Western Australia.
With the topic of where players decide to pursue their career such a large and wide-ranging one, worthy of a feature all of its own, the conversation returned to the more immediate matter at hand – this weekend’s commencement of the NPLW WA Top Four Cup. Rigby reflected on the qualities of Fremantle City’s fellow qualifiers – Perth RedStar, Perth SC, and Hyundai NTC.
“All the teams in the finals demand a lot of respect and we will just be looking to play our own game and harness our strengths by utilising our attacking players like Mikayla Lyons, Jamie-Lee Gale, and Jess Darmago. Laura Waltman is in expectational form so it is awesome to know the backline is in excellent hands.
“We need to ensure that are strong defensively, we need to take our chances, be clinical in front of goal and play with heart, grit, and determination.
Impetus will be covering all of the NPLW WA Top Four Cup matches in detail with reports every Monday and player/coach interviews in our WA On Wednesday series.