A-League Women Media Conferences

Impetus’ team of reporters Ben Gilby, Johnathan Stack, and Ryan Miller-Woods review today’s media conferences from Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC, Wellington Phoenix, and Western United with the head coaches and top players Chelsie Dawber, Mackenzie Hawkesby, and Princess Ibini all speaking (2/12/22).

ADELAIDE UNITED:

by Ben Gilby

Above: Adelaide United’s Chelsie Dawber speaking to the media today. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Adelaide United.

Adelaide United attacker Chelsie Dawber spoke today about how much of a boost it is personally for her to be back playing in South Australia after a spell in the USA.

“I’m loving being back playing in front of my friends and family. It makes such a difference to my game having fun and being confident. I’m glad to have two assists, but want some goals this week!”

Adelaide United go into a huge battle against Western United this weekend in a clash of two sides who have won both their opening games. With United new to the competition this season, they present a unique challenge to the South Australians on Sunday, as Dawber recognises: “They are a tough one, a new team in the league. They’ve won both games. It’s hard (to play them) especially in the first few rounds, but they are a good side.”

Whilst Adelaide has picked up all six points available to them, so far, Dawber is not completely satisfied with her side’s performances so far. Reflecting on last week’s 1-0 win in Perth, the attacker said:

“We started out strongly with a good first half. We should have been more clinical though. We’re focusing on balls into the final third and finishing. We should have been up a few more last week. Playing a full 90 minutes will get us over the line. The first two weeks we’ve played only a solid 45.”

Above: Adrian Stenta gives his thoughts ahead of Adelaide United’s game with Western United on Sunday. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Adelaide United.

Adelaide United head coach Adrian Stenta is expecting more from his team this Sunday when they take on Western United.

“The start has been good in terms of results. We can play better. We haven’t been able to sustain it across 90 minutes. When we do click for a whole game, we will be a tough proposition for opponents. I’m not putting any limits on this group, We have a high ceiling and quite a way to go until we reach it.”

Reflecting on his side’s opponents, fellow unbeaten side Western United, the Adelaide head coach said: “They have a had a great start. They have done something it took us 15 years to do – win a couple to start! They are confident. they will be keyed in for victory and give us a difficult time.”

Finally, Stenta gave an update on two key players that his side has been without recently. “Fiona (Worts) picked up a knock late last week. She will be ready sooner rather than later. Emily (Hodgson) has been training well, she’s getting close too.”

NEWCASTLE JETS:

by Johnathan Stack

Above: Newcastle Jets head coach Ash Wilson speaking to the media. Image: Newcastle Jets.

Last time out in the Liberty A-League, Newcastle Jets got a very impressive victory over the Western Sydney Wanderers with a 4-2 win in Tamworth.

A hat-trick from Sarah Griffith and one from Tara Andrews was enough to take three points on the day which saw the Jets move to fifth in the standings after two rounds.

Newcastle head coach Ash Wilson spoke to the media ahead of round three’s clash as the Jets welcome Perth Glory to the Number Two Sportsground. It’s the first time the Newcastle Jets have played in their home city this season.

Wilson said: “We love Number Two, it is our home, and we want it to be our fortress, it’s great to be back, and to come back after last week’s win and hopefully continue that winning streak is obviously something we have already spoken about. Just to consolidate that first win with a bit of a roll (is our aim), but obviously, Perth is going to be a bit of a challenge for us, and we are not taking it lightly.”

The Jets opponents Perth Glory are still looking for their first win this season, but Wilson isn’t lulled into a false sense of security. She believes the Western Australians are a potential power: “They are a good team, they are well coached, and they are well organised.

“They had a fantastic season last year where they just missed out on finals, and I know that the start for them is not exactly what they were hoping for. I can see them being a team that will come out and fight to get those three points, we had a really tough battle with them last year.

“I expect a very tough competition, I expect a team that’s very motivated to come out and get points and try and make up for their loss at the weekend.”

For Perth Glory‘s views ahead of the game, click here to read what head coach Alex Epakis and attacker Rylee Baisden had to say in their own media conference earlier in the week, along with Jets players Tara Andrews, Lauren Allan, and Sarah Griffith: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/11/30/epakis-baisden-we-have-to-start-quicker/

SYDNEY FC:

by Ben Gilby

Above: Mackenzie Hawkesby speaking today ahead of the Sydney derby. Image: Sydney FC.

The Sydney FC pair of Princess Ibini and Mackenzie Hawkesby spoke to the media today ahead of tomorrow’s big Sydney Derby against Western Sydney Wanderers at Marconi Stadium.

Mackenzie Hawkesby believes that her side’s strength in depth allied with confidence gained from winning the Grand Final re-match with Melbourne Victory can be the key to claiming the honours in the derby tomorrow.

“We bounced back really well at Cromer Park last weekend against Victory, and that gives us a lot of confidence coming into the derby,” said the 22-year-old. “Victory was a huge win and a huge game. We’ve had three big games to start the season, but we’re really up for it.”

Having experienced the derby for both sides, Hawkesby is well aware of how huge the game is for both sets of fans.

“Playing Wanderers is always quite fiery…Sydney is my home and they (Wanderers) took a chance on me and I’m so grateful for that, but the battle of city, West against East is always huge. It’s always a good game.”

Mackenzie Hawkesby on the Sydney derby.

The midfielder placed a major emphasis on the team clicking against Victory with new signings beginning to combine with the club’s longer serving players. This has given Sydney FC greater depth than ever.

“There has been a big change confidence-wise. Shay (Hollman) coming in – she’s done super, super well. We really made a statement in the midfield (against Victory) in our intensity and aggression.

“Maddy (Madison Haley) had an excellent debut, scored a goal. She’s working really well up top with Cortnee (Vine) and Princess (Ibini). Rem(y Siemsen) back in the fold now so we have a lot of depth and strength, We just need to start putting the goals away now in the derby.”

Above: Princess Ibini – confident of derby success tomorrow. Image: Sydney FC.

Princess Ibini was in a confident mood when she spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s Sydney derby at Marconi Stadium against Western Sydney Wanderers.

After earning their first win of the campaign over Melbourne Victory in a Grand Final re-match last weekend, Ibini recognised Wanderers’ threat, but believes her side has what it takes to pick up another victory.

“The derby’s always a big game, we’ve had a great week of training and we’re ready for it. We always take the team as a tough opponent. We always know what Wanderers will bring, and we know they’ll be fighting hard after a tough loss on the weekend (against Newcastle Jets). We know how to beat them, we just need to do our job and convert our chances.”

The Australian international is closing in on 100 games for the Harbour City side, a landmark she never thought would happen. “To reach 100 games at the age of 22 is something I never dreamed of. I’m really excited about it.”

For Western Sydney Wanderers‘ views ahead of the derby from their media conferences on Thursday, click here: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/12/01/caceres-smith-wanderers-out-to-use-sydney-derby-as-springboard/

WELLINGTON PHOENIX:

by Ryan Miller-Woods

Above: Wellington Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence speaking to the media ahead of Sunday’s game with Melbourne Victory. Image: Wellington Phoenix.

Wellington Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence’s side face a new challenge on Sunday when they make the trip across the Tasman from New Zealand to Australia for an away game for the first time. When asked what challenges the trip may bring to the team she said:

“(We’ve) Got a few nervous flyers, including myself so that’s always something that we have to navigate but for us, we will take it on the chin. For some of the players, they get to go back home to Australia as well which is great.

Just like Wellington, Melbourne Victory who are the defending champions from last season, have also lost their first two games of this season. The Phoenix head coach admits to being surprised about Victory’s run of defeats.

“Yeah, surprising that they’ve lost a couple of games because when you watch the games back, Sydney (FC) are obviously an incredibly good side and just punished them (Victory) for a couple of their mistakes and then Western United was such a tight game which was the second phase of a set-piece (in that match was scored by Jessica McDonald of Western United), so I think they’ve had their injury struggles as well and they’re expecting a few players back this weekend.

“It’s their first home game (of the season) I believe, so I think they’re going to have something to prove and they’re defending champions, so we can’t take the fact they’ve had two losses for granted, it will be a real real tough game but when we played them last season (in Round 10), we did lose 2-0 but it was one of our better kind-of in possession games, so we just want to keep on building, we want to make like a 45-minute performance, then a 70-minute performance into a 90-minute one and hopefully that can happen this weekend.”

Phoenix go into the game still short of a few key players, but there is better news about Grace Wisnewski.

“Yeah, so Lily’s (Lily Alfeld) obviously still out but tracking really well, so we’re pretty pleased with her. Kate (Taylor) unfortunately just hasn’t been able to recover from a bit of an ankle knock that she took when she was away with the Ferns (New Zealand). Izzy’s (Isabel Gomez) tracking well, she’ll be available for selection next week and then Rollo (Emma Rolston) again we’re still managing.

“We’re obviously really excited to get Wis (Grace Wisnewski) back, then Marisa (van der Meer) also came off (the field) last week, was looking a little bit ropey but has done incredibly well and will be available again this weekend, so we’re really pleased with that one. Chloe’s (Chloe Knott) looking great, she’s looking a bit scary with her black eyes,”Lawrence laughed.

WESTERN UNITED:

by Ben Gilby

Above: Western United head coach Mark Torcaso speaking today ahead of his team’s trip to Adelaide United on Sunday. Image: Western United.

Western United head coach Mark Torcaso spoke of his huge respect for Adelaide United ahead of the battle of two sides with a perfect start to the season this Sunday.

“After two games they haven’t conceded, so they are a good defensive side. The coach (Adrian Stenta) has been really good and has worked with them for the last couple of seasons so that holds them in good stead.

“We’d love to have nine points before our first bye so we can freshen up before playing Melbourne City. But (this weekend is) another away trip, it’s going to be tough. Adelaide are one of the best sides in the comp. We want a good performance and we believe if our performance is at the level that we want it to be, then we’ll get what we want from the game. It’s each week, each game, it doesn’t really matter the opponents, it’s how we get our stuff sorted and do what we want to do.”

Western United travel to South Australia fresh from a trip to New Zealand to face Wellington Phoenix. United’s head coach reflected on his side’s successful trip across the ditch:

“We started a bit slow, it was a first travel for the players. Wellington are a good side, we knew they would come at us, it was just a matter of us adjusting and being ready for them. We did and we capitalised in the second half.”

Torcaso identified the importance of his team’s mixture of experience, youth, and NPL players in creating a strong team environment to give them the best possible chance of success this season. “Some of the players we recruited help to stabilise situations and help younger players and first-time A-League players adjust to it. Players who have been around these sort of environments help to calm nerves.”

Whilst Jess McDonald has caught the headlines for Western United so far this campaign, Torcaso highlighted the influence of forward Hannah Keane saying: “Hannah has been electric, she’s been on fire in pre-season. She’s enjoying it and is having a great time. She will get better every week.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: