Each week during the home and away season, Impetus’ writing and photography team covering the A-League Women will nominate a player, coach, and event of the week. We’ll keep a tally of the player and coach votes as the weeks go by, and just before the Finals, will announce our winners for 2022/23 (12/12/22)
Player of the Week:
KIERAN YAP: Grace Maher. One amazing goal and a brilliant run to set up another. When Maher is in the zone there’s no stopping her. The game is played at the exact pace she wants, and your only hope as an opponent is that her radar is off. It wasn’t against Wellington. There’s a handful of players who can chip a keeper at that close range through a crowd. She’s a privilege to watch.
BEN GILBY: Back to her best with a bang. Melina Ayres’ struggles with injuries last season was a big loss for Melbourne Victory – the impact she made on her return for the home straight showed her worth, but the last fortnight as seen Ayres approach her peak once more. Two goals at Perth, the first a delightful angled poke, highlight the return of one of the competition’s best.
JONATHAN TAY: Sarah Hunter again had her fingerprints all over another Sydney FC victory on Saturday. Whilst Madison Haley featured heavily on the highlight reel, Hunter was the orchestrator of so much of Sydney’s possession and attacking play, as Brisbane chased shadows through the middle of the park in their 4-0 drubbing. The 19-year-old provided the through-ball assist for Haley’s wonder-goal, and capped her performance with a very well-taken finish of her own late on. Hunter continues to prove she’s arguably Australia’s best young midfield prospect at present.
BEN CAREY: It’s a tight one again this week, but I have to go with Sydney midfielder Sarah Hunter for her incredible contribution in the game against Brisbane. Hunter had one goal, one assist, and created four goalscoring opportunities.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Madison Haley of Sydney FC against Brisbane Roar played absolutely brilliantly. Her two goals that really gave Sydney an advantage, but her overall performance during the match, really emphasised the class that she has been continuously showing since the start of this season for Sydney.
JOHNATHAN STACK: Madison Haley scored two goals for Sydney FC and the second was a superb solo goal with a beautiful chip over the goalkeeper to round it off.
KRIS GOMAN: Maddy Haley for the player. Two goals and the second was superb. Zipping around everyone then lobbing it into goal. She’s not a big celebrator, much like Vivianne Miedema, but that goal raised a smile.
Coach of the Week:
KIERAN YAP: Jeff Hopkins. That was a hard-fought and convincing win by Melbourne Victory away to Perth Glory. Victory’s midfield has been not so functional in recent weeks, but he made some crucial changes, trusted Alana Murphy, and got the result.
BEN GILBY: Jeff Hopkins. Listening to him in the media after the game at Perth on Sunday emphasised why. He’d asked his team to specifically focus on keeping the ball and their intensity. They did it in spades – these were the keys to their win at Macedonia Park. With promising young stars starting to link up well with experienced heads, the champs are coming good again.
JONATHAN TAY: Njegosh Popovich looks to be building something tangible at Canberra this season. After a dismal 2021/22, the new head coach has overseen a win and two draws to open this campaign. Against Wellington this weekend, Canberra were relentless; constantly pressing high, forcing turnovers, and restricting the Phoenix’s ability to get out of their own end. Their first and third goals of the 3-0 victory came from winning the ball in the attacking third of the pitch. With legitimate difference makers in attack and midfield, it will be interesting to see if they can sustain this form over the course of the season and against tougher opposition.
BEN CAREY: Dario Vidosic, in his third match as coach, managed to put together a team that steamrolled a strong and attacking Newcastle Jets.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Dario Vidosic of Melbourne City. The way that City have been playing under their interim head coach has really been quite amazing to watch. Their convincing performance against Newcastle Jets personified it.
JOHNATHAN STACK: Njegosh Popovich guided his team to a first win of the season after two draws in Canberra’s first two games.
KRIS GOMAN: I’m going with Kat Smith this week. Despite the loss, the Wanderers played very well and really should have beat Adelaide. They still have problems scoring, which is frustrating, but they are creating good chances, applying heaps of pressure and defending well. Enjoyed watching some of the younger ones get a run too. They only lost on a debatable penalty.
Event of the Week:
KIERAN YAP: Caitlin Karic. If I say anymore I’ll be talking all day. She’s been touted as the next big thing for some time. Against Newcastle, she showed why.
BEN GILBY: Madison Haley’s second goal for Sydney FC against Brisbane Roar showed why she is one of the biggest handfuls for any defender in the competition right now. An explosive run that left Jamilla Rankin for dead and ended with a sublime finish toe-poked over Hensley Hancuff. Sensational.
JONATHAN TAY: Madison Haley’s and Sydney FC’s second goal against Brisbane will be a strong contender for goal of the season. The 23-year-old American has stood out in each of her performances, and on Saturday put an early exclamation point on her campaign thus far. Latching on to a through ball, she burst past Roar centre-back Jamilla Rankin, leaving her tumbling in her wake. The striker drove into the box, before deliciously chipping the ball past goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff, onto the far post and into the net.
BEN CAREY: Alex Chidiac scoring a goal from an incredible, high curling corner kick, reminiscent of the Kyra Cooney-Cross corner from the 2021 final.
RYAN MILLER WOODS: Madison Haley’s second goal against Brisbane Roar. The whole move was great to watch from the build-up of the through ball to Haley who then left Brisbane’s Jamilla Rankin in the box and then finally chipped the ball over Hensley Hancuff to cap off what was a great play and a brilliant goal by Haley.
JOHNATHAN STACK: Melbourne City 5 Newcastle Jets 1. I have picked this game for two reasons. Firstly, there were two worldie goals – the opening goal from Kaitlyn Torpey was a torpedo of a strike and then an audacious chip from outside the area from Caitlin Karic after she was played in by Leticia McKenna. Secondly, Melbourne City remain only one of two teams with a perfect record and go top of the league on goal difference.