A-League Women Media Conferences

Ben Gilby, Ryan Miller-Woods, and Kieran Yap preview all this weekend’s A-League Women matches with coverage of all the media conferences (16/12/22).

BRISBANE ROAR v WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

by Ben Gilby

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Kat Smith speaking ahead of her team’s game at Brisbane Roar tomorrow. Image: Western Sydney Wanderers.

Ahead of her team’s trip to Queensland tomorrow, Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Kat Smith is certain that her side can build on the positives of their recent matches and pile more misery on a Brisbane side who have conceded seven goals in their last two games and failing to score during that period.

“We take a lot of positives out of our performances against Sydney and Adelaide United, we could have picked up something from those games. Win, lose or draw, our training weeks are the same; we focus on our principles and how we can hurt the opposition.”

“Brisbane have had an up-and-down start to their season. Their last few games (against Melbourne City and Sydney FC) they have conceded a fair few goals (three and four respectively), so we’ll be looking to continue that trend. I feel with what we’ve been able to achieve in our games so far, we’ll click this weekend and get a result.”

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers’ Olivia Price speaking to the media. Image: Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Olivia Price recognises that her side may not have had the start to the season result-wise that they would have liked, but can see clear progression over their three games so far.

“Each game we’re progressing, getting better and better. It’s a new squad too and we’re still trying to gel together. We have a lot of good younger girls – it’s a good culture to be in.”

Price sees this weekend’s trip to Brisbane as another chance to see further positives both on and off the pitch. “I love away trips. You get to bond with your teammates and know each other more. It brings the team closer together.”

With the Roar conceding frequently in recent matches, Price emphasised the importance of her side improving their ratio of chances created to goals scored.

“Brisbane will be a challenge. We just need to focus on ourselves and work on what we’ve been working on in training – making chances and taking them – getting goals in early.”

MELBOURNE CITY v WESTERN UNITED

by Ben Gilby

Above: Western United head coach Mark Torcaso speaking today. Image: Western United.

Speaking to the media today, Western United head coach Mark Torcaso is keeping both his and his team’s feet firmly on the ground ahead of the meeting between the A-League Women’s only two sides to have won all of their games so far this season.

“We always believe that if we put our processes in place, we should be able to compete as much as we can. Big games are big games because people make them big. For us, it’s just another game. Hopefully, it will take care of itself.”

Mark Torcaso, Western United head coach.

With his team impressing in the early weeks of their first-ever season in the competition, Torcaso believes that his squad’s blend of experience, as well as youth, is perfect for the test that Melbourne City will pose.

“It’s good that we’ve got experienced players who have played in that setting before. It’s a go-to stadium when you play a big game. “It’s our first game at AAMI Park, it’s Melbourne City, so the girls are really up for it.”

The Western United boss revealed that he has a full pool of talent available to him tomorrow: “We’re all up for selection, so we just need to decide who is in the sixteen.”

Click here to read Melbourne City’s media conference article published yesterday: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/12/15/dario-vidosic-city-are-full-of-confidence-and-know-what-to-target/

PERTH GLORY v CANBERRA UNITED

by Ben Gilby and Ryan Miller-Woods

Above: Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis is expecting his team to put together a 90-minute performance and use home-ground advantage to push them towards a first win of the season when Canberra United visit Macedonia Park on Sunday.

After four up-and-down performances to start the campaign, Epakis is determined that things finally come together this week. He told the media today: “I’m expecting a game where our team goes out and puts in a strong performance and bounces back from the start we’ve had. I’m expecting 16 committed players to go out and get a job done.”

“When you have an inconsistent start, the solutions are all internal – hard work and being better. We’ve really turned the screws on our expectations and our own individual performances this week and we’ve made it clear that if individually we are all better, then the collective will be stronger. This is our opportunity to get a 90-minute performance and kick-start our season.”

Alex Epakis, Perth Glory head coach.

The persistent vagueries of the A-League Women fixture schedule has brought these two sides together for the second time in five weeks. The Glory boss wants his team to take advantage of this as the capital city side make a rare visit to Western Australia.

“The Round One fixture was rusty at times. We’re ready for them, there will be no surprises. In the last three seasons, (we’ve not played them here) for them to come here now is good. Each game has been end-to-end. They have always had the home-ground advantage. We’ve never played against a team like them in our own backyard.

“They (Canberra) definitely get a strong backing (when they play at home), 900-1,000 fans come to support them and will sway the referee on 50-50s. We need to capitalise on that home-ground advantage – that’s us as players and staff too.”

Above: Bella Wallhead – back available for selection this weekend. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Despite the loss of Sarah Cain and Milan Hammond, there is also positive news on the player availability front for the first time in a month for Perth.

“Sarah Cain has a one-game suspension. We’re slowly getting towards having our full squad. Milan (Hammond) is still some time away. Claudia (Mihocic) champing at the bit, Bella Wallhead is back from her illness, so we have more players in contention. This week will see a few changes. Kim Carroll is available too, it’s good to have her back.”

For Ryan Miller-Woods’ coverage of Canberra United’s media conferences ahead of the game, click here: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/12/14/a-league-women-news/

WELLINGTON PHOENIX v ADELAIDE UNITED

by Ryan Miller-Woods

Above: Wellington Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence speaking to the media today. Image: Wellington Phoenix.

Wellington Phoenix return to home soil with high flying Adelaide United checking in at Sky Stadium tomorrow.

Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence reflected on the challenge posed by the South Australians.

“Adelaide are looking really good, you know that had a great season last year, they’ve kept a lot of their team, a lot of their players, they’ve had players who have played in Europe and played in the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League), so they’ve kept themselves playing at a really high level to then bring that experience back to the A-League (Women).

“You can see they’re structured; you can see they have a game plan. We’ve looked at them a lot this week and is unique playing them now and then straight after Christmas. They’re coming to our place first, so we’ve had a couple of brutal travel weekends, so we’ll try and take advantage and stamp our authority on this (Sky Stadium) being our home and having that as an advantage. We’re well prepared for them.”

As well as having the positives of home advantage, Lawrence was also able to report some good news on the injury front. “Wis (Grace Wisnewski) will be back so she’ll hopefully be on the field this weekend, she got through training this week, is looking really good.

“Kate (Taylor) and Lily (Alfeld) are just a little bit away (from returning), we’re still working with Lil (Lily Alfeld), hopefully, we get her back really soon. Alyssa (Whinham) has gone home due to personal reasons, so we’re kind of just going to respect her privacy for now and hope to see her back soon as well.”

The change in availability is likely to lead to some reshuffling of the pack in the midfield as Lawrence reported: “We’ve talked a lot about our midfield this week and the rotations and how we make sure we keep defensively sound as well and I know that Alyssa (Whinham) will be a big loss, she causes a lot of…problems and bringing Wis (Grace Wisnewski) in, she defensively we know she can get up and down the field and compliment Betsy (Hassett).

Above: Adrian Stenta pictured in training this week. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Adelaide United.

Adelaide United head coach Adrian Stenta spoke to the media today of his admiration for tomorrow’s opposition Wellington Phoenix.

“I really like Wellington as a side, they’re a side that is quite aggressive defensively and likes to press and try and win the ball and they play good football too. So if you have a look back at their games and their results, I don’t think they’re truly reflective of the team’s football ability and we’re expecting a really tough challenge.”

With the game part of a doubleheader with the men’s A-League sides facing off too, Stenta feels his team will benefit from the presence of a big crowd and everything that comes with it.

“We’re really looking forward to playing in front of a decent crowd. We know how loud and boisterous the Wellington crowd can be over here (in Wellington), it’s been fantastic to see some of the numbers that they’ve (Wellington) been pulling to their games, which is good and I think we’ll thrive off of that.

“We’ve had a pretty good away record the last two or three seasons, so we enjoy the opportunity to come together as a group and bond. We hope it’s nice and loud and a lot of people come out and watch and support women’s football.”

Above: Jenna McCormick in training this week ahead of what could be her 100th A-League Women appearance. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Adelaide United.

Tomorrow’s match will also see a very special milestone for the club as defender and Jenna McCormick will make her 100th appearance in the A-League Women if selected. the South Australian side’s head coach reflected on what McCormick brings to his side.

“She’s been a fantastic addition to our group. I don’t think people realise how difficult it is to play 100 games in this competition because in seasons past there were 10-game, 12-game seasons, so for her to reach that milestone and for her to do it at our club at Adelaide United is really special

“I know the playing group is really geared-up to put in a strong performance for her on such a milestone event and she’ll slot in and do her job like she did last week (against Western Sydney Wanderers), her first start, first 90 minutes and I thought she was really impressive in defence for us. Great leadership, great character, so I’m really pleased for Jen that she is able to achieve this milestone with us tomorrow.”

MELBOURNE VICTORY v NEWCASTLE JETS

by Kieran Yap

Click here to read the article published earlier today: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/12/16/jeff-hopkins-prepares-for-the-jets-and-names-his-favourite-olympico/

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