A-League Women Media Conferences

Ahead of three A-League Women matches over the coming two days, Impetus’ Kieran Yap and Ben Gilby report on the media conferences of Melbourne City, Sydney FC, and Western Sydney Wanderers (22/12/22).

MELBOURNE CITY

by Kieran Yap

Above: Melbourne City head coach Dario Vidosic. Photo: Melbourne City.

Melbourne City travel to face Canberra United following the unfamiliar feeling of a loss. According to manager Dario Vidosic, there is not much that City needs to change to get the result. Despite the 3-1 loss to Western United, he was pleased with his team’s performance.

“I think we got a lot right to be fair,” Vidosic told the media. “I think we were excellent, and I told the ladies I was very very proud of them. When we hit the post three times, and create other numerous chances, in terms of everything that we’ve done, everything was better than our previous games.

“Their averages all went down…we know they’re a good team they’ve got some dangerous players. unfortunately, football was a little bit against us that day but there was a lot of positives.

“We’ll try and replicate a similar performance against Canberra and hopefully be on the right end of the result this week.”

Canberra United are also looking to rebound from a loss. Their excellent first half away to Perth was undone by a miraculous Glory comeback in the second.

Vidosic named Michelle Heyman, Nikki Flannery, Grace Jale, and Vesna Milivojevic as players to be wary of.

“We know they are dangerous, especially in Canberra. It’s always a hard place to go, and it’s not easy. Again, we’ll focus on ourselves.

Above: Leticia McKenna who could potentially start against Canberra United tomorrow. Photo: Melbourne City.

We’ve looked a little bit at them, we know where the threats are. We know where they could potentially hurt us, and we saw Michelle (Heyman) against Perth.

“She took the ball from halfway and set it up for a pack post tap-in. We know they’ve got their danger players and we’ll look to keep them quiet again, like we did on the weekend where we kept (Jessica) McDonald, and  (Hannah) Keane and the likes a bit quiet.

“Unfortunately, Logarzo came in and scored a great goal and then it came to penalty at the end, but If we perform like that we give ourselves a great chance again to pick up the three points.”

City will face the in-form Canberra attack without their captain Emma Checker. The Matildas defender has been unwell this week and will not travel with the team.

This remains one of City’s only setbacks in a strong start to the season. Leticia McKenna continues to regain fitness and may start. Striker Hannah Wilkinson is expected to return in the next two games.

Squad rotations are a possibility. City will face Perth Glory on December 27th, and the temperature is forecast to reach 37 degrees. Vidosic was hopeful the kick-off time would be delayed and politely described the potential conditions as “a little bit dangerous.”

Before that, they must get past Canberra United in what will be an entertaining game. Neither side has gone goalless so far this season. That trend looks set to continue Friday night.

SYDNEY FC

by Ben Gilby

Above: Sydney FC’s Sarah Hunter speaking to the media today ahead of the big Christmas Eve derby. Image: Sydney FC

Sydney FC midfielder Sarah Hunter is confident that the women’s game can major role in restoring the sport’s reputation after last weekend’s appalling scenes at the men’s Melbourne derby.

“Football in Australia will keep growing with the success of the Socceroos in the World Cup and with the Matildas in the World Cup next year. I think the European Championships in England showed how big the female game is growing. We need to harness that,” the 19-year-old said.

Hunter also reflected on the decision by the APL of moving the Grand Final to Sydney for the next three seasons. Whilst her team benefit from the decision, the midfielder recognised that it is not universally popular. “The decision has had a mixed reaction from our group. The decision is based off the growth of the league. (Having said that, the female side doesn’t get as much coverage or reaction.”

Ahead of Saturday’s second Sydney derby of the campaign, Hunter gave an insight into the qualities that new signing Madison Haley has brought to the Sky Blues.

“She has been amazing, she’s a real competitor and is so classy both on the pitch and off it. She is an amazing asset. She is everything you want in a number nine. It’s good for Remy (Siemsen) to have some competition. It’s just pushed us, Remy coming off the bench and scoring in games. Madison has brought a different style, an American style to our team, and that’s really good for (us).”

“Remy came in a bit later and Maddie was here in pre-season, so Ante (Juric, head coach) was like ‘Maddie was here first, so she gets first shot.’ Remy had to deal with that. If someone is performing they stay in. She is being a great teammate and is not taking it personally.

With her team in such good form, it’s no surprise that the former Western Sydney player is confident of another win. “We played the Wanderers a few weeks ago and it was a real firey game. Our captain (Nat Tobin) getting sent off in the first half got us pumped off. We’re coming off a good win (against Brisbane) last time out.”

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

by Ben Gilby

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Kat Smith. Image: Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Kat Smith admitted to the media today that she is well aware that her side needs to be far better in front of goal.

“We just want the players to get better. The start of the season hasn’t gone as we planned. We need to take steps to develop our performances. We want to contain the transition moments, retain the ball and make take our chances.

“(Up front) is an area of the park where we want to be creating, it’s something we’ve focused on this week. Whilst we’re creating chances, it’s about individuals and making sure they are putting a positive spin on their attacking play too.”

Kat Smith, Western Sydney Wanderers head coach on her side’s need to improve in front of goal.

Focussing specifically on the Sydney derby, Smith knows it will be tough, as she credits Ante Juric’s side as the yardstick by which to measure her team’s progress.

“It’s always a big game, on the eve of Christmas there is no better present than getting the three points. They are a team who have started well and have done so over the past few years. We see them as a benchmark for where we want to be and it’s a benchmark for us to overcome.

Above: Jordyn Bloomer is positive ahead of her team’s Christmas Eve showdown with Sydney FC. Image: Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer told the media today that she sees her team as a work in progress, and one which is moving in the right direction on a weekly basis.

“Although our performance on the scoreboard hasn’t got stronger, our performance on the field has each game. It has given us a lot of positives knowing we have come a long way as a group from our first performance to now and we all feel that we’re all on the cusp of coming through and getting a good result and goals.”

Having experienced the Sydney derby for the first time a few weeks ago, the American is eager for Saturday’s return game.

“We definitely know it will be a battle. The first game showed that. From the first whistle, the physicality and intensity were there. I’m excited for that. I love games like that. It raises the bar. People either rise to meet it or go above it. We’re ready to come through and make a statement.

“To play such a high-stakes game on such a fun day – I’ve never played on Christmas Eve before – is exciting, and for a stadium as beautiful as Allianz is, makes it even better.

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