A-League Women: Thoughts from England

Over the recent holiday period, Impetus asked Paul Donegan, a writer with UK-based women’s football website On Her Side to watch an A-League Women’s match of his choice to offer his thoughts about the facilities, quality, and stand-out players in a league he is not familiar with. Paul chose Perth Glory v Western United. Here are his thoughts:

13/1/23

Above: Perth Glory’s Sofia Sakalis in possession against Western United. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

I admit to having seen bits of matches from the A-League Women’s on telly before but it is normally on in the background if I am up early at weekends (not 4am early but more like 7/8am) whilst getting ready to go out.  This would be the first match I have sat down and watched in whole. 

I decided to watch a Western United game after having a look at the league table and seeing they had won their first four games as a new side in the league.  Their match against Newcastle Jets between Christmas and New Year had been called off due to expected extreme heat (a bit different to games being called off due to frozen/waterlogged pitches in England)!  Their next game was away to Perth Glory so on New Year’s Day and this is the one I settled down to watch. 

Above: A packed stand at Macedonia Park for Perth’s game with Western United. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

The first thing I noticed was the weather and how sunny and warm it looked, but the commentator did say it was a bit windy!  The blue sky looked amazing!  As a bit of a football ground enthusiast, I was looking forward to seeing what Perth’s home ground Macedonia Park looked like. It came over very well and looks like a nice place to watch a football match!

The two teams’ kits were striking which I liked. Perth were wearing their home one which is purple and orange, a bit of a different combination.  Western United were wearing a white kit with some black and green on it. 

American Rylee Baisden gave Perth the lead in the seventh minute, scoring her fifth goal of the season.   There were chances at both ends after that in first 15 minutes, so I was really enjoying it so far! Western United a bit suspect defensively, but they equalised in the 17th minute when Hannah Keane putting the ball in the net from near enough on the goal line after a good save onto the bar by the Perth goalkeeper Sarah Langman. There were more chances, a nice move from Western United finished being saved. This match was worth getting up early for! The first 25 minutes had flown by, always a good sign. 

It all started to heat up a bit just before half-time.  Langman with a great save onto the crossbar, then Western United hit the bar again before half time!  1-1 at the break, really good half to watch!

Above: Perth Glory celebrate Hana Lowry’s goal. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Hana Lowry gives Perth the lead again in the 53rd minute.  Western United almost immediately equalise. No let up in this game.  Chloe Logarzo came on for the visitors just before the hour mark as part of a double substitution.  I remember the Australian international having a spell at Bristol City in the WSL a few years ago.  Getting heated again on the pitch and benches after a foul on a Western United player.  Logarzo gets the equaliser, her third goal of the season, 2-2 in the 68th minute. 

With four minutes left, Western United score to go ahead for the first time in the match! Keane’s effort is put into her own net by Demi Koulizakis.  Is there going to be any more drama!?  Five minutes added on.  Another booking for a Perth player after a foul.  Perth have one last attack which is cleared, and the final whistle goes, Western United win 3-2 for their fifth win in a row since the start of the season.

The real standout player of the match for me was Sarah Langman in goal for Perth.  Despite being on the losing side, she made some outstanding saves and kept Perth in it.  For Western United, Hannah Keane and Jess McDonald were the two who stood out for me.  

I really enjoyed watching this match, a lot of action, drama, and goals.  To me, it seemed like a great advert for the league.  I will definitely try and watch more games in the A-League Women’s, as long as they are on at a reasonable time!

Artwork by: Charlotte Stacey, founder of On Her Side.

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