A-League Women Wednesday Media Conferences & News



by Ben Gilby

Above: Emma Ilijoski who highlighted the importance of belief in the potential of the team in Canberra United’s recent winning run. Image: Canberra United.

Canberra United’s Emma Ilijoski believes that hard work and belief in their ability has been key in the team following two successive 5-0 defeats with three wins on the bounce.

Speaking to the media, Ilijoski said: “It feels really good to be getting these results. Everyone is so buzzy in training after getting the job done and we want to keep it going. As a team, we knew we were better than our results, and we can see our training come off on the field and it’s going to be a really good end to the season now.”

The impact of that superb run of results has been translated into additional pep in their attacking play, as the capital city side player identified: “We feel really relaxed, and I think we saw that at the weekend (against Western Sydney Wanderers), we looked really confident on the ball.”

Above: Canberra United’s Kennedy Faulknor speaking to the media today. Image: Canberra United.

Canberra United’s Kennedy Faulknor is hugely proud of her team’s response to adversity as they look to extend their winning run against Adelaide United this weekend.

“I think it’s been an amazing couple of weeks. After those two (5-0 defeats), we came together as a team and we’re just hoping to keep it going moving forward,” said the Canadian-born player when she spoke to the media today.

“There is a lot of confidence, and you can really see that with the way we are on the ball and how we are moving it around. Every game we have is a crucial game, and I think we’re ready for the challenge. We’re here, and we’re ready to make it into the top four.”

Whilst Canberra’s opponents on Saturday, Adelaide United are on a long winless run, the centre-back believes that the South Australians will pose her side a stern test.

“I know they are a good team and they will come for us. We will be ready for them, we know how to play them and what to look for. We’re up for the challenge.”


by Ben Gilby

Above: Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Brianna Edwards reflects on an incredible season today. Image: Wellington Phoenix.

Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Brianna Edwards reflected on what has been a season full of firsts when she spoke to the media today.

Lily Alfeld’s injury before the campaign started meant that the 20-year-old has started every game for the Phoenix this season and received successive call-ups to New Zealand’s last two international camps.

“It’s been huge. I never expected to be in this position so early in my career, and this year as well, especially heading into a World Cup. The environment is incredible and the people are incredible. The first camp was easier than the second. I went into the first having no idea what I was going into and just took it as it came.

“The second camp, I knew what was expected of me and I was nervous because I have high expectations of myself and I want to meet those expectations. The coaches were happy with how I performed. They said I was tracking well and I’m good at pushing the players around me.”

If international call-ups and regular game time were not enough, Edwards was also handed the captain’s armband for the Phoenix recently after Chloe Knott left the pitch.

“Chloe gave it to me and I said ‘I don’t want this!’ but Chloe said that I do, and Wis (Grace Wisnewski) put it on my arm and I was, like, ‘it is what it is’, but I think I’m a leader in the team without an armband, it comes naturally for me. It was pretty incredible.”

Whilst Edwards might be small in stature, she more than makes up for it with her command of the penalty area and her defenders.

“I always say I’m not physically the biggest or the tallest, but I have a huge amount of communication and leadership from the back, and that counts as much, or even more so than being physical. I’m probably the loudest on the field. We are open and honest with each other.”

With the regular season moving into its final month or so, the Phoenix shot-stopper believes that her team can build on recent promising performances to finish the campaign strongly.

“We’ve grown as a team and I’ve had to step into some huge shoes that I didn’t think I would this year. It has been a huge learning curve. We’ve narrowed down the losses to 1-0s, and there is so much more to come from this team.

“After that game against Sydney, one of the best sides in the league, we have so much to prove now and achieve. We have six games left and I’m hoping for six wins.”

Above: Michaela Robertson speaking to the media today. Image: Wellington Phoenix.

Michaela Robertson believes that coming into A-League Women football from playing and training with boys has stood her in good stead.

In her media conference today, the 26-year-old said: “I came in with not a lot of expectations or knowing about the level of football I was up against,

“I was training and playing with boys, and the physicality is similar here. The boys are pretty fast too, and I’ve had to keep up with some pretty fast players here as well! It’s been a good transition for me.”

Robertson has grown into the Phoenix team this season, and is positive that the best is yet to come from the side – as they look to end the campaign as strongly as they did last time round.

“We have had some close games. We’ve talked about wins coming, and we had one against Canberra, and there is still time yet to turn things around. We’ve been unlucky a few times with some 1-0 losses, but we will be working and trying to get some points in the bag.

“We’re pushing, still trying to climb off the bottom. The motivation is there and we’re working hard.


Above: New Western United signing Tiana Jaber, pictured during her time with Newcastle Jets. Photo: Newcastle Herald.

Western United has added strength in depth to its defence with the signing of Tiana Jaber on an injury replacement deal following Aimee Medwin’s anterior cruciate ligament injury last week.

The 22-year-old full-back, formerly of Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers, Jaber brings ready-made Liberty A-League experience with a desire to make an impact at the top level again.

Upon arriving in the West, Jaber said she is eager to get to work with the league leaders and hopes to showcase her ability in the professional league once more.

“I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of the A-League again. I can’t wait to start working hard and keep doing what I love. I’m very motivated and honoured to be a part of this impressive squad. It’s every player’s dream to win trophies, so this chance is incredible and I will give it everything I have.”

Western United Head Coach Mark Torcaso said Jaber’s availability was the perfect solution for United and that he is confident she will fit seamlessly into the team.

“Tiana being available and ready to sign is perfect for us and I’m excited to see her join the group going forward. We are extremely confident in Tiana’s ability, her ready-made experience at this level and the strengths that she has that can complement our team.

“She has great versatility, is physically imposing, and has quality on the ball as well. I’m looking forward to having her give us a boost for the remainder of the season.”

Jaber was a constant figure in Newcastle’s team last season, playing 12 times and even scoring the club’s goal of the season with a long-range stunner against the Wanderers, a club she debuted for as a teenager in the 2019/20 season.

She has since been in pre-season training with Bankstown City in NPLW New South Wales and has set herself up for another opportunity at Liberty A-League level.

Jaber joins the squad immediately and will hope to put herself in contention for United’s huge top-of-the-table clash with Sydney FC at the weekend.

Artwork: Charlotte Stacey, founder of On Her Side.

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