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 (6/3/23).
Player of the Week:
BEN GILBY: Michelle Heyman. The Canberra United icon is in sensational form, five goals in her side’s last two games, and doing everything possible to advance their Finals campaign. Whilst today’s points deduction throws a spanner in the works, Heyman will be pushing her side on to make the four regardless.
KIERAN YAP: Michelle Heyman. She scored a hat trick in a must-win game and is closing in on 100 goals. There is no better striker in Australia right now. Not only is she an efficient and reliable goal scorer, but she is also one of the best players to watch as a neutral.
JONATHAN TAY: Holly McNamara.After more than 12 months away Holly McNamara lit up her first game back, helping Melbourne City defeat Newcastle Jets 4-0 on Saturday. The 20-year-old showed little signs that the ACL injury which kept her out was still affecting her, but did display a game-changing dynamism that City have lacked over the middle portion of their season. She dazzled in forward areas – her touch and dribbling too much for a makeshift Jets defence as she created five chances in her 60-minute stint. A huge boost for the Melbournians with just four games left til Finals.
BEN CAREY: Michelle Heyman. Scoring a hat-trick against Adelaide United was an awesome achievement. She’s been strong all season, but she has hit an amazing level in the second half of the season. With the form she’s in, I believe Heyman is deserving of a call-up for the Matildas in the April window.
Coach of the Week:
BEN GILBY: Kat Smith. The Western Sydney Wanderers coach set up her team superbly to nullify Perth Glory’s many attacking weapons in the first half yesterday. The key link-ups between Izzy Foletta, Sofia Sakalis, and Cyera Hintzen were minimised and with it, the Glory took some time to function as an attacking force. A energy infused attack focusing on the middle of the park reaped rich rewards for the Wanderers yesterday.
KIERAN YAP: Njegosh Popovich. Although they conceded twice, Canberra United delivered in a must-win game. Popovic is overdue kudos for switching Grace Maher to defence and making an attack featuring Grace Jale, Vesna Milivojević, Nikki Flannery and Michelle Heyman function as well as it does.
JONATHAN TAY: Ante Juric. Western United had thus far had the run over their other top-four rivals; defeating Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory once, and doing the double over Melbourne City. They hadn’t necessarily looked the better team in arguably any of those games but had shown grit, heart, a clinical touch in front of goal, and a willingness to fight no matter their opponent’s talent. That changed on the weekend as Sydney put Western in a stranglehold. A masterful display from Ante Juric’s charges saw them restrict Western United to just seven shots (two on target), whilst taking every opportunity they could to punish them on the counterattack. The premier’s plate is still very much up for grabs, and Sydney have put themselves in prime position to retain it.
BEN CAREY: Njegosh Popovich. Leading his side, Canberra United, to a 4-2 victory over Adelaide to continue their excellent late season form, extending their winning run to four in a row.
Event of the Week:
BEN GILBY: Tash Rigby’s goal. Anyone who has seen her in NPLW WA action for Fremantle City will be familiar with her pacey runs along the wing before cutting inside. This doesn’t happen quite so often in the A-League Women, but it sure did yesterday! No-one is more deserving. Rigby does so much for the club on and off the pitch.
KIERAN YAP: Tash Rigby’s goal. After 90 games, the Glory captain has her first A-League Womens goal, and what a way to score it! Rigby showed incredible pace and control in her surging run, and the finish was sublime. It was not enough to get Glory the all-important three points, but it was something special.
JONATHAN TAY: Michelle Heyman’s hat trick. Excellent finishing from Michelle Heyman to net three goals in Canberra’s 4-2 win against Adelaide United (especially important given the announcement of her side’s potential points deduction penalty on Monday). She certainly has the ability to dominate defenders at the A-League level, but what about back on the international stage? That will be the question Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson will be asking himself, as he contemplates bringing one of the leading strikers in the domestic competition into his World Cup squad in July.
BEN CAREY: Sydney FC v Western United. This match was exciting and dramatic. Sydney put on a masterclass in the second half to defeat Western in their second meeting. Goals galore, a red card, and two injury substitutions at the same time. This game had it all.