Tyler Dodds: From The North-East Of England To The South of Italy

Tyler Dodds swapped life at Middlesbrough in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier to take up a professional contract at Serie B Italian side Pomigliano in the midst of a global pandemic. Ben Gilby spoke to Tyler to find out how it all came about and what life is like near Naples.

“I love football and have been playing since the age of four years old.”

Above: Tyler Dodds (maroon shirt) in action for Pomigliano this season. Photo: Luca Bottaro.

Speaking to Tyler Dodds it is so obvious just how important the game is to her. “I only really went to college and university just to keep playing at a high level and ended up with a BSc & MSc as well as representing England and Great Britain,” she says.

Yet, it’s not just about football with Tyler –  “I also love to sing, which makes sense coming from a family of singers” – more about that later!

“I started playing football when I was four years old and played for boys team until I was ten when I had to join a girls team. Shortly after I got selected for Sunderland where I’ve spent most of my career. In that time I’ve played for Gateshead College then Northumbria University winning many league and cup titles. During this time I was selected for England (u19’s-u21’s) and the World University Games in Taipei 2017 representing Great Britain. I had a season at Durham Women FC before returning to Sunderland AFC Ladies and then went to Middlesbrough Woman FC where I spent three years. I’m currently out in Italy playing professional football for Pomigliano in Serie B, this opportunity only happened due to Covid.”

Above: Tyler in action for Middlesbrough last season. Photo: Matthew Appleby.

Tyler played level three football for three years at Middlesbrough where she was very much at home. “I’ve loved my time at Middlesbrough, the staff and the girls are all amazing. I’m the type of player that needs to feel appreciated in order to play well and Boro were constantly being positive and helping me to improve. It’s a club that will definitely go places in the future as they have a great backbone of staff wanting to better the club. In my time at Boro, I was actually the top goal scorer for two years in a row and I was hoping to make it a third this season before the move to Pomigliano.”

So how did a player in tier three receive the offer of a pro contract with a Serie B club in Italy?

“I had an offer to play abroad and within a week I was gone. If it wasn’t for Covid ruining my normal job all year having no income, and the constant lockdowns postponing matches, then I would have stayed for sure. But due to Covid, my 2020 was not normal in the slightest and playing football abroad and getting paid for it seemed like the most sensible but scary decision, plus I’d always wanted to be just a footballer, a childhood dream. It was a really tough decision to leave Middlesbrough though as the staff and girls are honestly so great!”

Tyler then explained just what life is like in Southern Italy with Pomigliano both on and off the pitch.

“It was certainly a shock leaving all of your home comforts behind, and coming to a team where just three people speak English. Thankfully the girls I live with are lovely and have helped with my Italian, I can now count to twenty. So far I have really enjoyed the experience, getting to play football six days of the week is great!”

Above: Tyler pictured when unveiled as a Pomigliano player. Photo: Luca Bottaro.

“The matches have been challenging but I feel confident enough that we can continue getting points and still aim for promotion to Serie A.”

I asked Tyler just how hard going to play in another country in the middle of the pandemic with associated travel restrictions in place between Italy and the UK. “If it wasn’t for Covid I would have never plucked up the courage to go and play football abroad. But I’m very big on Christmas and I was meant to go back home after ten days in Italy, however due to Boris announcing more variants a couple of days before I was due to fly home, all of the flights were cancelled and I haven’t been home since. My family and friends do say that I’m better over here playing football rather than risking catching Covid back home with the numbers being so high.”

In terms of Tyler’s own footballing heroes, there’s only one: “I look up to Kelly Smith so much, she was my idol as a kid growing up playing football and I wanted to be just like her. She scored goals for fun, had memorable celebrations and was needed on the pitch.”

We closed by discussing Tyler’s career goals: “My forever goal would be to make it into the England women’s senior team. It’s every girl’s dream to play at the highest level possible and it might sound silly but I’m not going to stop dreaming.”

Yet it is not just football that plays a big part in Tyler’s life – singing does too. “So, if the world was normal, I would be a professional singer alongside a footballer. Unfortunately both require the weekend so it’s difficult trying to balance the two, but I love football and singing so much. Normally meaning I have a very busy life with an even busier weekend, full of travelling to both gigs and matches with not much sleep but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having two passions is a blessing, as without Covid ruining my singing career for the time being, I have been able to pursue football.”

Tyler Dodds is one young woman well worth following – there’s every reason to believe that not only will she make a real name for herself as a professional footballer, but also become a singing star too.

Chelsie Dawber & Emily Condon: Stars of the South

Adelaide United are enjoying the greatest season in their history. Ben Gilby had the opportunity to speak to two of their key young players, striker Chelsie Dawber who has scored 75 goals in 46 games at State League level and Emily Condon, who made her W-League debut for the South Australian side at the age of 15 and holds a full Matildas cap.

Can you give us a bit of information about your background?

Above: Chelsie Dawber (left) in action for Adelaide United this season against Canberra United. Photo from: Adelaide United FC.

CHELSIE DAWBER: I grew up in Salisbury Heights, I have two brothers who also play soccer in the SA NPL (the elite level of the South Australian State League). My older brother plays for Metro Stars and my younger brother plays for Adelaide City (in the South Australian State League). I’ve been playing football since I was three or four years-old. The whole side of my Dad’s family plays soccer and they are originally from Liverpool in England.

You’re a Liverpool supporter then?

CD: Yes!

Emily, what about yourself?

EMILY CONDON: I’m part of a family of five, I have an older brother, a younger brother and my Mum and Dad. We grew up in Port Pirie (142 miles north of Adelaide). I started playing soccer when I was seven years old for the local school teams, St. Mark’s College. At the time it was almost all boys, only a handful of girls.

What has you own footballing journey been so far?

CD: I first played among boys up until I was twelve. I was then selected in the South Australian state team and played in the state system until I was seventeen. I’ve played for Adelaide City in the SANPL (state league) for the last three years and Adelaide United in the W-League for the past four years.

EC: After playing for my school, I got selected into the local boys club, the Northern Demons and I played in an U13s team with my older brother, who is two years older, so I was playing two years up from my age group with him and around a lot of his mates. I was then in the South Australia State Team at U13s and also went through U15s and U17s as well. Sometime around then I was invited to my first Young Matildas camp. I got selected into the team and we travelled to Vietnam. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel on five overseas trips with the Young Matildas team which is very exciting. At the age of fifteen, I signed my first professional contract for Adelaide United. So I was very young at the time playing with a lot of older girls. This is now my eighth season at United. Two years ago I went away to live in Sydney for a few months as part of the Future Matildas program there. Just prior to that I was fortunate enough to travel away with the senior Matildas squad and got to make my debut against Portugal in the 2018 Algarve Cup and now here I am back at Adelaide United!

Who have been your most important supporters in your career so far whether it be family or most prominent coaches?

CD: My biggest supporters have always been my family. Both of my parents and brothers are really supportive. My Grandad has also been great. He would always call me up after games and stuff to talk about my soccer. In terms of coaches, my coach at Adelaide City two years ago, Andy Calderbank, had a big positive influence on me as well as Ivan Karlovic that year playing with Adelaide United.

Why have these people been so important to you, Chelsie?

CD: Both Andy and Ivan believed in me which instilled confidence in myself that I was good enough to play W-League week in week out and push me to the next level. I’m a confidence player, so they had a big impact on me.

Emily, who has it been for you?

EC: My Mum and my Dad. For me living in the country there was hours and hours spent travelling back and forward to Adelaide for training three or four times a week (Port Pirie to Adelaide is at least a five hour round-trip), so massive credit to them. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’d also like to give credit to George and Connie Comitzus who were my coaches growing up in an all-boys state and championships team up in Port Pirie. Also to Jeff Napier. I was fortunate that my brother used to play and he used to travel to Jeff Napier’s Academy and go to England. From there I got to know Jeff and train with Jeff a lot. He’s really helped my skill development and I pretty much credit him for making me the player I am today.

What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced in your career so far?

CD: That would have to be my post-concussion syndrome which I suffered in 2016 which meant I didn’t go to school and didn’t play soccer for pretty much eight or nine months. That was a slow process coming back into training. It happened when I hit my head on a wall after being hit by a ball at an indoor tournament.

So Chelsie, through that period did you ever come close to giving up, or did it help you to come back stronger?

CD: A brain injury is very different to a broken leg or something. I knew when I was going to get better. The thing was a fear of the unknown. I did come out more stronger, more determined to play. I realised how much I do enjoy soccer and that I wanted to pursue it as a career.

And for you, Emily?

Above: Emily Condon (left) gets in a shot for Adelaide United against Canberra United this season. Photo from: Adelaide United FC.

EC: I’ve been fortunate enough not to have suffered any major injuries. However, coming back from the Young Matildas a few years ago I got really badly sick with Rhinovirus. If you Google it, it just says it’s a common cold, but it completely wiped me out for four months. I was back ready to start a new W-League season and it was just a health battle for me really. I was itching to come back every week and play a game for Adelaide United but just couldn’t do it, so that would be the major challenge. In the past I’ve been dropped from teams and things like that, but fighting that health battle was the toughest.

Tell us about life at Adelaide United in terms of atmosphere, ethos etc?

CD: It’s definitely evolved in the few years that I’ve been involved. Having the same core girls in the team has made a huge difference. We’re all best friends, we all hang out outside of training and see each other each day, sometimes twice a day. It’s a great atmosphere to be in and culture.

Above: Chelsie gets a shot away against Canberra United this season. Photo from: Adelaide United FC.

EC: We really understand each other. There’s a core group of girls and we’ve gelled well as a team this year. This season the environment is better, a lot more positive.

What has Adrian Stenta brought to the club since he came in as head coach?

CD: He has instilled a belief in us. We’re doing things for the first time this year – winning more games than we ever have and creating that home grown vibe that we have around the team – that South Australia has enough to be a strong contender in the league. He has instilled that belief that we are good enough to play Finals.

EC: Adrian was assistant to Ivan (Karlovic) so he’s been among this core group of girls for a couple of seasons now. He’s got to know us and our style of play and things like that. He understands the individual player which has really helped this season with positioning and knowing where to play players which has helped the group of girls and our mannerisms. Going into training and games we really understand each other.

Adelaide United have had a great run of results. What do you feel are the reasons behind them and what do the team need to do to ensure they make Finals football for the first time this season?

CD: It’s definitely the best start we’ve had to a season. The biggest thing is that this is the third or fourth year of us all playing together, so we’ve got used to what different players like. In terms of ensuring we make finals – we’ve just got to keep going but most importantly keep believing in ourselves that we are good enough to do it.

EC: This is our best season to date. We’re pushing for Finals this year which is a first for the club. It’s a credit to the core group of girls who have stuck together over the years no matter how we’ve gone previously. A lot of players have kept at the club and just kept pushing. We’ve all got that same goal that we want to make Finals. We are a team that are competitive and not just there to make up numbers. All of us have that one mind set. Ivan helped to instil that in us in the previous years. The coaching staff are all on the same page.

Emily, you’re a South Australian and have been at the club since 2013, how have the club evolved in that time? What is it about the club that has kept you there so long?

Above: Emily Condon doing a post match interview. She’s proud to be part of their amazing journey. Photo from: Adelaide United FC.

EC: Growing up, I always wanted to play for Adelaide United, they are my home town team. To represent Adelaide United and South Australia was always a goal of mine which can be seen with all the travelling I did when I was younger. The club is getting stronger each year. The improvement and the time and the care that Adelaide United are putting into the women’s side has been very evident over the past couple of seasons in terms of training venues and being able to play a couple of matches at Coopers Stadium (the men’s A-League side’s 16,500 capacity stadium). We’d love to play a couple more games there, but we take what we can get! In terms of promotion and growing of the game in South Australia, there are a lot more girls playing the sport now.

Chelsie, you made your debut for Adelaide United as a 16 year-old in 2017. What was it like coming into the side at such a young age?

CD: It was quite scary coming into a group of older girls. I felt welcomed but it did take a time for me to find my feet, but it was a pretty cool experience to be playing at sixteen. Not many girls get that opportunity, particularly at the age of sixteen. It was pretty exciting!

Emily, you touched on briefly earlier being picked for the senior Matildas side in 2018. What was that experience like?

EC: I went to one lead-up camp before the Algarve Cup when Alen Stajcic called me and told me to pack my bags for Portugal. My goal growing up was to one day represent Australia by playing for the Matildas. It’s such an honour to represent your country. All that work that you’ve put in as a kid and growing up with all that travelling made it feel worth it in the end. Obviously it was a cool experience to be playing with some of the best players in the world like Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord. To have the opportunity to travel with the team and be in that environment and at that level was an amazing experience and something I was striving for my entire life. My debut against Portugal was such an honour but very, very nerve racking.

So, now obviously there’s a new head coach, Tony Gustavsson at the helm of the Matildas. What do you think you need to do to return to national colours?

EC: He is going to come in with his own mind-set of what he wants in the players in his team. We’ve got a couple of big tournaments coming up starting with the Olympics and it’s always in the back of my mind to make it back to the national level. All I can do really is to try to keep performing week in week out and put my best efforts out on the park. We’ve got the last few games of this W-League seasons ahead, so I have to be at my best. That’s all I can control at the moment.

Chelsie, you came back last year after the concussion lay-off and won the W-League Rising Star Award, how would you review your 2019/20 season?

Above: Chelsie getting in some shooting practice in training. Photo from: Adelaide United FC

CD: It was definitely a break-out season for me. It was coming off a season with Adelaide City with the coach Andy (Calderbank), so I really believed in myself through the off-season. Moving to the W-League, I was playing week in week out made a big difference. I think my W-League success season was really put down to all the hard work I did in the off season.

Chelsie, you’ve played for the Young Matildas and were involved in a Future Matildas camp at the back end of last year. What were those experiences like on and off the pitch?

CD: I did U14s and U18s ones. The U18s one was pretty cool, we had the senior Matildas assistant coach there some of the time. It was different going into that not knowing anyone as they were all from Sydney but it was a great experience. I really enjoyed learning from all the other players and coaches. The camp I just went to in September was really awesome. It had all the coaches from the Matildas. We did all the things that the senior team do; how they prepare, how they eat. We also did education and training things which were important and pretty cool too. That was a great experience for myself. I don’t think I felt out of place, but I do need to be doing a lot more outside of that program to be pushing towards a place in the senior Matildas squad.

What would you like to achieve in the game over the next five years – with Adelaide United and the Matildas, but also for yourself?

CD: In terms of the club, if we can keep the same core group of players, we should be pushing Finals every year. That should be the ultimate goal for us. We need to maybe add a few more players whether that be from South Australia, interstate or overseas, but that is the main thing. Personally, I’m studying at the moment, I’d like to complete my degree in Speech Pathology and I’m interested in going to play overseas. I’m not really sure where or when yet, but it’s something I’d like to do in the next five years. In terms of the Matildas, I’m definitely looking at being in the mix for the 2023 World Cup squad, but I know I need to get some overseas experience to be able to do that and I need to be excelling and succeeding in the W-League each week. Obviously I have lots of work to do outside the W-League program in the off-season and I need to be doing a bit more than everyone else to make it.

Above: Emily striding away in possession for Adelaide United against Melbourne Victory this season. Photo from: Adelaide United FC

EC: Well, firstly with Adelaide United, obviously every time you play for the club you want them to do the best they can and for us that is making Finals. I’m hoping that we can achieve that goal this season and build on that, so always making Finals then needs to be the goal before moving on to making a Grand Final and then winning that. Also, it’s really important to help the club build – promote it, get more girls involved and help create a pathway into the W-League. I’d like to see a youth league or a reserves league like they have with the men – expanding the game in that sense. Being back for the Matildas and representing my country again is obviously a goal that I’ve set for myself so sometime in the future I’d like to achieve that, but I can only control what I can. If an option came up to play overseas in August, I’d consider it, but at the moment I’m just happy here playing for Adelaide United.

Ahead of this season’s W-League Finals Impetus will be talking EXCLUSIVELY to Adelaide United Head of Women’s Football Ivan Karlovic. Keep your eyes peeled on social media!

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

Melbourne’s Victory Could Have Sealed Finals Spot

Perth Glory 0-1 Melbourne Victory

By Kris Goman.

Above: Melbourne Victory goal scorer Annalie Longo (10) battles past Perth Glory’s Sarah Morgan. Photo: @VictoryWLeague

After a thrilling game with lots of drama against Canberra United on Friday, Perth are back home at their actual home in Dorrien Gardens against Melbourne Victory. Apparently it’s hot in Perth so they’ll be having drinks breaks to keep everyone hydrated.

Perth start off full of confidence after their very close match with Canberra and have two corners and a free kick in the first four minutes.

The next ten minutes are pretty even with neither team keeping possession too long or threatening seriously until the Victory captain, Beard, takes an on target strike. It’s easily captured by Alfeld and possess no real threat.

Shortly afterwards,  De Vanna creates some magic on the right flank and sends a pass right across goal but there’s no one from victory to run onto it and it goes out for a goal kick.

Once Perth are back in possession, they make their first serious attack. Lowry sends a long ball out to Doeglas on the left. She’s done this very move a few times this season and has great vision to create these breaks from midfield. Doeglas is in acres of free space and onside and brings the ball straight to goal. Her strike is to the right of the keeper but Garton stretches and has it in her hands safely. It’s a good save and lucky for Victory as there was no other defence coming to help.

A free kick by Cooney-Cross is headed by Jackson but she can’t control it and it’s out on the right of goal.

Immediately after Doeglas gets another break down the left and, very similar to before, has another crack at goal that is foiled by Garton.

After the drinks break, Victory get a corner that is headed around before being punched away by Alfeld. Cooney-Cross jumps on the clearance and strikes it low to the near post but Alfeld stops it without too many problems.

There’s another corner after a long range strike by Barbieri is deflected out by the Glory defence. That corner is also cleared out by Glory.

Doeglas gets another on target shot caught by Garton after a cross out to her from Morgan. In this case, it wasn’t third time lucky but at least she’s consistent.

Above: Perth Glory’s Caitlin Doeglas – created plenty of chances. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

A long throw in near the goal line sees Alfeld lose the ball and a bit of a scramble result in front of goal. Glory manage to clear the ball out but anything could have happened there and it was a lucky escape.

Yet another corner for Victory sees a couple of good shots on target well defended. Victory are really applying the pressure now trying to break through the defence. One more corner gets tipped over the cross bar but Doran has had a head clash of some sort and is bleeding quite badly from her eyebrow. She goes off to get attention while another corner gets played out. The corner is well defended again. Doran comes back on in extra time just before half time with her head heavily bandaged.

So at half time, there is no score from either team despite a few chances. Victory have looked more aggressive and had a bit more possession and territory but haven’t been able to pierce the defence yet. Glory have been dangerous on the break but just haven’t been able to finish.

Perth return to the second half with renewed vigour. An early corner is headed over the crossbar by Anton. Morgan tries a long range shot but it’s thwarted by Garton.

On a counter attack, Morgan brings the ball right up the centre then gets the ball to Doeglas on the left wing and she’s off again. Doran manages to relieve her of possession before she gets a chance to strike, this time.

Within a few minutes, Lowry releases Doeglas again. It’s like groundhog day here and Victory don’t seem to learn. She’s completely in the clear but takes a touch too many and Doran is back on her again. They wrestle a bit for possession and Doeglas gets a shot away but it’s over the goal at the top right corner.

Before Victory launch their own attack via De Vanna, Lowry gets one hopeful shot away from the left corner but it’s a bit ambitious and is gathered up by Garton.

De Vanna creates a corner which is headed around before Jackson tries a volley straight into Alfeld’s safe hands.

Above: Perth Glory teenager Hana Lowry (centre) tries to get away from Melbourne Victory’s Tiffany Elidis (2) as team mate Deborah-Ann De La Harpe (5) looks on. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

Lowry has another long range attempt but the direction isn’t quite right but it had plenty of power.

Beard gets in on the action and takes a long solo run down the left for Victory before centring it towards goal. It’s headed by a Glory defender which makes it tricky for Alfeld and sends her scurrying backwards across the goal face. She manages to get a hand to it to punch it away but it was awkward and results in a corner.

The corner goes to Barbieri standing unmarked and well out of the box. Her shot is punched out for another corner on the other side. That corner is headed down but had no power and was easily collected by Alfeld.

The game has become very transitional and it’s up one end then down the other until with long range shots at each end. Then Victory starlet Cooney-Cross gets a pass on the left and turns and brings it into the box, passes back to Longo after drawing the defence and Longo taps it in on the right of goal for the first goal of the match at 61 minutes in.

At 66 minutes, Glory are back on the attack. A long range shot by De La Harpe goes narrowly wide to the right. These tactics worked in their last match so definitely worth trying again.

After a bit more back and forward and a skied effort by Cooney-Cross, Jukic gets an on target shot from the right side-line that’s blocked by Garton.

Cooney-Cross has another shot that goes high over the goal. She hasn’t really been on target tonight but doesn’t stop trying.

An interception by De La Harpe is sent to Doeglas. This time she tries something different and cuts it back to Lowry. Her shot is just wide of the goal in a very close attempt. Probably the best chance of the night for Perth although I think Garton had it covered.

Above: Perth Glory’s Liz Anton in possession. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

At 88 minutes, Ayres comes off to be replaced by Martineau. A Glory clearance sees Jukic collide with Jackson and get a yellow. Looks like either her elbow or shoulder might have hit Jackson’s head as she really got knocked sideways and Jukic was unaffected.

We’re in the dying minutes now and there’s a concerted press by Glory and Jukic and Jackson clash again. There didn’t look like much contact in this one but Jackson is down again and gets the free kick.

In another press, Anton sends a long ball forward, Doeglas flicks it on to De La Harpe but she tries to pass rather than shoot to the clear goal. The pass is cut off and kicked out for a corner by Doran. The corner is cleared and full time is called and Victory hang on for the victory which sends them into third place on the table.

Both teams look exhausted after that effort. The heat clearly made things a lot more difficult than usual.

The 1-0 win send Melbourne Victory into third place on the table, jumping over Canberra and Adelaide. From this position, the premiership is still possible although it would require Sydney to lose their next two games and that’s fairly unlikely. They have a game in hand over Brisbane though and two wins would see them in second place regardless of whether Brisbane wins or loses their final match.

Saying all that, they didn’t look especially convincing tonight. The win was a grind with a single goal by Longo. Both teams created plenty of chances but couldn’t convert them. Victory had the most possession by far and corners were Victory 10 to Glory’s 5 but shots and shots on target were fairly equal. 

Cooney-Cross was named as player of the match understandably. She got the assist and really did all the work for the goal and had quite a few shots although few on target, but she made a lot of ground during the match and was creating many of their chances. 

Despite still being the wooden spooners and not being able to win a game yet, Glory’s last two matches against top five teams have been very close. Unlike every other team, they also have three matches left to play so it feels like a win is soon likely as they improve in each match and their confidence grows and the team clicks.

Above: Perth Glory have great team spirit and potential. A first win is on the horizon. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

Perth meets Melbourne City next at Dorrien Gardens again on Friday and you’d have to give them a fighting chance in that match. Victory will be up against Sydney for their next match on Saturday and both teams will be anxious to get the win to help seal their place in the finals.

Teams: PERTH GLORY: Alfeld, Rigby, De La Harpe, Wallhead, Anton, Steinmetz, Lowry, Morgan, Moreno, Gale, Doeglas. Substitutes: Bennett (GK), McKenna, Charalambous, Jukic, Tabain.

MELBOURNE VICTORY: Garton, Doran, Beard, Bunge, Morrison, Jackson, Barbieri, Longo, Ayres, Cooney-Cross, De Vanna. Substitutes: Maizels (GK), Markovski, Martineau, Elidas, Marzano.

Scorers: Longo 62.

Referee: Rebecca Durcau.

Attendance: 250.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

No Points: New Book on Women’s Football

Ben Gilby spoke to Beth Pritchard whose new book No Points, about the premature end of the women’s football season due to Coronavirus last year, comes out today. In the interview, Beth tells us about how the idea of the book developed and some of the contents that we can all look forward to reading.

Above: Author Beth Pritchard with her book No Points, which comes out today. Photo via: Beth Pritchard.

Beth has been involved in the women’s game for a while, as she explains: “I work for Lincoln City Women. When I joined the team, they had no media presence to the point I didn’t know there was a women’s team on my doorstep – at the time, they were Nettleham Ladies and played just a couple of villages over from my house. I decided I’d spend a season working with the team just to get my foot in the door in the journalism and media industry but at this point in time, I wanted to be the next Louis Theroux and sports journalism wasn’t a long term goal. However, I fell in love with it and can’t imagine working in any other field and feeling the same passion.”

In terms of how the book came together, the first seed was planted by the bizarre prospect of seeing all 2019/20 league tables not telling the full story of eight months of action: “When it was announced last season that the past eight months were being made null and void, it didn’t sit right with me that the league tables on fulltime.com we’re all filled with zeros. The season may not have counted but the teams had still racked up the points so why should that have been wiped?”

“I was fortunate enough for Chris Slegg to ask me if I wanted to help with the latest edition of the Women’s Football Yearbook at a similar time and obviously jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the great work Chris and Tom Garry do to keep a record of something that is recorded time and time again in the men’s game. Unfortunately and understandably, the 2020-21 edition didn’t record the FAWNL as previous years’ had so I saw a ‘gap in the market’ so to speak and wanted to fill it. I don’t want people to look back years down the line – perhaps doing their dissertation on women’s football as I was doing at the time of the idea – and not be able to find this valuable information.”

I asked Beth to give us a brief outline of the book in a bid to see what potential readers of this important publication can expect:  

Above: Beth’s new book is available on Kindle as well as a hardcopy. Photo via: Beth Pritchard.

“I collected information that is still in the public domain and collated the information I’d asked the FA Women’s National League in order to give a factual overview of the season. However, not only can readers expect to learn facts, I wanted to make the book personal and emotional. Therefore, I contacted clubs, managers, players and fans to ask about the season. I wanted to hear how they felt about the null and void decision as well as their teams’ performances along the way.”

The book took almost a year to produce from start to finish, as Beth reveals: “I actually started writing in the first UK lockdown but ever the procrastinator, I didn’t finish it until Lockdown 3.0. This was partly due to slow responses from the participants but also partly because I was fitting writing this around my paid work. When it started to look like completing the 2020-21 season was uncertain, I had renewed motivation to get this book finished. I relied heavily on social media to find what clubs had said about games etc and have to give @talkingWOSO a particular shout out for tweeting statistics as the season went along. So, all in all the writing process was very difficult.”

One of the issues in compiling the book was the different experience in trying to get information together from the top two divisions and FA Women’s National League sides: “Researching FAWSL and Championship teams was so much easier than finding the same information for FAWNL sides. Mostly it was because club website and local news sites had match reports and interviews weekly, something still lacking in the lower leagues. It was also clear that teams with higher ranked men’s sides had better infrastructure to record their women’s teams’ progress. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County were great examples of this.”

Above: Beth proudly holding her new book. Photo via: Beth Pritchard.

Women’s football is full of incredible characters and it is what makes the game such a wonderful thing to write about. I wondered who were the people who really stuck with Beth during the process of writing the book?

“I spoke to Steve Maddock about Barnsley being outspoken when it came to the null and void decision. It was very interesting to hear him speak so passionately about wanting a resolution – of course, that was because his team were almost guaranteed promotion and their ‘solution’ was something that positively impacted them and not the rest of the sides.”

In terms of the message that the book wants to give, for Beth it is that “I wanted to focus on the issues in reporting as opposed to the issues with the league decision and make clear I’m not criticising the season being voided, especially after Carol West, chairperson of the FAWNL, agreed to answer some of my questions.”

“I think there’s a long way to go to achieving a level playing field in women’s football. It’s so much easier for teams with more money to promote themselves, as volunteers in the FAWNL and below can’t be expected to invest time and money into hiring people to publish match reports or keep their websites up to date. It won’t be until more money is pumped into the lower levels of the pyramid that we’ll achieve equality here and really hope that happens soon.”

In terms of where people can buy Beth’s book, at the present time it is only available on Amazon, as Beth says: “I really like the idea of supporting small, local bookstores but due to the niche nature of the book, I couldn’t afford to take that financial risk. I hope that any future books I write will be more widely available but for now, it’s only on Amazon.”

To buy Beth Pritchard’s No Points, or find out more, click on this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Points-Beth-Pritchard-ebook/dp/B08Y5XSVYR/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=no+points+beth+pritchard&qid=1615829753&s=books&sr=1-1

Bittersweet Cup Victory for Rampant Chelsea

Bristol City 0–6 Chelsea

By Ben Gilby

Above: Chelsea lift the Contiental Cup at Vicarage Road. Photo: @ChelseaFCW

Chelsea produced an absolutely rampant performance to retain the Continental Tyres League Cup Final at Vicarage Road but the success was tempered by an appalling injury to Maren Mjelde.

The first final not to feature either Arsenal or Manchester City was effectively over before the half-hour mark as a dreadfully outclassed Bristol City were undone by a super show from Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby.

All the talk pre-game was the dreadful condensed schedule that Chelsea had coming into the Final, which included a trip to Monza in midweek to take on Atletico Madrid. However, any fears that this was a realistic concern was put to bed with just over a minute gone.

Above: Sam Kerr scores her first of the afternoon. Photo: @BBCSport

Sophie Ingle took possession inside her own half to find Canadian international Jessie Fleming. In turn she played in Guro Reiten. A perfect pass towards the right found Fran Kirby who got in behind the Vixens defence and squared a perfect low ball across the box to Sam Kerr who was not going to miss at the back post. Just ninety-four seconds had been played.

Chelsea continued to swamp their opponents and with seven minutes gone, Melanie Leupolz’s corner to the back post saw Magda Eriksson rise above Yana Daniels at the back post and head narrowly wide.

The Blues were playing some incredible pass and move football in the early exchanges which their Westcountry opponents found  nigh on impossible to prevent, forcing them continuously on to the back foot.

Above: Sam Kerr’s trademark celebration seen at last in England after her second goal at Vicarage Road. Photo: @BBCSport

With ten minutes gone, Chelsea underlined their dominance with a second. A poor ball out of defence was gobbled upon by the rampant Londoners. Kirby grabbed possession centrally just outside the box and played a perfect ball towards the left for Kerr. The Matilda beat her defender with ease and slotted home before the producing her first trademark backflip in English football.

Just before the twenty minute mark, Chelsea had strong claims for a penalty waved away when Gemma Evans brought Kerr down in the box.

It was relentless from Chelsea with the Vixens simply unable to escape their own half. The Blues had another strong penalty shout Yana Daniels looked to have handled as a ball came into the box. The Londoners were only awarded a corner.

With twenty-four minutes gone, Bristol City lost possession once more with Kirby benefiting again. She ran through the middle and played a ball out to Kerr on the right. The Western Australian returned the favour to the Lioness who continued her run to the edge of the box which saw an effort go narrowly wide of the left hand post.

Above: Fran Kirby salutes her first goal. Photo: @BBCSport

Chelsea put the icing on the cake before the half-hour mark and it came from a catastrophic error from Bristol City goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley. She found herself on the edge of the ‘D’ with Kerr breathing down her neck as she attempted to make a clearance. The City custodian’s attempted ball out was woefully weak and directed straight at Kirby who simply looped the ball back over Baggaley’s head into the net.

Four minutes later, Kirby grabbed her second. Kerr took possession in the centre circle. Gemma Evans failed to get an effective tackle in which allowed the Fremantle born star to feed Kirby who ran onto the pass, drew Baggaley who tried to block the effort, but the shot deflected off of the keeper and rolled in.

With three minutes of the half remaining, Kirby was denied her hat-trick. Jemma Purfield simply could not stop her 1-2 with Kerr which led to the former Reading star getting a shot away which Baggaley blocked with her legs.

Above: Fran Kirby marks her second with Sophie Ingle. Photo: @BBCSport

Just before the break, Bristol City had their first shot on goal as Ebony Salmon got away down the right and played a cross over which was headed back to the other Fremantle born player on the pitch, the Vixens’ Ella Mastrantonio whose effort was over the bar.

Shortly afterwards the half-time whistle sounded and the only matter remaining to be settled in this Final now was how many goals Chelsea would add in the second period.

Bristol City started the second half by winning their first corner of the game, but Chelsea dealt with it well. Ann-Katrin Berger’s subsequent clearance found Fran Kirby who scampered away along the right before finding Guro Reiten centrally. A perfectly weighted ball across Vixens defender Keira Skeels gave Sam Kerr a golden opportunity to claim her hat-trick and she rolled her shot past Baggaley with ease.

Less than six minutes later, Chelsea added yet another goal as substitute Drew Spence took possession and played a lovely through ball which eventually found its way to Kerr on the left who fed Kirby once again. The England star could have smashed home her hat-trick, but she played the ball across to Norwegian star Guro Reiten to fire home for a stunning team goal.

Above: Bristol City are literally down and out as Guro Reiten celebrates her goal. Photo: @BBCSport

It was now reaching humiliation for Bristol City, and a minute later Kerr was clean through once more, but Baggaley was quickly off of her line to block the shot well.

Just before the hour, Ebony Salmon showed her immense skill. Running down the left, she drew Millie Bright and beat her before firing a vicious effort which Berger did well to deflect over. From the resulting corner, Salmon found Skeels who forced another save from Berger.

A combination of Chelsea’s big lead and them having made a raft of substitutions changed the flow of the game. City were now seen more coming forward with Faye Bryson delivering a great cross from the right which was met firmly by the head of Aimee Palmer with Berger needing to push the effort over.

Seconds later, Charlie Wellings released Salmon who ran on to the right hand side of the box and got a fierce drive away which Berger tipped over for another City corner.

Above: Ella Mastrantonio heads clear for Bristol City. Photo: @bristolcitywfc

With fifteen minutes left, Maren Mjelde received what appeared to be a serious knee injury after a challenge from Palmer, and the Norwegian had to be stretchered from the pitch which will be a major loss for Chelsea for the big games ahead.

When play resumed, City created another opportunity. Harrison was played through but just as she was about to get a shot in on goal, Hannah Blundell put in a challenge to clear the danger at the cost of a corner.

The West Londoners responded with Niamh Charles showing great strength to get free down the left and play a ball in to Drew Spence who met it on the volley but the effort went wide.

That was the last chance as the game drifted towards its conclusion. Chelsea’s incredible performance and achievement is sadly blighted by the appalling injury to such a key player in Maren Mjelde. For Bristol City, they need to put this result behind them quickly to pick up another couple of results which will ensure their FA Women’s Super League status is preserved for another season.

Teams: BRISTOL CITY: Baggaley, Bryson, Skeels, Evans, Purfield, Humphrey, Bissell, Mastrantonio, Wellings, Daniel, Salmon. Substitutes: Smith (GK), Rafferty, Allen, Palmer, Collis, Harrison, Layzell, Jones.

CHELSEA: Berger, Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Leupolz, Ingle, Kirby, Fleming, Reiten, Kerr. Substitutes: Musovic (GK), Telford (GK), Blundell, Carter, Ji, Charles, Cuthbert, Harder, Spence.

Scorers: Kerr 2, 10, 48. Kirby 29, 34. Reiten 54.

City Claim Big Win At The Bottom

Melbourne City 1-0 Newcastle Jets

By Kieran Yap.

Above: Melbourne City celebrate Chinatsu Kira’s winning goal. Photo: @MelbourneCity

Just three full days after their last game, Melbourne City faced the travelling Newcastle Jets and were eager to bounce back after their defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers.

City hadn’t won in the league since January and restored Rhali Dobson to the starting line-up, Newcastle were fresh off their 4-0 demolition of Perth Glory and looking to continue that momentum in the final stages of the season.

Both sides looked to attack early but it was Melbourne who had the first clear chance of the game, a near post corner found Jenna McCormick unmarked but her header, while connecting cleanly was directed wide of the post. Almost right away from the next play, Tara Andrew looked to have scored for Newcastle but the goal was disallowed for an offside call that looked unclear but elicited no protest from the Jets players.

Dobson’s impact was noticeable early, her movement and pace opens up spaces for her teammates and she linked up with Chidiac to send the playmaker into the 18-yard box where a sliding Hannah Brewer blocked her cross solidly.

Above: City goal scorer Chinatsu Kira (10) takes on Jets’ Tessa Tamplin. Photo: @MelbourneCity

Newcastle’s best chance of the first half was when centre forward Tara Andrews ran onto a bouncing ball and looked certain to trouble Barbieri in goal. She connected cleanly on the half volley but McCormick had read the danger and threw herself in front of the shot like an 80’s action movie star. It was a desperate and well-timed challenge at personal risk to herself in a side playing only for pride and was magnificent defending.

Chinatsu Kira was dangerous in City’s attack, nearly finishing after a cross from Dobson and then stretching agonizingly close to a Tori Tumeth ball, whipped in from the right. Third time was a charm for the Japanese International when she finished another Tumeth inspired move and this time turned it in spectacularly.

When the cross came in to the back post, could she have controlled it? Sure, could she have headed it? Probably, could she have leapt in the air, contorted her body and scored with a mid-flight back heel? Apparently yes. It was an incredible goal, amazing in its invention and execution and a brilliant way to open her account in the W-League.  As the teams departed for half time, City were in the unfamiliar position of being 1-0 up

And that’s the way it stayed, Newcastle had the majority of second half possession and attacked at every opportunity but looked short of ideas, the Melbourne defence, with 16 year old Naomi Chinnama-Thomas at the heart of a back five was impressively solid and even after McCormick departed due to a slight injury, they looked rarely troubled.

City tended to play more on the counter attack as the game wore on, Chidiac’s bursting runs from deep central positions troubled Newcastle and after a one-two with Dobson she was unlucky not to score. Dobson also had a chance to double the lead when Claire Coelho parried a Vlajnic shot but Dobson was unable to score from the rebound.

Above: Something for Melbourne City to celebrate at last – Kira’s goal. Photo: @MelbourneCity

Chidiac is a different player when she is able to get on the ball in the midfield, she has the ability to run, beat players and spot passes ahead of her and another trademark surge set up Kira whose shot was well saved by Coelho at the near post.

Newcastle still had weapons though and never gave up trying to find the equalizer. Gema Simon whipped in a late free kick toward Andrews, the club leading scorer was able to get her head to the ball but Emma Checker did just enough to put her off and the home side were able to run down the clock for the final few minutes.

It was Melbourne City’s first win since January after suffering their longest run of games without scoring. it was a deserved, hard fought win and they were unlucky not to score one more.

Newcastle perhaps unusually for them, struggled to create many chances either through the wide areas or the normally inventive Rhianna Pollicina, still their effort did not drop and they stayed in the contest until the end.

This was a game between two sides out of finals contention, yet judging by the commitment from both sides this could have been a final, after years of dominance it is a weird feeling being happy for the City players getting a win but they deserved to celebrate and will hope to replicate that feeling next week against Perth.

Teams: MELBOURNE CITY: Barbieri, Checker, Thomas-Chinnama, McCormick, Tumeth, Vlajnic, Davidson, Hoelsbrekken-Eckhoff, Kira, Chidiac, Dobson. Substitutes: Johnson, Cain, Muldeary, Robinne.

Scorer: Kira 42.

NEWCASTLE JETS: Coelho, Tamplin, Simon, King, Brewer, Pollicina, O’Brien, Davis, Andrews, Allan, Franco. Substitutes: Simonsen (GK), Bass, Jaber, Petratos, Harding.

Referee: Isabella Libri.

Attendance: 326.

Sydney FC10802241024+14
Brisbane Roar11641261222+14
Adelaide United11614191719+2
Canberra United10532201618+4
Melbourne Victory9522171217+5
Western Sydney Wanderers11416121813-6
Newcastle Jets1021714177-3
Melbourne City102168227-14
Perth Glory80176221-16

Top four sides qualify for the finals at the end of the regular season.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

Gielnik Hat-Trick Ensures Brisbane Get Their Roar Back

Brisbane Roar 4–2 Adelaide United

By Kris Goman

We’re in Round 12 of the W-League and reaching the pointy end of the competition.

Brisbane and Adelaide are on the same points in the table, having nineteen each but Roar is above on goal difference. This is a critical game for both teams as the winner will be clear in second place and closer to guaranteeing a finals berth.

Roar have come on in Polkinghorne 150 games t-shirts during warm-up and many in the crowd have the same t-shirt. Adelaide are in their away kit which resembles a McDonalds uniform.

Mallory Webber has assumed the role of captain for Adelaide and Worth is back in as keeper for Roar replacing Aquino in goal.

Brisbane kick off. There is a huge crowd at Lions Stadium and the Roar Corps are in fine voice and have their signs up around the field.

An early cross by Gielnik is skied by Hecher right in front of goal. Straight away afterwards, Webber sends a cross to Isobel Hodgson and she shoots but Worth has it under control. Looks like it’s going to be a pretty even match.

Another cross by Gielnik, not too long after, sees Fryer-McLaren grab it while Yallop jumps up like an energizer bunny behind her in anticipation of the ball that never arrived.

Gielnik sent a long shot from the side-line aiming for the top right corner that just misses. Little bit more spin and that would have been in.

A cross-field pass out to Hecher sees her twist under pressure to get a shot away but it’s wide and goes across the goal with no one to run onto it. Dalton takes a long range shot that also goes wide to the right. Torpey also takes a crack that skims the crossbar. Brisbane are applying plenty of pressure in the first 20 minutes.

At 21 minutes Hecher centres a ball to Gielnik who shoots. It’s straight to Fryer-McLaren but she can’t control it and it bounces back into the field of play. Hecher runs up and bangs it past her for Brisbane’s first goal of the match.

Above: Brisbane Roar’s Mariel Hecher celebrates her opener. Photo: @BrisbaneRoar

Adelaide launch a counter attack but can’t break through the Brisbane defence.

On 30 minutes there’s a nice move when Yallop gets a ball to Chance who passes to Gielnik but her shot is out to the left surprisingly as she was unmarked when she got the ball.

Hodgson gets to run a ball down the right and sends a cross towards goal but it can’t be picked up by Webber and goes wide. Immediately after, Hodgson gets the ball again and brings it down the centre. She sends the ball to the right to release Dawber. She steps around Polkinghorne and slams it into the left side of goal and at 34 minutes we’re level again at 1-1.

Just as the Brisbane goal seemed to energise Adelaide, the Adelaide goal has injected Brisbane with a bit more enthusiasm but no more goals eventuate before the half time whistle.

Brisbane come out swinging in the second half and launch a few unsuccessful attacks with a couple of shots by Gielnik foiled. A corner is punched away but Yallop brings it back in and her cross results in mayhem in front of goal before it goes safely out for another corner. The corner comes to naught. The ball is up and down the field a bit until Rojas gets a nice run down the middle avoiding both defenders but her shot is off target.

Shortly after, Gielnik is called offside and a ball put in by Yallop is disallowed. Worth clears a ball to Webber by mistake but she takes a rather weak shot that is easily gathered while Rojas is unmarked in the middle and clearly not happy about not getting the ball.

Hodgson takes a shot from out on the right wing that is caught by Worth.  Not too long after, Torpey gets a good close range shot away that’s blocked by Emily Hodgson who was marking her closely.

The resulting corner bounces around in front of goal and Fryer-McLaren is unable to capture the ball. It comes out of the chaos to Gielnik who slams it in for a goal. At 61 minutes, Brisbane are back in the lead 2-1.

Adelaide are straight back on the attack and Dawber gets past a couple of Brisbane players to get a ball out to Hodgson on the right who’s in the clear. Worth comes right out and is able to block her shot in a goal saving move.

The corner comes direct to Waldus’ head and she pops up to send it towards goal but somehow Worth punches it away. It looked like a sure thing.

Above: Brisbane Roar legend Clare Polkinghorne (right of centre, front row in match kit) with her team-mates, coaching staff and Roar Corps fans to commemorate her 150th appearance for the club. Photo: @TheRoarCorps

At 68 minutes, Gielnik brings the ball up the centre and sends a long one out to Hecher. She passes back in to Yallop who takes a lovely shot that goes just right, into the side net. Just off target but a very sweet shot and nice run of play.

At 70 minutes Brisbane get a free kick on the right side-line after a foul on Yallop. It bounces around for a while goes right back to Carroll who sends it back up field, more passes then out to Dalton, back in, back out to Dalton again who slips it to Gielnik to tap it low past Fryer-McLaren for her second goal of the night and eleventh of the season.

A break down the right side by Dawber sees her shot go well high. Another break by Grant is stopped by a tackle by Chance.

McKenna starts off a Brisbane attack by coming down the middle and sending a slow ball through to Gielnik. She gets around Waldus and finds Fryer-McLaren well off her line and is able to put the ball past her for a hat-trick at 80 minutes.

After Heatley gets entangled with Hecher and they both go down, a gap opens for Adelaide and Worts has the ball in midfield and clears it out to Dawber over on the right who is unmarked. She shoots it into the bottom right hand corner out of reach of Worth and suddenly things are interesting again. Adelaide have not given up by any stretch of the imagination and rush the ball back for the kick-off.

In stoppage time Gielnik gets another clear shot on goal but a diving save sends it out. At full time Brisbane emerge victorious and have won 4-2 in a pretty convincing effort in the end. It was pretty even in the first half but Brisbane ramped things up in the second half and, despite their best efforts, Adelaide couldn’t match them. Gielnik looked very good and was able to finish well and get a hat-trick which takes her well clear in the golden boot race. It also deservedly got her player of match. 

Teams: BRISBANE ROAR: Worth, Heatley, Rankin, Carroll, Polkinghorne, Dalton, Chance, Hecher, Torpey, Gielnik, Yallop. Substitutes: Aquino (GK), Crummer, Horsey, McKenna, Freir.

Scorers: Hecher 22. Gielnik 62, 72, 80.

ADELAIDE UNITED: Fryer-McLaren, E.Hodgson, Grant, McNamara, Waldus, Hogg, Condon, Rojas, Dawber, I.Hodgson, Weber. Substitutes: Grove (GK), Johns, Kirkby, Worts, Mullan.

Scorers: Dawber 34, 87.

Referee: Isabella Blaess.

Attendance: 1,791.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

Glory for Canberra & Heyman But Pride For Perth

Perth Glory 2–3 Canberra United

By Ben Gilby.

Above: Canberra United embrace after Michelle Heyman’s winning goal five minutes into stoppage time. Photo: @CanberraUnited

One of the most dramatic last ten minutes of any match you will see anywhere this season ended with Canberra United’s Finals hopes remaining intact after a 3-2 win over Perth Glory.

This was a game that had everything – Michelle Heyman breaking the all-time W-League goal scoring record, two missed penalties within minutes of each other, a sending off and a goal at the death.

Something which really must be underlined amidst all of the drama of the ending to the game and Heyman’s record breaking efforts is the incredible effort and never-say-die spirit that this exceptionally young Perth Glory side displayed throughout. Alex Epakis’ team came back from a losing position twice and scored two quite outstanding goals.

This game, officially a Perth Glory home game was moved to Viking Park, Canberra United’s ground, due to restrictions in force within Western Australia on people who had been in the state of Victoria within a given time frame, and with Canberra having played in Melbourne recently, their whole squad came under that bracket.

Despite Canberra’s outstanding performance in thrashing previously unbeaten Brisbane Roar at home last weekend, Perth went into the game buoyed by the fact that their sole point this season came in their visit to the same venue back in late January.

Within twenty-four seconds, Canberra won a free-kick due to hand in the face of Bianca Galic by Malia Steinmetz which resulted in the Perth player being yellow carded.

The first half chance came after three minutes when Grace Maher ran through the midfield and found Nikki Flannery on the right hand side but she couldn’t get any power into the shot and Lily Alfeld easily gathered in the Perth goal.

Three minutes later, Flannery was involved again. She off loaded to Michelle Heyman centrally just outside the box. Heyman’s deft touch back to her team mate saw Flannery through on goal, she squared the ball across to Laura Hughes who slid in but couldn’t quite reach the cross.

Above: A midfield tussle at Viking Park. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

With twelve minutes played, Kiwi international Paige Satchell raced down the left and played in Heyman who in turn found Maher. The 21 year-old midfielder ran into the box and skewed an effort off of her right foot into the arms of Alfeld as Canberra continued to press in the opening exchanges.

Satchell was flying down the left wing in this period, and her pace created an opportunity for Galic to play a low ball across the face of the goal which Flannery was not able to get on the end of. A whole volume of missed opportunities in the opening twenty minutes were racking up for the Lime Green Machine – would these come back to haunt them?

The New Zealander had another opportunity shortly after when she got through on the left yet again and looked to have an arm put across her. It was one of those moments that had she gone down, you feel a penalty would have been awarded, however, Satchell stayed on her feet and got a shot away which didn’t trouble her compatriot Alfeld in the Perth goal.

It was all too comfortable for Canberra in the opening twenty minutes. To try and grab some form of foothold in the game, Glory tried to develop short passing triangles ahead of looking for a longer ball down to Deborah-Ann De La Harpe to run onto. One such move led to the Glory defender winning a corner from Lauren Keir. De La Harpe’s flag kick came in high and was met by a great header which was narrowly over.

Despite Perth’s best spell in the game, with nine minutes of the half left, it was Canberra who took the lead, thanks to the impressive partnership of Michelle Heyman and Nikki Flannery. Grace Maher offloaded to Heyman who laid off a side footed pass for Flannery to run onto on the right of the box. Flannery took a touch and comfortably shot home past Alfeld.

Two minutes later, Canberra almost doubled their advantage when Lauren Keir’s dangerous cross was met by Heyman sliding in with her effort being saved by Alfeld’s foot. It ricocheted off a Glory defender and away for a corner which Perth eventually cleared.

However, Perth showed their character by levelling with four minutes of the half left, and what a strike it was. Sarah Morgan took possession from a throw in on the right and a long ball through from Liz Anton was perfect for Caitlin Doeglas on the left hand side. Doeglas beat Keir outside the box and fired a superb shot into the top right hand corner to level matters for the Glory.

Canberra had one further chance right at the end of first half stoppage time. Heyman beat both Sarah Carroll and Tash Rigby to play in a low ball across the six yard box. The pass found Flannery whose goal bound effort was brilliantly blocked by De La Harpe.

Perth created the first opportunity in the second half, seven minutes in. The busy Alexia Moreno played a lovely long through ball into Caitlin Doeglas who ran onto it with Keeley Richards getting there first.

Canberra’s reply was instant and, literally record breaking. Michelle Heyman took advantage of a slip and hit an effort which rebounded off Alfeld back into her path and she turned and lofted a glorious first time effort into the right hand top corner of the net – a magnificent strike to become the W-League’s all-time record goal scorer.

Above: Perth Glory goalkeeper Lily Alfeld under pressure from Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman with Jamie-Lee Gale looking on. Photo: @CanberraUnited

Laura Hughes then called Alfeld back into duty again minutes later when she hit a long range shot that the Glory keeper had to tip over.

Perth reverted to a patient build up to stem the flow of Canberra possession – it was a mature response from a very young side. In this period, Kat Jukic played a ball in towards Jamie-Lee Gale whose effort was off target.

With nineteen minutes to go, Jukic gave Perth a lifeline once more. From well over thirty yards, the midfield substitute lofted a magnificent shot over Keeley Richards into the net. It was a fantastic reply from the Western Australian side.

Hayley Taylor-Young’s introduction as substitute brought a massive injection of pace to the left flank in the closing stages for Canberra.

As the game entered its final six minutes, Heyman headed on a ball towards Flannery who got in ahead of Alfeld, but Anton tidied up brilliantly. Moments later, Kendall Fletcher was brought down in the box by a combination of Patricia Charalambous and Tash Rigby, with referee Lara Lee pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Fletcher and she hit the base of the left hand post with Perth reacting quickest to clear for a corner.

Within seconds though, Lara Lee was pointing to the spot again with Tash Rigby being adjudged to handle from the resulting corner. Perth felt it was incredibly harsh and Sarah Carroll received a second yellow for her protestations. Up stepped Fletcher once more, and once more she missed. This time it went wide of the left hand post. A staggering chain of events and yet another series of opportunities gone begging for Canberra United.

Yet, with a minute of stoppage time to play, there was yet another twist. This was simply a must win game for Canberra for their Finals hopes and who would you put your money on to ensure the Lime Green machine won it?

Michelle Heyman was played through by Demi Koulizakis and calmly placed the winner past Alfeld for her second of the evening.

The plethora of chances that Canberra created in the opening twenty minutes could have put the game out of Perth’s reach early on. As the campaign reaches its climax, teams wishing to play Finals cannot afford to spurn opportunities in such great numbers when they come, but those worries are for the future. For now, Canberra are celebrating an incredible win. It was cruel on Perth, but for the sheer number of chances created across ninety minutes, the ACT side will feel it was a deserved win.

Teams: PERTH GLORY: Alfeld, De La Harpe, Rigby, Carroll, Anton, Steinmetz, Morgan, Lowry, Moreno, Gale, Douglas. Substitutes: Bennett (GK), McKenna, Jukic, Tabain, Charalambous.

Scorers: Doeglas 41, Jukic 71.

CANBERRA UNITED: Richards, Keir, Ilijoski, Nash, Fletcher, Galic, Maher, Hughes, Heyman, Flannery, Satchell. Substitutes: James (GK), Goldstein, Rasschaert, Koulizakis, Taylor-Young.

Scorers: Flannery 34. Heyman 54, 90+5.

Referee: Lara Lee.

Attendance: 942.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

West Is Best As City Slump

Melbourne City 0-4 Western Sydney Wanderers

By Kieran Yap

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers celebrate their first ever away win against a Melbourne based side. Photo: @wswanderers

It was a round of W-League action packed with special moments and Melbourne City vs Western Sydney Wanderers had its fair share of highlights. A fast paced, sometimes scrappy but constantly entertaining game was the result when the two sides met at City’s new base at Frank Holohan reserve in Dandenong.

Melbourne were without Teagan Micah due to injury but she was replaced by the much accomplished veteran Melissa Barbieri who became the oldest W-League player in history at the age of 41, The Wanderers began with a familiar line-up and once again elected to trust the attack to 17 year old striker Bryleeh Henry ahead of the in-form super-sub Leena Khamis.

From the first whistle the Wanderers were on the attack and looked to test the experienced defence of Jenna McCormick and Emma Checker. Georgia Yeoman-Dale brilliantly cut the ball back inside from the left wing and hit a well struck shot that Barbieri saved confidently and Teigan Collister was looking dangerous on the opposite flank.

In the 12th minute the deadlock was broken, Collister whipped in a low cross into the area between the goalkeeper and the defence and Bryleeh Henry attacked the ball hardest to finish beyond Barbieri from point blank range.

Above: Melbourne City’s Tori Tumeth (5) is sandwiched between Western Sydney Wanderers’ Julie-Ann Russell (left) and Georgia Yeoman-Dale (right). Photo: @MelbourneCity

The ball into the box was perfect, any defender trying to cut it off would have risked an own goal and Henry was able to use her impressive acceleration to arrive on time to bury it home. She has looked dangerous in recent weeks, her speed troubled the Victory and defenders the week before but this time she had the finishing to match, she deserved her first W-League goal and had rewarded the faith that the coaches have placed in her.

Henry might have secured the headlines but it was very much the Collister show, the winger once more helping set up Yeoman-Dale to test Barbieri and again the keeper was able to save spectacularly with a diving effort.

There was nothing she could do to stop what happened next though, Collister received the ball from a Julie-Anne Russell switch and sent the ball in toward Henry who did not waste the surprising amount of space she was in and tapped home to make it 2-0 to the visitors at half time.

City began the second half in search of goals and with nothing to lose, Hollie Palmer found Alex Chidiac with a nice cross early in the second half but she was unable to direct the header on target.

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers celebrate Bryleeh Henry’s second goal. Photo: @wswanderers.

The hosts were unlucky not to receive a penalty after Chinatsu Kira was chopped down in the box, it was during a tussle for the ball but the defender got none of the ball yet somehow miraculously received a free kick themselves.

Jenna McCormick went on a solo run down the right, hoping to inspire her team and her cross caused momentary panic for the Wanderers defence, unfortunately it sailed past the back post with nobody there to meet it.

Substitute Sam Johnson had one of the clearer chances for City when she connected cleanly with her head from a corner but the ball flew over the bar. Western Sydney had a two-goal cushion but it momentarily looked under threat.

Collister continued her dominant display, another trademark run resulted in a shot that bobbled around the six-yard box and forced Barbieri into a miraculous save before being called into action again to deny Henry her hat-trick with a strong save from a flicked shot on target.

Above: Melbourne City’s Tyla-Jay Vlajnic (19) competes for the ball with Western Sydney Wanderers Teigan Collister. Photo: @MelbourneCity

Rosie Galea was next to find the goal, Collister again was the main instigator, another cross from the right was not cleared by Melbourne and with the ball running behind Henry the substitute was on hand to smash it into the back of the net, burying any chance of a comeback by the hosts.

In the dying minutes Galea added a second and the Wanderers fourth, Yeoman-Dale was the provider on this occasion, sending in a dangerous cross that Barbieri parried away, the ball bounced in the 18 yard box and Galea reacted fastest, attacked the ball at full pace and rifled it home to make it 4-0.

It wasn’t a classic game, but Teigan Collister’s performance was one to admire, a winger in flying form at full pace is still one of the sport’s greatest sights and her contribution to the side was massive.

The emergence of Bryleeh Henry as a scoring threat in this match was exciting to see and Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Dean Heffernan should be commended for trusting and developing her this season when goals were scarce for much of the year. Western Sydney have slowly worked their way into form, if the season was a few weeks longer they would look a dangerous finals prospect and if they can keep the core of this side together next season they should find some success.

Melbourne City are going through a rough patch, they recruited experienced talented players across the park but are clearly missing a reliable goal scorer. They have a short wait before the chance to redeem themselves as they play Newcastle Jets three days later and will want to end the season with a few wins.

Teams: MELBOURNE CITY: Barbieri, Checker, Thomas-Chinnama, McCormick, Tumeth, Vlajnic, Davidson, Hoelsbrekken-Eckhoff, Kira, Chidiac, Palmer. Substitutes: Micah, Johnson, Cain, Muldeary, Dobson.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: Willacy, Matos, Yeoman-Dale, Orgill, Cooper, Copus-Brown, Hunter, Price, Henry, Collister, Russell. Substitutes: Newbon (GK), Chauvet, Galea, Halloway, Khamis.

Scorers: Henry 12, 26. Galea 82, 90+3.

Referee: Casey Reibelt.

Attendance: 547.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

The Swedish Scene

It’s our regular Saturday round-up from the Swedish women’s football scene. This week, @DandalBs tells us about fixture news for the national side, UEFA Women’s Champions League action, transfer news and provides us with a round-up all the pre-season friendly and Swedish Cup news.

Sweden have announced two upcoming friendlies, at home to World Champions USA in Solna on 10th April and away to Poland on 13th April. Due to the 50,000 capacity of Solna’s Friends Arena, it is possible that a number of spectators may be able to attend that game.


Rosengård gained a great 2-0 win away to St Pölten to win the last sixteen tie 4-2 on aggregate. After drawing the first leg 2-2 on home soil, Rosengård looked as though they may have lost their chance to progress. Despite not being totally convincing, goals from Emma Berglund and Mimmi Larsson sent the Swedish side into the Quarter-Finals. In the draw made yesterday, Rosengård drew Bayern Munich with the first leg away from home. The winners of the tie will meet either VfL Wolfsburg or Chelsea in the semi-finals.

Above: Rosengård celebrate their win in St. Pölten which saw them progress to the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Photo: Anders Bjuro


Djurgården won their first pre-season friendly with a comfortable 6-1 victory over last season Uppsala who were relegated from the Damallsvenskan last season. Goals from Hanna Ekengren (2), Gudrun Arnadottir, Tilde Lindwall, Haley Dowd and Sara Olai won them the game.

Linköping defeated Eskilstuna United 1-0, thanks to a goal from a free-kick by Frida Maanum.

BK Häcken demolished Vittsjö 7-0. Filippa Angeldahl (2), Pauline Hammarlund, Stina Blackstenius (2), Filippa Curmark and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd scored the goals. Vittsjö had big problems handling the high, aggressive pressure from Häcken who look ready for the Swedish Cup matches starting next weekend.

Piteå went down 2-0 to Hammarby with Ellen Wangerheim scoring both goals. Hammarby became the first side to defeat Piteå in pre-season. The goal scorer, Ellen Wangerheim is one well worth keeping an eye on, she is just 16 years-old.

Above: Hammarby celebrate Ellen Wangerheim’s second goal. Photo: Henric Wauge.

Örebro gained a 1-0 win over AIK in what was an extremely tight match. The identity of the goal scorer is not confirmed. Karin Lundin looked the most likely, but Anna Sandberg was also very nearby.


Linköping won 3-0 away to IFK Norrköping. Therese Simonsson, Uchenna Grace Kanu, Frida Maanum sealed a comfortable win for Linköping, which earns them a place in Swedish Cup Group One with among others, BK Häcken.

The last sixteen of the competition gets underway this coming weekend, with the teams divided into four groups of four teams with each team playing each other once. In this weekend’s games, Group One: Lidkopings v Linkopings and BK Hacken v Vaxjo. Group Two: Alingsas FC United v Kristianstads and FC Rosengard v Vittsjo. Group Three: KIF Orebro v Hammarby and Sundavalls DFF v Eskilstuna United. Group Four: Moron BK v Umea IK FF and Djurgardens v IK Uppsala.


Damallsvenskan newcomers AIK have announced the signing of 23 year-old defender Hannah Davison from Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL.

Above: AIK unveil the signing of Hannah Davison. Photo: Jesper Zerman.

Icelandic forward Dilja Zomers has joined BK Häcken from Valur. The 19 year-old moved to Göteborg with her boyfriend, Valgeir Lunddal Fridriksson, who just signed with BK Häcken’s men’s team and has been on a trial for a short period.