Record Equalling Adelaide Edge Jets

Newcastle Jets 1–2 Adelaide United

By Ben Gilby

Above: Adelaide United celebrate taking the lead at the Number Two Sportsground Photo: @AUFCWomen

Adelaide United took a step closer to Finals Football with an important victory at the Number Two Sportsground.

Newcastle Jets boss Ash Wilson made several changes from their last game with Hannah Brewer and Lauren Allan coming back into the team along with Chloe O’Brien and Panagiota Petratos who were promoted from the bench. Adelaide United welcomed back Chelsie Dawber who was missing last week due to illness and there was also a return for Sian Fryer-McLaren in goal.

Newcastle Jets began looking to make up for a disappointing performance at home to Melbourne Victory last weekend. Yet it was Adelaide who began on the front foot with Mallory Weber being stopped from getting a shot away eventually by Tessa Tamplin who tidied up well.

Above: Tessa Tamplin driving forward for the Jets against Adelaide United. Photo: @NewcastleJetsFC

Newcastle replied when Allan played an inch perfect ball through to Tara Andrews who got a shot away which went narrowly wide of the right hand post.

The opening exchanges were hugely enjoyable with both teams on the attack. Weber almost put the visitors ahead when her turn and shot on the left of the box cannoned back off the post. Less than two minutes later they had better luck with a stunning goal. The returning Chelsie Dawber was found by Maria Jose Rojas and beat Gema Simon by curling a superb effort into the top right hand corner.

Yet the see-saw nature of the start was perfectly evidenced straight from the resulting kick-off as a long ball found Simon who pounced on some confusion by Dylan Holmes to curl a cross-shot into the net.

The “you score, we score” spell of three minutes continued when Holmes’ ball in wasn’t effectively dealt with by Tara King which allowed Emily Condon to smash the ball into the net.

Rojas then created some trickery along the left hand side which allowed Holmes to get an effort away.

With just over half an hour played, Charlotte Grant fouled Andrews on the right just outside of the box. Simon’s free kick found the head of Andrews but it was well wide. Sunny Franco had an effort shortly afterwards which was comfortably dealt with.

Above: Sunny Franco – another promising performance for Jets. Photo: @NewcastleJetsFC

With three minutes of the half left, Simon’s free-kick found Andrews again and, with Matilda McNamara allowing her more space than you would expect, the header was poorly directed wide.

The half-time whistle brought to an end a hugely entertaining opening forty-five minutes with both sides looking strong and creative.

There were several tasty tangles at the start of the second half, first Sunny Franco threw Charlotte Grant to the floor and then Hannah Brewer put a tackle in on Maruschka Waldus which saw the Adelaide player go down on her collar bone. Both Adelaide players were fine to continue.

With this fiery opening to the second half behind us, matters calmed down. Newcastle had more of the ball from an attacking perspective over the first ten minutes. Their build up play was slick and easy on the eye, but never quite led to anything which bothered Sian Fryer McLaren in the Adelaide United goal.

Adelaide broke with just over twenty minutes left with Chelsie Dawber getting another dangerous shot away which Claire Coelho pushed out for a corner. The flag kick came in and Coelho saved her side again by tipping Waldus’ header onto the bar.

Above: Maruschka Waldus wins a header for Adelaide United. Photo: @AUFCWomen

Petratos came so close to levelling for the Jets with a quarter of an hour to go when she took advantage of acres of space to let fly from outside the box with her effort narrowly clearing the crossbar.

Just afterwards, Andrews put in a teasing cross but Franco couldn’t quite direct her diving header on.

Frustratingly for Ash Wilson’s side, it was the story of much of their season – looking excellent coming forward at times but never quite able to make the most of their opportunities.

The second half eventually fizzled out with Adelaide United taking the points simply because they were more able to take the chances that came their way. For only the second time in their history, they have won five matches in a W-League season. Despite a really tough run of fixtures over the closing weeks of the season, it might just be enough to clinch a first ever spot in the finals.

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

Scorer: Simon 13.

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

Scorers: Dawber 12, Condon 15.

Referee: Lara Lee.

Attendance: 652.

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 and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

Red Hot Sky Blues Show Perth How To Finish

Perth Glory 2–6 Sydney FC

By Ben Gilby

Above: Cortnee Vine – another outstanding performance for Sydney FC. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Sydney FC ran out comfortable winners at Dorrien Gardens in a game which saw them come out on top thanks to scoring some outstanding goals and taking advantage of some worrying defence from the hosts.

Perth named unchanged starting eleven with just two changes on the bench, with Kat Jukic returning after missing the two away games last week due to work commitments and Jamie-Lee Gale coming in for Patricia Charalambous.

For Sydney, Ellie Brush returned with Rachel Lowe stepping up from the bench. Charleeze Rule dropped to the bench and Teresa Polias was out of the squad.

The visitors, stung by their thrashing by Brisbane Roar started on the front foot and earned a corner within thirty seconds and a second before two minutes were played.

With Glory clearing these dangerous set pieces, they tried to maximise their possession by playing close passing triangles in midfield and waiting for the right moment to release the final pass. Sydney hustled quickly and Cortnee Vine intercepted, broke away and won her side’s third corner with five minutes on the clock. A high ball in was hacked clear.

Above: Perth Glory keeper Lily Alfeld makes an early save whilst team-mate Sarah Carroll and Sydney FC’s Remi Siemsen look on. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Taylor Ray then looked to off load just outside the box, but was brought down by a rumbustious challenge from Taneesha Baker on her eighteenth birthday, just outside the ‘D’ centrally. The free-kick was far from successful and allowed Caitlin Doeglas to break down the right and play in Baker but the Sydney defence held out.

The visitors had clearly done their homework on Perth’s build up patterns and there were regularly two Sky Blue shirts snapping at the heels of the Glory player in possession. The pressure forced errors in the early exchanges which merely added to Sydney’s stranglehold on the game.

Perth’s first effort came ten minutes in and an excellent turn and shot near the penalty spot from Doeglas was well held by Jada Mathyssen-Whyman.

Vine was having a field day down the right and a cross field pass began a move which ended with Princess Ibini’s weak effort being saved by Lily Alfeld.

Above: Perth Glory’s Tash Rigby tries to hold off Cortnee Vine, Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Vine created more danger down the right on the twenty minute mark and earned the Harbour City side a free kick which Taylor Ray swung in. Vine’s looping header was caught under the bar by Alfeld.

Perth responded instantly with a promising link-up between the two teenagers Hana Lowry and Taneesha Baker. It resulted with Baker’s effort skewed into the side netting. Four minutes later the home side saw an effort from Marianna Tabain fly over the bar.

The Purples had now settled into the game and were seeing far more possession but since the disastrous season-ending injury to Gemma Craine during their second match of the campaign, Perth are struggling for shots on target and genuine sharpness in and around the box. Something the Glory are not lacking is desire – and a prime example of this came when their Kiwi defender Liz Anton managed to win a tackle despite being prone on the ground with the Sydney attacker towering above her.

Princess Ibini was popping up all over the field and revelling in the freedom she enjoyed whether it be helping her defence down the left hand flank, getting shots away from the centre or joining Vine’s raids along the right.

As the game neared half-time there was absolutely no doubt that Perth would be happy with their progress throughout the opening stanza. They had been under serious pressure but the defence, marshalled expertly by Tash Rigby and with the ever impressive Alfeld between the sticks, had kept a very impressive clean sheet. Once more, although not ahead on the scoreboard, there was plenty for the Western Australian side’s fans to be proud of.

Yet as things have often turned out for Perth this season, there was heartache out of pride. With two minutes remaining in the half, Ellie Brush, just inside from the right hand flank played a pass just outside the box to Remy Siemsen who turned and fired an instant shot past Alfeld to put the visitors ahead at the break.

Within three minutes of the re-start, Sydney again emphasised the importance of having dangerous finishers. Clare Wheeler played a ball out to Mclean on the right flank. She fed Ibini just inside the box. Ibini turned Rigby and fired a rocket into the right hand side of the net.

Siemsen’s alertness was responsible for Sydney’s third with fifty-three minutes on the clock. Once more it was Wheeler with the assist as she played a delightful chip into the box with Siemsen getting between Sarah Carroll and Liz Anton to hit a shot which squirmed under Alfeld and over the line. It was a goal that was avoidable from Perth’s perspective and it further underlined the difference between the sides – potential finishing ability.

A minute later, Siemsen was in once more and her shot had to be tipped over by Alfeld.

Sydney were not finished and on the hour mark it was 4-0 and again, it was a goal which was exceptionally disappointing from a Perth Glory perspective. Ally Green crossed in and Wheeler, allowed way too much room, slid in at the near post in score with Alfeld left worryingly exposed by her defence.

The Western Australians creditably got up off the canvas and swung back at Sydney two minutes later. Kat Jukic’s pass through was not dealt with by Taylor Ray and Hana Lowry was able to fire a low shot from the edge of the box for the seventeen year-old’s first of the season.

Above: Hana Lowry fires in her first goal for Perth Glory. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

Less than a minute later, Perth’s never say die spirit saw them rewarded again. A long throw inside her own half by Deborah-Ann De La Harpe released sub Jamie-Lee Gale down the right and she beat Green expertly before playing in a low cross which was met firmly by Lowry and the Glory were back in it at 4-2. A fantastic response by the young Perth side.

But, with twenty minutes left Sydney extinguished any dramatic hopes that the home side had of completing a famous comeback. Green played a ball down the left to Wheeler who got away from teenage sub Isabella Wallhead with ease, cut across the bye-line and hit a shot into the net.

Immediately afterwards, Alfeld had to be alive to the danger after a quick free kick came in which she had to tip over.

With eight minutes left, Sydney got the ball in the net once more, although celebrations would be quickly cut short. Cortnee Vine beat Rigby and played a high cross into the box from the right and with Alfeld well beaten, the ball come off of Allira Toby’s upper arm and went over the line before being correctly ruled out.

Sydney missed another opportunity to add to their tally when Rigby brought Ibini down in the box and referee Isabella Libri pointed to the spot. Up stepped Wheeler and Alfeld made a fantastic save and Ray’s follow up was also cleared.

To compound matters further, Ellie Brush was on the receiving end of a tough tackle from Wallhead which led to her being led from the pitch with a serious looking knee injury.

Deep into stoppage time, Sydney finally scored their sixth. Ibini cut in from the left, and got past Wallhead, Gale and Carroll to fire in a low effort which looked to have gone in off Carroll to complete the rout.

Above: Jamie-Lee Gale attempts to break through late on. Photo: Tom McCarthy.

For Sydney, this was the perfect response to their shocking loss to Brisbane Roar and their hopes of finishing the regular season on top of the table are now looking more realistic than ever.

This was unquestionably Perth’s most disappointing performance of the season – but they showed character to keep plugging away. With Gemma Craine’s absence leading to a lack of firepower, at the very least they need to get their solid defensive shape back over the coming weeks as they look for that all important first win of the season.

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

Scorers: Lowry 64, 65.

SYDNEY FC: Mathyssen-Whyman, Rule, Mclean, Green, Tobin, Brush, Ray, Wheeler, Lowe, Siemsen, Ibini. Substitutes: Campbell (GK), Hristodouou, Hawkesby, Rule, Toby.

Scorers: Siemsen 44, 53. Ibini 48, 90+5. Wheeler 61, 70.

Referee: Isabella Libri.

Attendance: 510.

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 and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

Wanderers Sink City

Western Sydney Wanderers 1–0 Melbourne City

Report and EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from Kris Goman.

Above: Western Sydney Wanderers celebrate their second win on the bounce. Photo: Kris Goman.

This match is at the Wanderers Centre of Football in Blacktown in Sydney’s west. It’s a gorgeous evening and there’s a decent local crowd of young footballers from Blacktown Spartans here to watch.

This is a must win match for both teams. Either losing team can pretty well write off their finals chances. There’s no guarantee a win will get them there either though.

Wanderers are playing 4-3-3 and City are playing 5-3-2 with a bigger emphasis on defence. Early on, the Wanderers seem to be controlling play and have the bulk of possession and territory. There’s a battle brewing between Sam Johnson in attack for City and Georgia Yeoman-Dale for Wanderers in defence as that seems to be City’s primary way forward.

There’s a few runs into the box for both teams but no shots on goal until about 15 minutes in when Teigan Collister releases Bryleeh Henry onto a ball that beats Jenna McCormick. Her shot goes across the face of goal but if better placed might have delivered. There’s no one there to follow up and that chance goes begging.

The Melbourne attacks are foiled at every opportunity and the Wanderers defence looks very strong. Hollie Palmer gets in front with just the keeper between her and goal but both Caitlin Cooper and Danika Matos are on her in seconds, making her turn around. She passes to Chinatsu Kira but she’s swamped too and City have to reset, not getting a shot away.

Kira gets another clear run into goal but Sarah Willacy and Cooper shut her down too. Things have evened up a bit more and Melbourne are looking more dangerous when Emma Checker sends a long pass out on the right to Johnson. She centres it and Alex Chidiac gets a boot to it and flicks it to goal but Willacy punches it safely out for a corner. That was the closest attempt to date and a great save.

Above: Georgia Yeoman-Dale takes on Naomi Thomas-Chinnama. Photo: Kris Goman.

The corner is taken short and then crossed. McCormick gets her head to it but can’t direct it to goal and it’s out for a goal kick. Wanderers get a free kick after McCormick takes Sarah Hunter’s feet out from her and Libby Copus-Brown takes it. It’s headed by Henry, then Price volleys it and strikes the crossbar. It bounces back into play but is cleared.

Wanderers start applying a bit more pressure and Collister manages to steal the ball off Tori Tumeth at the top of the box, gets around Checker but her shot is blocked by McCormick in an impressive bit of work both by Collister and McCormick.

Soon after, Russell has the ball on the left and sends a cross just over the head of Hunter, right in front of goal. She just needed to be two inches taller.

Wanderers get a free kick ten metres out from the top of the box and right in front. They try a tricky set play where Yeoman-Dale and Copus-Brown line up to take it. Yeoman-Dale wanders away bored, like she’s decided not to take it, and Copus-Brown slips it to her instead of the waiting hoards. It nearly works but Tumeth sprints over and blocks the ball and it goes off Yeoman-Dale for a goal kick.

It’s all the Wanderers now and Melbourne haven’t got into their half for some time. A ball comes over and dips in front of Price in the box on the right. She cuts back on Eckhoff and shoots but Micah has gathered it safely.

McCormick gets a long ball across to Johnson but Yeoman-Dale is all over it and relieves her of possession. In a rare incursion, Palmer gets the ball and takes it down the left, crosses to Leah Davidson in the box but Cooper wrests the ball from her and clears it. Cooper is reminiscent of a slightly smaller, slightly less aggressive but just as effective, Millie Bright. So solid in defence and completely dependable. Also excellent in the air.

Above: Melbourne City’s Jenna McCormick battles with Bryleeh Henry (9) Photo: Kris Goman.

We’re in the last five minutes of the first half when Johnson steals possession and kicks off a run. She passes to Palmer at halfway who passes onto Kira. She taps back towards Johnson who is running up the right wing now. Willacy comes out of the box and misses the ball and is beaten. The goal is open for Johnson. She stumbles and takes a touch giving the Wanderers time to recover but Willacy is still down behind her. She shoots but Nikola Orgill blocks with her chest, right on the line, and Cooper clears it out of the box. It was a thrilling piece of play and a stunning recovery by the Wanderers. It all ends with a free kick for City. Kira’s kick goes under the wall as they jump to block it but Willacy scoops it up safely.

Just before half time Tumeth gets a yellow for a foul tackle on Russell. The half ends at nil all with Wanderers looking marginally better for most of the half except for the last five minutes but ultimately both defences stood up to all attacks.

The second half starts with a Wanderers free kick taken by Copus-Brown that sails over the crossbar.

A ball is sent down the right for Johnson again and Johnson and Yeoman-Dale shoulder charge with Yeoman-Dale coming off second best and left behind on the ground. This play results in a corner and Melbourne have come out fighting this half. Everyone’s in front of goal and Cooper heads it away. Chidiac sends it back in to McCormick who heads it to goal but there’s not enough on it and Willacy has it wrapped up.

Another City attack soon after sees a ball float across the goal but no one there to do anything with it. Once again Johnson and Yeoman-Dale are batting down the right side and this time Yeoman-Dale wins the ball back.

On the other side of the field, Collister gets a yellow for taking down Kira. Immediately after, the other big battle between Tumeth and Collister has them both going for the ball and crashing into each other with Collister coming off second best and falling heavily and hitting her head on the way down. After some treatment, she’s up and Melbourne get the dropped ball.

At 57 minutes, Wanderers have a fairly haphazard attack on goal with the ball in and out of the box and eventually collected by Micah after a weak cross by Collister.

Melbourne are playing a very high line and catch Russell offside.

Above: A prone Georgia Yeoman-Dale after her tussle with Sam Johnson. Photo: Kris Goman

A goal kick comes out to Johnson and Yeoman-Dale right in front of the field camera. Yeoman-Dale grabs Johnson’s shirt, pulls her down then falls on top of her in a tumble. Johnson pushes her off and in the struggle, things get violent. Johnson is on top and looks like she’s going to thump Yeoman-Dale who puts her hands up in defence. Johnson gets up and hovers over her and it looks like she kicks her while she’s on the ground. Yeoman-Dale is on the ground on her back with her hands exclaiming her innocence. There’s absolutely no love lost here. Rado Vidosic offers to help her up but she’s not interested. Team mates rush in to pull Johnson away as they have further words. Neither are backing down. Both get yellow cards and neither are happy but they both look a bit smug. City get the free kick which goes straight into the box. Offside is called.

McCormick gets a run down the right closely followed by Copus-Brown. She manages to hold her off and get a cross to Chidiac but her shot is to the right of goal.

Melbourne City are on a roll now and sub Rhali Dobson has her turn bringing the ball down the left. Chidiac tries a back flick with the cross but Yeoman-Dale clears it before Johnson can get to it. An Eckhoff to Dobson run is once again stopped by a Cooper header. The header goes to Hunter who passes to Collister. She brings it right up the right flank, passes it through Checker, on the right corner of the box. Sub Leena Khamis picks it up and shoots to the far post. It hits the post and ricochets into goal at the 71 minute mark. It’s 1-0 after a brilliant transition play by the Wanderers. Collister did all the work there bringing the ball up at least half the field. Khamis’ finish was perfect, to slot it past Micah, with a single touch, and into goal. It looked like City had the upper hand for the last ten minutes and now the Wanderers have turned the tables.

Melbourne City launch another attack from kick-off until Collister gets it again and takes off again. She’s very fast. Probably the fastest on the field. She leaves Tumeth in her dust and Checker comes across and runs interference until Tumeth catches up, tackles her and takes her down. Tumeth is on a yellow and gets spoken to but no red is pulled out.

Above: Sarah Hunter (18) and Tori Tumeth contest possession. Photo: Kris Goman.

Melbourne City are back on the attack and, after another Johnson v Yeoman-Dale tussle, get a corner. There’s a lot of jostling in front of goal so when the kick comes in, Wanderers get a free kick.

Chinnama gets a yellow in her starting debut game, after a push on Henry. She has been very solid in defence and this didn’t look intentional. The free kick by Copus-Brown goes to the far side and Khamis delivers a rocket header that just misses the left goal post and goes wide.

Melbourne City launch another attack and this time Tumeth takes a long shot straight into Cooper who puts her body on the line yet again. It rebounds off her for a corner. The corner gets cleared by Collister but only to Dobson who shoots. It’s wide but Melbourne certainly aren’t giving up.

Neither is Khamis who has injected some spirit into the Wanderers. Copus-Brown sends a long ball over the city defensive line and both Khamis and Henry break through. Micah comes right out and beats Khamis to the ball and they both take a tumble. The ball lands with Hunter who delivers a lob over Micah who is just recovering. It’s high and it bounces which gives Micah enough time to run back and stop the ball from going into goal.

Above: Leena Khamis finds a novel way to get away from Emma Checker. Photo: Kris Goman.

It feels manic now as both teams are desperate for the points. It’s back and forth a few times. At 83 minutes, Erica Halloway comes on to replace Henry. This is her first match back after an extended period out of the game due to an ACL injury. There really is nothing better than seeing a player return after an injury like that.

Wanderers get a corner that comes in and goes straight back out to Copus-Brown. The second delivery finds both Khamis and Halloway offside but Micah had the ball anyway.

Shortly after Matos delivers a lovely ball to Khamis, once again, clear in the box. She gets a decent shot off but Micah is able to deflect it out for a corner. That was a definitely goal saver.

With only a minute left in regular time, Chidiac brings the ball down the left with Orgill trying to stop her. Her shot to the near post is gathered by Willacy.

We’ve got four minutes of injury time when Chinnama goes down in front of goal with a cramp as the Wanderers are waiting for a corner. She’s off the field and the corner lands on Khamis’ stomach and it rebounds to Kira who clears it.

Above: Tense midfield action. Photo: Kris Goman.

Down the other end, it falls to Johnson. Cooper and Yeoman-Dale are there and Cooper wrestles it from her and sends it out for a corner. There’s less than two minutes left so this is Melbourne’s last chance for any points. Cooper then Khamis get their heads to the ball to clear it but there’s a foul called for to the jostling.

Melbourne bring the ball back in a last ditch effort. Everyone goes forward and Tumeth crosses to Cain, who’s just come on. Her shot is wide. There’s a bit more midfield play until the whistle blows and Wanderers get the valuable three points after a massive battle.

Melbourne City are dejected and a few of them sit down to contemplate what could have been. How the mighty have fallen. It’s hard to see how there’s any way back for them now.

Melbourne City really stepped it up in the second half but it was Khamis who made the difference for the Wanderers. She had the most shots on goal despite only coming on in the second half. Her absolute scoring focus was evident and her ability to finish got the Wanderers the points. City had marginally more possession but Wanderers had marginally more territory. Corners were the same with 5 each. Biggest discrepancy was in fouls with City having 23 and Wanderers 8.

This was an exciting match with plenty of drama, some classic battles and a hard fought win. Teigan Collister was the player of the match.

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

Scorer: Khamis 72.

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

Referee: Isabella Blaess.

Attendance: 334.

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 and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

Olivia Watson – Life In Lockdown

Before Christmas, Impetus and Since ’71 announced joint sponsorship of Olivia Watson, a talented young midfielder with sixth tier Sutton United Women. Ben Gilby recently touched base with Olivia to see how she’s getting on during the difficult times we are facing at present.

Above: Olivia Watson in action for Sutton United earlier in the season. Photo: Paul Loughlin

“I have been doing well, just trying to keep as busy as possible. I have definitely found this lockdown harder than the previous two,” Olivia admitted.

What was particularly frustrating from a footballing perspective was the fact that just before the latest lockdown, Olivia had just established herself in the Sutton United team and scored her first ever goal for them in an important top of the table clash with Clapham United that ended 1-1.

“It has been very hard and frustrating because I feel that I had just started to show what I was capable of and could bring to the team, when the second lockdown started and then we only played one game in between the second and third lockdown, so it has been hard to get on a good run with the stopping and starting.”

That one game between the second and third lockdown saw Olivia score her first goal for Sutton United. She takes us through the historic strike: “I was playing on the left and the ball had been moved from the left to the right quickly, ending with Gabby Howell having the ball on the right wing. I knew that if I made a run into the box, I would potentially have the chance to have a shot, which in the end I did. Gabby played a brilliant ball across goal and I managed to get my foot on it at the back post, which beat the goalkeeper and ended up in the back of the net. I was very happy and excited that I had finally scored my first goal for the first team because personally I felt that I needed to score to prove that I should be in the squad. I was also glad that it meant we had drawn the game, although I wish we could have scored another to get the win.”

Above: Olivia (26) slides in to score her first goal for Sutton United against Clapham United just before lockdown. Photo: Paul Loughlin,

“With the current lockdown, I have tried to stay positive rather than being frustrated by not being able to play, and have been focused on staying fit and practicing my skills. Once it is safe to play football again, I am determined to continue my pre lockdown form and continue to develop and improve my game.”

Olivia’s move to Sutton United came after spending a short period away from the game. She feels that the huge potential at the club and their stated desire to move swiftly up the leagues made it an easy decision to sign for the Gander Green Lane based club.

“When I was looking for a new club, after my year out, it was very important for me to find a team that were, professional, fun and striving to achieve promotion up the leagues. This is exactly why I choose to trial for Sutton United Women because they are all of these things! I feel that the football I had previously played at adult level was more for enjoyment and I really wanted to challenge myself and improve. I remember my first training session at the club was very intense, focused and challenging, which I really enjoyed and the clubs’ aims and ambitions where highlighted throughout the session, from there I knew that Sutton United Women was exactly where I wanted to be. In the future, I would love and aim to be playing for Sutton United Women in the FA Women’s National League and progressing to the highest level of women’s football that I can.”

At the present time, the future of the current season is very much up in the air. The Football Association have recently circulated a survey with regards to how best to end the season – pausing it until safe to play again, points-per-game and cancellation. Olivia feels that points-per-game would be completely unfair.

Above: Olivia gets a shot in for Sutton United against Clapham United in December. Photo: Paul Loughlin.

“Personally, I want the season to be paused until it is safe to play again, with the season being extended into June/July but I think this option appeals to me most because I am eager to play some matches and it would be good to finish what we have started. If this weren’t to happen, I would prefer the season to be cancelled because we have only played four games out of twelve, so points-per-game doesn’t seem fair to me.”

With training and matches suspended, the players and coaches have found creative ways of staying in touch with each other. “We have been taking part in bi-weekly quizzes, which are really fun but competitive. We are split up into teams, which is good as I would be useless on my own! Originally, they were organised and run by Duncan (Muller – head of women’s football at the club) but now each team have a round and decide on the questions. Unfortunately, the team I am in are yet to win but hopefully next time we will!”

As the current lockdown continues, I wondered what Olivia has done to fill the time: “Apart from working, I have been going on a lot of lockdown walks and cooking, as I am trying to eat healthier and try new things. I have also been watching a lot of sport on TV too. I love watching the women’s game on telly, especially as it wasn’t really televised when I was younger, I really enjoy watching it now. I don’t back a team but I do love watching both Manchester United and Chelsea. I have always been into sport and enjoy watching most other sports on the TV, particularly netball and rugby.”

In terms of fitness, I have been making sure I either do two short runs or one long run a week and I try to work out if I can find the motivation but I am not very good at home workouts – I really miss the gym. I have also recently started doing 1:1 football sessions, to keep up my skills and fitness. Once football returns, I aim to get back to match fitness as quickly as possible, solidify my place in the first team and if matches are resumed this season I am determined to add more goals to my one!”

Above: Olivia Watson with Ben Gilby to unveil our sponsorship. Photo: Paul Loughlin.
Artwork: Angelo Tirotto.

International Round-Up

The past week or so has seen a large number of international matches, with the conclusion of the Euro 2022 group qualifiers, the Lionesses‘ return to action after a year and several friendlies. Our team of writers round-up all the action.

Euro 2021 Qualifiers Round-Up by Ben Gilby:

Group A concluded on 23rd February when Estonia hosted Slovenia in Tallinn. The hosts, who had lost every game and only scored a single goal kept their visitors to just two goals at half-time with Dominika Conc and Mateja Zver on target. However, a four goal haul in nine second half minutes helped the visitors to complete a 9-0 romp. Zver added a second before further goals from Lara Prasnikar (2 including one penalty), Zara Vindisar Ana Milovic, Lara Klopcic ensured the Slovenes finished third in the group.

Netherlands10100048330+ 45
Russia1080223624+ 17
Slovenia10604311218+ 19
Kosovo1031662910– 23
Turkey101279285– 19
Estonia100191401– 39
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

Group B was completed on 24th February when Italy completely Israel 12-0 in Florence to ensure they qualify automatically as one of the best group runners-up. The Italians scored four times in the first nineteen minutes. They led 7-0 at half-time and in all, there were nine different goal scorers, including one own goal from Shani David. Valentina Giacinti (2), Barbara Bonasea (2), Daniela Sabatino (2), Cristiana Girelli, Cecilia Salvai, Martina Rosucci (penalty), Arianna Caruso and Manuela Giugliano completed the rout.

Denmark1091048128+ 47
Italy1081137525+ 32
Bosnia & Herzegovina10604191718+ 2
Malta10316113010– 19
Israel101030 – 20 
Georgia1000103450– 42
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

It has been announced that the remaining games in Group C will now not be played. This will have no impact on the overall outcome of the group as everything had been decided. The final table is:

Norway660034136+ 33
Northern Ireland8422171714=
Wales842216414+ 12
Belarus720511156– 4
Faroe Islands70071420– 41
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

In Group D, Spain began their run of two games to decide their destiny in the qualification campaign. Needing just three points from this period, they clinched their place in the finals in England in some style with a comprehensive 13-0 win in Azerbaijan on 18th February. Jennifer Hermoso hit five goals with Esther González Rodríguez adding four more. Mariona Caldentey, Eva Navarro and Nerea Eizagirre added the others. The remaining games in the group were played on 23rd February. Spain continued their excellent end to the qualifying campaign with a straightforward 3-0 win over Poland in Madrid. Esther González Rodríguez scored twice with Mapi Leon getting the other. Azerbaijan ended the group on a high by recording their only win in the qualifying campaign. They beat Moldova 1-0 in Baku thanks to Aysun Aliyeva’s strike – only her country’s second goal in the group.

Spain871048121+ 47
Czech Republic852124916+ 13
Poland842216514+ 11
Moldova81073433– 40
Azerbaijan81072353– 33
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

The drama at the top of Group E took an incredible deciding twist on 19th February when Finland won the battle of the top two with Portugal in Helsinki thanks to a goal three minutes into injury time at the end of the match. Linda Sällström‘s rocket from outside of the box ensured that regardless of the outcome of the two nation’s final match, it will be the Finns who qualify for the finals in England. Scotland ended their miserable run of form with a 10-0 win in Cyprus. The Scots, led by interim head coach Stuart McLaren scored five goals in a twenty-four minute spell in the first half to seal the victory. Erin Cuthbert, Martha Thomas and Jane Ross each scored twice (one penalty for Ross) with Caroline Weir, Kirsty Hanson, Lizzie Arnot and Claire Emslie adding the others. However, Scotland ended their campaign with another defeat. Portugal claimed a 2-0 win in a game played in Larnaca on Cyprus. Stuart McLaren believed his team completely dominated the Portuguese side, but still slipped to a disappointing loss. Ana Capeta’s 27th minute strike was followed by a penalty by Fatima Pinto two minutes in to stoppage time at the end of the game sealed the result. Elsewhere in the same city, Cyprus completed their campaign winless and goalless after a 5-0 loss to group winners Finland. Emma Koivisto, Linda Sällström, Adelina Engman, Kaisa Collin and Juliette Kemppi were on target.

Finland871024222+ 22
Portugal861110219+ 8
Scotland840426512+ 21
Albania82067216– 14
Cyprus80080370– 37
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.
Above: Finland celebrate qualification for Euro 2022. Photo: FAF.

Group F has already been concluded and the final table is as follows:

Sweden871040222+ 38
Iceland861125519+ 20
Slovakia831471910– 12
Hungary821511207– 6
Latvia80082390– 37
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

Group G ended before Christmas, with the final table looking like this:

France871044021+ 44
Austria861122319+ 19
Serbia8404211212+ 9
North Macedonia82068396– 31
Kazakhstan80082430– 41
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

Group H was concluded on 23rd February with Romania ensuring a third place finish after a 1-0 win in Croatia. Mihaela Cioacu’s strike after 53 minutes was the difference.

Belgium870137521+ 32
Switzerland861120619+ 14
Romania8404131612– 3
Croatia82157197– 12
Lithuania80081320– 31
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

Group I was all wrapped up in December, with the final table as follows:

Germany880046124+ 45
Ukraine8503162115– 5
Republic of Ireland8413111013+ 1
Greece82156217– 15
Montenegro80082280– 26
Nation in bold qualifies automatically for the final stages. Nation in italic goes into the play-offs.

Already qualified automatically as group winners to join hosts England are Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium and Germany. Italy, Iceland and Austria are also making their travel plans for England after being guaranteed one of the three automatic spots for the best group runners-up.

In terms of the play-offs, Northern Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Portugal and Czech Republic await the draw to discover who will face off to decide the final three places in the competition.

Women’s International Friendly News:

England played their first friendly against another nation in almost a year when they took on Northern Ireland at the St. George’s Park Training Centre on 23rd February. In Hege Riise’s first game as interim head coach, the Lionesses faced a Northern Irish side missing a number of regulars due to work commitments and injuries.  The visitors were not able to muster a single shot on goal and if it wasn’t for Becky Flaherty in goal, the score line could have been a whole lot worse. Bure Valley YFC’s U12s player Daisy reports:

Above: Daisy from Bure Valley YFC U12s reports on the Lionesses game with Northern Ireland.

One team ranked sixth in the world; the other ranked 49th, England had big expectations to live up to in the friendly and certainly didn’t disappoint. They showed power and experience to the younger side, some of whom looked up to the England players as their heroes. And despite the extreme windy weather, they didn’t fail to let the world know that they were the same team who made it to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

This match was a very important one for the international hero Jill Scott, who, to celebrate her 150th cap for England (an amount which Jill is only the second ever female player to reach) was able to take the title from Steph Houghton for one day and sport the colourful captain’s armband in acknowledgement and support of LGBT.

England were up and running from the whistle, not giving Northern Ireland a chance to ease into the game and spending the first 10 minutes without letting their green opposition make it out of their own half. This paid off with a 17th minute goal from Ellen White – picked up from a defensive mistake and slid into the bottom right corner. 5 minutes later and White had her second, this one from a first-time cross from Lucy Bronze with an expertly executed header.

Despite these early difficulties, Northern Ireland fought back and had some decent chances with long balls from defence to forwards and some exciting breaks down the left wing. However, England’s organised defence and speed in getting back prevented Ellie Roebuck from having to make any saves in the first 25 minutes.
A tap-in from Lucy Bronze gave England a 3-0 advantage in the 28th minute and showed they were not planning on slowing down. Unfortunately, Nikita Parris could not participate in the match due to Covid restrictions, but the forward three seemed as strong as ever; working together in a triangle high in the northern Ireland half to press for mistakes.

The first minute back after half time and Ellen White came centimetres away from a hat trick, which two minutes later she succeeded in with a powerful shot in the 6-yard box to lift the ball into the roof of the net. But, it seemed as though Northern Ireland wouldn’t be fazed by anything! Doing much better than their first half performance; playing a high press on England and managing to use their breaks to end in some thrilling shots in the England goal direction.

An offside decision deprived Ellen White of her fourth goal, but her attacking triangle did not let up; seeming almost to move as one and always regaining formation after chances. The Lionesses continued to dominate possession all the way to the 66th minute, in which another brilliant assist from Bronze resulted in a tap-in goal for Rachel Daly.

A five goal lead, and England still wouldn’t let up, with more near-goal scenarios including a skim of the crossbar from Chloe Kelly. And when Northern Ireland conceded a penalty in the 73rd minute, it gave Ella Toone the chance to give England their sixth and final goal, which she did with a calm and composed shot into the bottom left corner.

6-0 down with 4 minutes of extra time and Northern Ireland respectively still threw everything they had into the game and did pressurise their opposition, but when the final whistle blew England were finally able to enjoy their 6-0 win. And though the whites were far the better team, Northern Ireland still had many positives to take from the game such as their respect, resilience and their will to keep going no matter what the score line.

Above: Ebony Salmon, striding forward on her England debut. Photo: @Lionesses

Other Friendlies – by Ben Gilby

In Malta, Sweden defeated fellow European Championship qualifiers Austria 6-1. Linda Sembrant gave the Swedes the lead with a header from a set piece. Virginia Kirschberger levelled shortly after from point blank range before Sweden took over. A run down the right and shot across the goalkeeper saw Fridolina Rolfö give Sweden the lead. A backward header from Lina Hurtig from a corner made it 3-1. It was 4-1 when Rolfö played a clever inside pass to Filippa Angeldahl to shoot into the net. Rolfö made it five when she tapped home a low cross before Sofia Jakobsson completed the rout with a shot across the face of the keeper.

In the iconic Azteca Stadium, Mexico comfortably saw off Costa Rica 3-1. Rebeca Bernal and Katty Martinez put the hosts ahead before the break. Stephany Mayor increased the lead with Fabiola Villalobos pulling one back for Costa Rica with seven minutes left. Three days later, the two sides faced off again, with the outcome a 0-0 draw.

Above: Mexico – who obtained a win and a draw against Costa Rica over the past week. Photo: Ronald Martinez.

23rd February saw Sweden complete their two game spell on Malta  with a 3-0 win over the hosts. Kosovare Aslani, Nathalie Björn and an own goal from Olivia Schough completed the win.

France met Switzerland twice in a matter of days in Metz. Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports: For their first encounter on 20th February, Corinne Diacre, the France coach, tried several new things. A 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 formation depending on whether the team was attacking or defending, with several young players in the team. I have to say that due to the number of players unavailable, the coach was left with reduced choices. Eugénie Le Sommer was out due to Covid.  Griedge Mbock, Amandine Henry, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Valérie Gauvin due to injury. It was not a great game, but France won 2-0 by playing a serious game. Goals were score by Wendie Renard (12) following a free kick of Amel Majri and Perle Moroni (81), which just came in, on a cross from Eve Périsset, who came on as a substitute five minutes.

The second game, which took place on 23rd February, was back to a more classical 4-4-2 formation with several young players, but it was still not a very exciting game. France won 2-0 again with two goals from central defender Wendie Renard. This is not comforting for the team, which seems not to be able to score in the game without free kicks and penalty and with one of its defenders on target. Goals were scored by Wendie Renard (77) following a free kick from Eve Perisset and (90) thanks to a penalty.

Three Nations One Goal Cup:

Netherlands gained an extremely impressive 6-1 win away to the rapidly improving Belgium side on 18th February. The Dutch ran away with the game in the final half-hour – a period in which they scored four times. Vivianne Miedema and Jill Roord had given the visitors a 2-0 lead before Marie Minneart got one back for the Red Flames. Just two minutes later, the Dutch goal glut began as Stefanie van der Gragt, Lieke Martens, Danielle van der Donk and Dominique Janssen completed the rout.

On 21st February, Germany completed a 2-0 win over Belgium thanks to goals from Svenja Huth (2 mins) and Lea Schuller (55). The Germans were dominant with 22 shots on goal and 65% possession.

Above: Action from Germany’s win over Belgium. Photo: Bavarian Football Works.

The outcome of the tournament was decided on 24th February when Netherlands took on Germany. The Dutch won the competition thanks to a very impressive 2-1 victory – the Germans’ first loss since the 2019 World Cup Quarter-Final. The Dutch were on the front foot from the start and Jill Roord sent a shot against the bar with Lieke Martens blazing the follow up way over. They had better luck just after the quarter of an hour mark when Vivianne Miedema played in Jackie Groenen to score. It was all square at the break when Svenja Huth’s cross was dispatched into the net by Laura Freigang. Just after the hour mark came the deciding move when Daniëlle van de Donk headed home.

SheBelieves Cup by Ben Gilby:

This year’s competition was solely held at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida and involved USA, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.

In the first round of matches, Brazil overcame Argentina 4-1. Marta’s penalty gave them the lead on the half-hour mark with Debinha doubling their advantage just after half-time. Adriana’s third sealed the result which made Mariana Larroquette’s strike for Argentina academic on the hour mark. A fourth was added for Brazil by Geyse with six minutes left. The USA’s clash with Canada was far closer and the Canadians gave the host nation a number of extremely worrying moments. The only goal came with eleven minutes left when the Canadians failed to clear a free kick and Manchester City’s Rose Lavelle fired home.

USA placed one hand on the trophy after a 2-0 win over Brazil on 21st February. Christen Press’ early goal after 11 minutes gave the World Champions a great start, but Brazil were never fully out of the equation until Megan Rapinoe added a second with two minutes to go. Canada left it even later to gain victory over Argentina. Despite the Canadians having seventeen shots on goal and making almost twice the number of passes, it wasn’t until two minutes into stoppage time when Sarah Stratigakis broke Argentine hearts with the winning goal.

Brazil ended the competition on a massive high with a superb 2-0 win over Canada – a result that ensured they clinched second place in the final table. With a quarter of an hour played, Debinha was played through and found Adriana. Her effort beat Stephanie Labbé in the Canada goal but cannoned back off the post to Debinha who followed up to score. Six minutes before the break, the South Americans doubled their lead after Gabby Carle failed to clear twice and Julia stole the ball from the Canadian and smashed the second in. Chelsea’s Jessie Fleming was then nutmegged by Tamires who linked with Debinha and then Adriana who was only denied by a great save by Labbé. Canada had the best of the second half but simply could not score. USA wrapped up their tournament victory by sweeping aside Argentina 6-0. Megan Rapinoe scored twice in just ten minutes with Carli Lloyd and Kristie Mewis making it 4-0 at the break. It took until the final six minutes for the Americans to add to their tally as Alex Morgan and Kristen Press completed the rout.

United States of America3300909+ 9
Brazil3201636+ 3
Canada3102133– 2
Argentina30031110– 10

The Swedish Scene

@DandalBs brings us our Saturday morning round-up of all the latest goings on in the Swedish Women’s game.

Above: Ebba Andersson (back row, fourth from right with captain’s armband) with her Öxabäck team mates. Photo: Prb/TT.

A pioneer of Swedish women’s football, Ebba Andersson, passed away on 21st February aged 85. She was at the first training session with her club Öxabäck in 1966 and won two national championships. At the age of 37 she wore the captain’s armband for Sweden’s women’s first international in 1973 against Finland in Mariehamn. It would be her one and only international appearance.


In last weekend’s games, Eskilstuna United put in a dominant performance in earning a 1-0 win over Örebro thanks to a goal from Vaila Barsley.

Newly promoted Hammarby eased to a 7-0 win over Elitettan (second tier) side Älvsjö. Emilia Larsson (3), Matilda Vinberg, Ellika Holmberg, Ellen Wangerheim and June Pedersen scored.

Above: Lots to celebrate for Hammarby in their 7-0 win over Älvsjö. Photo: @Hammarbyfotboll.

Linköping saw off newly promoted AIK 2-1 with goals from Cornelia Kapocs, Elin Landström with Emma Becker netting for AIK. The home side were missing several players to international duty with Sweden in Malta and were also unlucky not to add to their tally, hitting the post and crossbar during the game.

Vittsjö defeated Borgeby 3-0 thanks to goals from Fernanda da Silva, Paulina Nyström (2).

This weekend’s pre-season friendlies sees Örebro host Elitettan (second tier) outfit Älvsjö, Vittsjö welcome Elitettan side IFK Kalmar, Hammarby are at home to Kristianstad, Växjö take on Borgeby and BK Häcken host Eskilstuna United.


Swedish International Kosovare Asllani says that she has received concrete proposals from clubs, but has not given any clues about which clubs have approached her. She emphasises her desire to be part of a winning team – “that’s the absolutely most important”, and thinks Real Madrid will compete for the Champions League title in the future.

Örebro have suffered several injuries to key players during the pre-season and has had to try and fill the gaps in its squad. This week they made a start by bringing in 27 year-old Dessislava Dupuy who can play in midfield or up front. She has been playing in Serie A several years, most recently Florentia, and signs a one year contract.

Above: BK Häcken unveil new signing Luna Nørgaard Gevitz. Photo: BK Häcken.

BK Häcken were reportedly turned down by Linda Sembrandt, who seems set to remain in Spain. The club though have managed to announce one new signing, 26 year-old Danish defender Luna Nørgaard Gevitz on a two year contract. Gevitz has 27 caps for Denmark and joins from Guingamp in the French D1 Arkema. Additionally, Diljá Ýr Zomers, the 19 year-old Icelandic midfielder from top side Valur, is on trial with the club and is in the squad for Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Eskilstuna United.

Vilde Böe Risa, who’s been without a club since she left Göteborg in mid-December, seems to be close to joining Manchester United according to Norwegian media.

Vittsjö hands 21 year-old defender Filippa Wallén a trial. She has previously played with West Ham United and most recently Apollon Limassol. Additionally, Wallén has experience with Sweden’s youth teams.

Laura Montgomery: Inspirational Founder and Leader of Glasgow City

Ben Gilby caught up with Glasgow City’s co-founder and Chief Executive Laura Montgomery to hear about a phenomenal 2019 at the club, their Champions League run in 2020 and why re-starting the Scottish Women’s Premier League is vital for the credibility of the women’s game in Scotland

Laura Montgomery is one of the most important names in British women’s football. She co-founded Glasgow City in 1998 with Carol Anne Stewart. When we spoke previously in October 2019, Laura recalled how: “Carol played senior league women’s football having played at university. I wasn’t able to play football at primary school because I was a girl. I started a girls’ team when I was at high school, but we had very few other teams to play against. We only had about six games in all my time at high school. I played at university and was asked to come to Maryhill and play for them, as was Carol Anne. I tore my ACL, and so the two of us spent time talking about how we could do things better for women’s football. Better facilities, sponsors.”

Above: Laura Montgomery pictured giving a TEDx talk in 2014. Photo: Twitter.

“We were fortunate at that time that the structure in women’s football in Scotland was changing – it was an opportune moment; now or never. At that time, there was a first division and a regional second division with only one team getting promoted. The structure then changed with more regional divisions at the second level. You could go straight into the second level. So, we formed Glasgow City, entered into the league and won that division in our very first year. The next year, our first in the Premier saw us finish fifth. We’ve never been lower than second since.”

For Montgomery, it’s because Glasgow City place huge emphasis on their passion for “advancing girls and women and their role in society. That runs through everything we do. Players coming to us know that they won’t be coming to a club that suddenly lose funding simply because the men’s side are not doing well, or can’t train or play because a boys’ under twelve team need a pitch.” She points to a TEDx talk she gave in 2014 where she stated: “Quite simply, you can’t be what you can’t see without visible role models. How do girls grow up thinking they can be anything other than sexualised objects, which is how the media currently portray women?” The ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ message was famously displayed on the back of Glasgow City’s away shirt in 2017 – a reference to the lack of coverage of women’s football within the Scottish media.”

“It comes down to everyone involved at the club having high standards. Carol Anne and I are successful businesswomen and that mentality goes into Glasgow City. We pioneered so many things that are now common place in women’s football. We had the first full-time head coach, the first club to insist on our head coach holding a UEFA pro licence, the first to transfer a player for money. We were the first women’s club to use sports science. We want to train as often as a professional club – up to five times a week. We also played a major part in getting some television coverage for women’s football in Scotland. BBC Alba (the BBC’s Scots Gaelic language TV channel) followed us for a year in 2011 for a documentary, and on the back of its popularity, they got involved with covering women’s football.”

Since we last spoke almost eighteen months ago, Glasgow City have made some wonderful new history – which included winning the league for the thirteenth consecutive season and the Scottish Cup. However, their incredible Champions League run topped even those achievements.

I asked Laura what that famous night against Danish side Brøndby in the last sixteen of the UEFA Women’s Champions League in October 2019 was like: “It was one of the best nights ever for the club, if not the best. We had managed to get to the Quarter-Finals before in 2014/15, but Brøndby were far tougher opposition. After making the quarter-finals previously, we never thought we’d do it again given how the women’s game has moved on and with the size of the clubs we were now up against. Winning the away leg in Copenhagen was fantastic. Then, of course in the home leg they got it back to 2-2 on aggregate and it then went to penalties. The crowd that night were amazing. It was such an emotional night for so many reasons. My partner, Kat Lindner had passed away. Kat was such a big part of the club and for that period for us being so successful winning the league for the thirteenth time in a row, getting the Scottish Cup back and then the Champions League run. It was very emotional.”

Above: Glasgow City celebrate their famous penalty shoot out win over Brøndby in the last sixteen of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Photo: @BBCSportScot

Not long after the Quarter-Final draw which paired Glasgow City with giants of European women’s football VfL Wolfsburg, came the coronavirus pandemic and the end of football for the season. I wondered how tough it has been off the pitch for the club since then.

“It has been hugely challenging,” said Laura, “but it is like that for everyone. We’re not out there on a limb. We have more outgoings than others with a full time head coach and staff. It was also the start of what would have been a new financial year from a season perspective. As we weren’t able to play any games our sponsorships didn’t kick in which was hard – but everyone was in the same position.

The Wolfsburg tie was eventually rescheduled to take place as a one off game as part of the final stages of the competition held in the Basque region of Spain last August. At this point, Glasgow City had not been able to train for months and had to rely on sponsorship to make the journey. It was far from ideal preparation for such a tough tie.

“Physically the preparation was the toughest in our twenty-two years. Players had been off for months. We could only meet together as a squad due to holding Covid testing, at the cost of thousands of pounds for us. It was hugely challenging. Playing Wolfsburg at any time is impossible, but given the Bundesliga had only stopped for a short period, it meant that Wolfsburg were able to play friendlies and hold mountain training camps. We had to accelerate our training. We had to get players at peak physical fitness ahead of time and that causes injury. When it came to the game we only had three fit players for the bench. It wasn’t what we wanted. We had no choice but to get players match fit for a game like that in four weeks. You physically can’t do it.”

From the outside it looked like everything had conspired to make an exceptionally difficult tie virtually impossible for Glasgow City, but despite that, they emerged with credit. Montgomery was exceptionally impressed with their opponents.

“Listen, Wolfsburg are a fantastic team – an absolute joy to watch and it was tremendous to play against them. From a point of view of the experience, it was a single occasion. UEFA did brilliantly in terms of what was put on for us, the preparation, they dressed the stadium magnificently to make it a great experience for the players. Although it was a heavy score line (City lost 9-1) it will rank as one of the highlights of many of our players’ careers.”

Above: Pernille Harder part of a VfL Wolfsburg side who showed no mercy against Glasgow City in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarter-Finals. Photo: @guardian_sport

Taking a wider look at the experience of being part of the final stages on the competition all played in one area with teams such as Olympique Lyonnais, Paris St. Germain, Barcelona and Arsenal was particularly memorable. “It was vital for the women’s game that the tournament did get played and completed. I ended up quite enjoying the fact that everyone was in the same place. There was a real tournament feel. It was potentially a one off which we were part of. It was fantastic. The stadium in San Sebastian was fantastic as were all the facilities.”

That run of success in 2019 and 2020 was overseen by Scott Booth as head coach. I asked Laura what his major qualities are as a coach and as a person: “He’s a UEFA pro license coach. On paper he has the qualifications we needed when we hired him in 2015. We had a number of top candidates for the job of which Scott was one. He interviewed well and we get on well. It works really well. We have similar thoughts on players and football. He knows his stuff. He is a good coach, a good person, not remotely egotistical at all. He is so unassuming and is fully immersed in the women’s game.”

A recent development at the club is Laura’s appointment as full time Chief Executive – a role that is not new for her – but she is now able to devote her full attention to the position: “I’ve always done the role in my spare time on top of another job. Selflessly, I’ve always wanted to do it for free and not taken money out of the club. The board have asked me to do it and think about how we progress the club further. I do player negotiations, working with Scott (Booth) on new players and have recently appointed a full time head of academy.

Glasgow City are known for the phenomenal work that they do in supporting the all-round development of young girls – and obviously this is going to become even more important once we are in a position to get football going again. The club have been preparing for the post-lockdown return of their young players with some exciting new developments ready for them.

“The number one priority is to get all our girls back. We have twelve teams. Right now it’s so important. Boys in Scotland can still watch men’s football on TV as they are still allowed to play. Girls in Scotland can’t watch the women’s game here as its been halted, so they can’t see their role models play as well as not being allowed to play themselves. We’ve made a major investment in our academy. We’ve worked with a company called Athlete Focused for sports psychology and nutrition with our first team and they now are working with the academy which means that every team in the club now has access to sports science experts too.”

As Laura alluded to, the Scottish league has been very stop-start with no matches at all for over two months. Glasgow City’s chief executive is absolutely clear that getting the game going again, at the top level at the very least is of utmost importance.

“For the credibility of women’s football in Scotland, it would be catastrophic if we can’t finish the season as we have two Champions League places to play for and if the league doesn’t get completed by a certain time, we cannot take those places. Getting back to train on 1st March would mean games could start on 28th March. If we can’t get back on 1st March it means it’s going to be tough to complete the league. Even if we do get back then, it could mean having to play three games a week. The league has attracted lots of top players back to Scotland and credibility is at stake when it comes to re-starting.”

One thing that has been clear in the short period that the top flight was able to be played in 2020/21 was the number of new signings that both Rangers and Celtic have made in a bid to end Glasgow City’s run of thirteen straight championship wins.

“They’ve always had more money than us although it must be said they have increased the amount they have put in even more recently. Rangers have five of the players that finished last season with us. But the money that Celtic and Rangers have put in actually just puts more pressure on them. I always believe in our values at Glasgow City, what makes us special, the fact that we are the most important team at the club. There isn’t a men’s team here. If you have a men’s team, they will always come first. We believe in our club and our players and we will always be competitive.”

Beth Churchill: Home Town Hero

As part of our partnership with Penryn Athletic, Ben Gilby caught up with the club’s Beth Churchill about her footballing experience and how she is making the best of the present difficulties caused by the pandemic.

Beth is a child of the early 90’s, born and raised in Penryn, Cornwall. She recalls spending hours in her childhood “spent outdoors playing with the other children on the estate I lived on, playing games like ‘manhunt’ in between kicking a football about. This was great for me as it meant that I was getting regular exercise and plenty of running- I can thank those games of manhunt for my (rapidly dwindling) speed!”

Above: Beth Churchill of Penryn Athletic Ladies. Photo via: Amie Andersen.

These early days kicking a ball around the estate in Penryn was the start of Beth’s footballing experience – but it took a while for her to be able to take things further: “I was always up for a kick about with the rest of the children on the estate, but it wasn’t until secondary school that I really started to play ‘competitively’. My friend’s dad set up an after-school club for girls. At a similar time, another local dad was establishing a girls team as part of the Falmouth United set up, so a few of us from the school club ended up going along to the Falmouth United training too and hence playing in a formal league.”

In terms of other key people in those formative years in Beth’s footballing career, her PE teacher played a central role.

“Mrs Mingo would always let me know about any opportunities and organised for me to attend Cornwall trials, so I managed to obtain some higher-level training opportunities through that set up. Just having someone who shows an interest and has a bit of belief in you is hugely important and I found that motivational.”

From here, Beth became involved at Penryn Athletic. “My first experiences of ladies’ football were playing for Penryn ladies at age fourteen. Competing against and learning from the more experienced players at such a young age I feel helped with my development. More recently I have been involved in re-establishing a team in Penryn and have even had opportunities within the league as secretary and vice chair for a short stint (when I had more free time!)”

“I understand I am not the most technically gifted player, but I think I compensate for that in passion and commitment. I’ve played in almost every position on the pitch; I am probably most confident as a centre back but this season I have been pushed up to striker which is interesting and providing a new challenge for me to meet!

Football for me has always been an opportunity for escapism. Regardless of what else I have going on, having those 90 minutes where my whole focus is just on playing and being a part of a team, enables me to forget about everything else. I think team sport is somewhat magical in that respect and I would encourage all who are able to have a go at a team sport!”

Above: Beth Churchill driving forward for Penryn. Photo via: Amie Andersen.

Like every player, Beth has had to overcome a significant number of challenges in her career.

“I think as a young player the biggest challenges were financial and travel based. Having to rely on other people for transport did make things more difficult and I often felt like a bit of a burden. I think that often I felt a bit out of place almost. I rarely had a parent there cheering me on and once when my mum did come along- I wasn’t played, which as a 13-year-old was pretty gut wrenching. I felt like I had wasted her time.”

“I think a significant part of my self-doubt stems from a couple of events like that. I feel like that has however shaped a lot of my views on what team sport at grassroots level should be about. I think that we should nurture and offer opportunity to all who want to play, those who turn up week In and week out, are crucial parts of a team and deserve to feel like they are just that. I would hate for anyone to feel like I did as that 13-year-old. I think eventually when I am too old or injured to play I would like to do some coaching/management and really have a team where inclusivity is central.”  

“More generally, I think as a female player there is often a sense of judgement from men (primarily) who feel it is acceptable to pass comments on your ability and often sexuality too, because you’re playing sport. I do feel that these judgements are becoming a lesser narrative now, but historically there has been a real issue with sexism in the sport and a desire to directly compare the men’s game with the women’s which has always frustrated me!”

“In addition, I feel that attracting good quality and reliable coaches/ managers to the grassroots female game is an ongoing challenge. We are fortunate at Penryn to have great support from the club which has helped to raise the profile of the women’s team and in turn enabled us to attract some positive coaches/managers but historically this has been the most challenging aspect.”

Beth also identified several of her key role models in football and sport in general: “Megan Rapinoe is not only an outstanding player but someone who uses their platform to speak on issues like Black Lives Matter and LGBT rights.”

Above: Beth going for goal. Photo: Amie Andersen.

“I have huge admiration for Marcus Rashford’s recent work for free school meals and great to see someone from a low-income background make it to the top level of their sport. A real role model in my opinion for many young people in the country today.”

“Then there’s Michael Jordan. I don’t have much of an interest in basketball but having watched the documentary ‘The Last Dance’ I was just amazed to learn that much of his success has centred on just never giving up. Having that growth mindset and really not stopping until he had achieved a level of basketball that led to him being considered the best in the world.”

Also, I need to give a big shout out to all the amazing people who I have played football with and against in Cornwall in the last twenty years or so of playing – you are all heroes!”

Away from football, Beth is a teacher. “This takes up the majority of my time at present! I also have a young son and a husband who I can usually be found out walking with. I think the social element of football has been hugely important to me too, and that is something I have really missed and appreciated more during the pandemic.”

“I can’t wait for this lockdown to be over so that I can see the girls again and get back to playing matches! We all worked so hard during pre-season and it would be such a shame not to complete the season this year.”

Like Beth we also can’t wait for Penryn Athletic to be playing matches again and following their progress on the site.

Jada Mathyssen-Whyman – an Inspirational Player with a Big Future

As part of our #MidweekDub feature, Ben Gilby profiles Jada Mathyssen-Whyman, Sydney FC’s young and highly talented goalkeeper who is a fabulous role model for female indigenous Australian football players.

Above: Jada Mathyssen-Whyman training with Sydney FC. Photo: @jada_whyman.

Jada Mathyssen-Whyman is one of those players who seems to have been around for a long time – yet she is still just 21 years-old and still pushing for a place in the Matildas squad.

With ancestry from the Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta (also known as Jotijota) indigenous peoples and with West Coast Eagles Aussie Rules legend David Wirrpanda as an uncle and godfather, Mathyssen-Whyman grew up in Wagga Wagga, which is located 284 miles from Sydney, Jada became a goalkeeping star from a young age.

She began playing football at the age of ten and within a year was selected for the New South Wales Country team At the age of just thirteen, Jada was selected for the Young Matildas for the 2013 Asian Under Sixteen Women’s Championships. Also in this squad were current W-League stars Sunny Franco, Rhianna Pollicina, Georgina Worth, Teagan Micah, Isabel Dalton, Angie Beard and Alex Chidiac.

Above: Jada making a great save aged thirteen. Photo: Michael Frogley.

Two years later, Mathyssen-Whyman played for Australia’s U20 side at the Asian U19 Women’s Championships in China before being selected for the main Matildas squad in 2018 for friendlies in France and England.

The level at which the young goalkeeper was now playing meant many hours travelling from her Wagga Wagga home to play in the NSW Premier League with Macarthur Rams – a round trip of over five hundred miles each week. In addition she was also spending time in Canberra being mentored by the Matildas goalkeeping coach Paul Jones at his Academy.

This was an exceptionally tough time for the whole family which also led to them having to spend some time camping in a tent – a period which Jada now identifies as a period which helped to make her stronger personally. Eventually, the Matthysen-Whyman’s made the move to Sydney which enabled Jada to attend Westfields Sports High School – which served as the pilot for the then FFA’s High Performance Football School Program.

Whilst at Macarthur Rams, Jada was voted as Goalkeeper of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Above: Jada Mathyssen-Whyman with the 2016 Golden Glove award as a 16 year-old during her time with Macarthur Rams.

In 2016 she was offered her first W-League contract with Western Sydney Wanderers. At the time, she told Rebecca First of the local ‘Leader’ newspaper: “It will probably be scary, but pretty awesome at the same time. What I am most excited about is playing against Lydia Williams (now of Arsenal), she’s one of my biggest inspirations in goal.”

That inspiration comes from Williams not just being an outstanding goalkeeper, but also as a fellow indigenous Australian. “I was watching TV when a story about Lydia came on, it stated how she was indigenous and a goalkeeper also…I was instantly filled with enjoyment as I watched her,” Mathyssen-Whyman told Ann Odong in 2016.

Her first season in the W-League with Western Sydney Wanderers started with a bang in the big derby against Sydney FC. That campaign saw Jada make seven appearances before suffering the agony of a torn thigh against Newcastle Jets which ended her season.

Above: Jada with her family after a game for Western Sydney Wanderers. Photo: Instagram.

She came back and played a further twenty-eight games for Western Sydney Wanderers over the following four seasons and suffered injury heartbreak once more, with a long term knee injury before joining Sydney FC for the 2021 campaign.

Mathyssen-Whyman is aware of her status as a role model to young indigenous Australians. “Seeing what indigenous athletes too like a long time ago Cathy Freeman, now Jade North and Lydia Williams, Kyah Simon as well, players like that show me that my dream can come true and hopefully what I do can help other kids;” she said in 2018.

Jada has subsequently become involved with John Moriarty Football, an organisation who, in partnership with Football Australia, are dedicated to helping young indigenous Australian footballers. Additionally, the young goalkeeper also does volunteer youth work for Glebe Youth Service who support young indigenous Australians in remote communities.

Above: Jada makes a fine save for Sydney FC against Adelaide United on Sunday. Photo: Kris Goman.

With Sydney FC going so well in the W-League campaign this season, Mathyssen-Whyman will be aiming to add a Grand Final winners medal to her cabinet in the coming months. Whatever happens, she is a player and an individual to keep a close eye on.

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 and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Impetus Partnership with Bure Valley Youth Delivers New Equipment

Bure Valley Youth FC chairman Ted McCarter shows how working with Impetus has helped to bring valued new training equipment for the girls and youths teams once restrictions are lifted.

Last week we were so excited to announce that we had partnered with Norfolk based girls and youth football club Bure Valley. Connected with this, we were only too happy to donate a small amount of money in order to help the club buy new training equipment to help support the club once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Via Wroxham Women player Kate Pasque, who works for Lowestoft based Harrod Sports (who have provided equipment to many major sporting events such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the UEFA Champions League Final), the club were able to use Impetus‘ donation to purchase this incredible range of equipment:

Above: Bure Valley Youth FC’s new equipment. Photo: Ted McCarter.

Speaking about the arrival of the fantastic new resources, Bure Valley Youth chairman Ted McCarter said: “Today we’ve taken delivery of some fantastic new training equipment financed by a kind donation from our friends at Impetus. A new relationship has been forged with Harrod Sport and Wroxham Women’s Kate Pasque, they have provided us with the new Finesse range. Our amazing children can’t wait to get back to training and improving their fitness and skills. A massive thank you to Impetus for their support of the female game at grassroots level, it’s absolutely amazing.”

We are so happy to have been able to help and can’t wait to hear how the children get on when they are back in training!

Artwork: Graphics by PW