Herald Women’s Premier League Round 4 Preview

March 29th, 2018

Lindsay Green 

Match of the Round
Merewether v South Wallsend
Sunday 1st April, 2:30 pm
Walker Fields 

Last start: Merewether beat Wallsend 4-0, South Wallsend lost 5-1 to New Lambton

Position on ladder: Merewether 4th, 3 points; South Wallsend last, nil points

Squad news

Merewether will be without Rhali Dobson for possibly the next month and Grace Macintyre may be unavailable due to personal commitments. South Wallsend are expected to field last weekend’s side with Maddy Searle and Erin Wilson yet to return. 

What the coaches say

Cass Koppen (Merewether)

Merewether coach Cass Koppen is expecting the match to be tough due to the demanding schedule.

“It will be a tough gig with three games in seven days,” Koppen said.

“We will have a few players out and will be relying on our under-20 players to fill the void.”

Bottom line

This match may appear one-sided but the loss of Merewether duo Grace Macintyre and Rhali Dobson evens the playing field. South Wallsend may be coming off a tough loss last weekend but don’t play a mid-week match which is an advantage for the home side. Merewether will be involved in a physical match with Adamstown tonight which could take the sting out of their volatile attack. Executing opportunities and maintaining energy levels will be the deciding factor with Merewether heading into the match as favourites.


Adamstown v Wallsend
Sunday 1st April, 2:30 pm
Adamstown No.1 Oval 

Last start: Adamstown drew 1-1 with Warners Bay, Wallsend lost 4-0 to Merewether

Position on ladder: Adamstown 3rd, 4 points; Wallsend 5th, 1 point

Squad news

Adamstown fullback Taylor Kelly will miss the match due to injury with Courtney Wiltshire stepping into the role. Wallsend has had a few players with illness but is expected to be at full strength.

What the coaches say

Paul Devitis (Adamstown)

Adamstown coach Paul Devitis will be hoping to keep the momentum flowing from last weekend’s strong performance.

“We have Taylor Kelly out which is a big loss as she has had a great start to the season at fullback,” Devitis said.

“We are looking to continually improve as a team and will be working hard this week on being more dynamic in the front third.

“Hopefully we will be able to create more clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.”

Marc Hingston (Wallsend)

Wallsend coach Marc Hingston is expecting the hard work at training to pay off on Sunday.

“We are looking forward to an improved performance this week,” Hingston said.

“The girls were disappointed on Sunday and I’m expecting them to be like a bull at a gate this weekend.”

Bottom line

A case of opposites with Adamstown heading into the match following a strong performance against Warners Bay while Wallsend will be desperate to improve on their hard loss against Merewether. It’s the Bud’s brick-wall defence versus the Devil’s fleet-footed attack and something has to give. Adamstown may be affected by fatigue due to their mid-week match against Merewether but expect them to still be competitive. Wallsend will be fired up and eager to get on the scoresheet which has the match shaping up to be an exciting contest.


Warners Bay v Thornton
Sunday 1st April, 2:30 pm
Thornton Park 

Last start: Warners Bay drew 1-1 with Adamstown, Thornton lost 2-1 to Adamstown

Position on ladder: Warners Bay 1st, 4 points; Thornton 6th, nil points

Squad news

Thornton is expected to line-up with their Round 1 side in what will be their first match in over a fortnight. Sophie Stapleford is on track to return to Warners Bay given she made it through their powering 8-2 win against New Lambton on Wednesday night unscathed. 

What the coaches say

Cassidy Davis (Warners Bay)

Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis is expecting an improvement on last weekends below-par performance.

“After an average performance on Sunday, I’m looking for more effort and enthusiasm from the girls,” Davis said.

“It was nowhere near our standard and I know Thornton have signed a few players and it’s always hard going up there to play.”

Rob Richardson (Thornton)

Thornton coach Rob Richardson says the girls are eager to play their first home game of the season.

“After not playing the last two weekends, the girls are keen to get back on the park,” Richardson said.

“Playing against Warners Bay is always tough with so much talent in their squad.

“The way the side has been at training and being our first home game, I’m confident they will be up to it.”

Bottom line

Warners Bay may be one of the competition’s heavyweights but three games in seven days will understandably take its toll. Thornton will be feeling fresh after two weeks off and itching to score their first points of the season. The Bay is consistent and strong in attack with Newcastle Jets W-League duo Cassidy Davis and Jenna Kingsley charging up front. Sian Keating and Airlie Davis will be hoping to build on their strong performance last weekend which will make the visitors difficult to beat. Sophie Milton will be hoping to lead the Redback’s to their first win of the season and newcomer’s Olivia Tannock and Lauren Rouse-Upjohn will boost the side as well. Both sides are looking strong but Warners Bay may edge out Thornton in this one.

Related Topics:
Premier Competitions WPL

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