Herald Women’s Premier League Round 9 Preview   

May 3rd, 2018



Match of the Round
New Lambton v Warners Bay
Sunday 6th May, 2:30 pm
Alder Park

Last start: New Lambton beat Wallsend 4-1, Warners Bay beat Merewether 3-1

Position on ladder: New Lambton 2nd, 14 points; Warners Bay 1st, 16 points

 Squad news
Both squads are expected to field last weekend’s starting lineup.

What the coaches say
New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton says his side is new and improved after suffering an 8-2 loss to Warners Bay in Round two.

“This Sunday will be a big challenge against Warners Bay,” Hamilton said.

“We have grown in confidence and understanding since we last played them so we are hopeful of putting on an improved display on Sunday.

“There is no pressure on us at all as we are not expected to win so we can just focus on doing our jobs individually and as a team.”

Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis knows her side will need to be at their very best to beat a strong New Lambton outfit.

“New Lambton are on a high at the moment and are doing very well,” Davis said.

“We know it will be a totally different game from the first time we played them.

“We haven’t played in two weeks now so we will need to make sure we are ready from the very start of the game.” 

Bottom line
There isn’t much separating these two sides with both having won their last three games so expect a completely different result to Round two. New Lambton has certainly been a pleasant surprise and are shaping up to be one of the top teams in the League. It’s clear that the younger, inexperienced players are capable of stepping up and getting the job done which is a huge bonus for the Eagles. On the opposing side, Warners Bay is the only undefeated team and after having two weeks off, they will certainly be feeling fresh. An exciting matchup that will have spectators on the edge of their seats with the score potentially going either way.


Adamstown v Merewether
Saturday, May 5th, 2:30 pm
Adamstown No.1 Oval

Last start: Adamstown beat Thornton 4-1, Merewether beat Thornton 5-0

Position on ladder: Adamstown 5th, 7 points; Merewether 3rd, 13 points 

Squad news
Adamstown is boosted by the return of Courtney Wiltshire and Taylor Kelly while Merewether will be without Leah Giuffre and potentially Imogen Tusek and Indie Asimus due to work commitments. 

What the coaches say
Adamstown coach Paul Devitis is hoping his side can continue to improve and perform well during Round two.

“We are focused on ourselves and making sure we continue to develop as a football team,” Devitis said.

“We want to show consistency with our performances for this second round of games.”

Merewether coach Cass Koppen is hoping some positional changes will work in their favour on Saturday.

“It’s always a tough battle against Adamstown and they will be keen to take the points off us to maintain touch with the top four,” Koppen said.

“We have been working on our central midfield so we are keen to see how that reflects on the pitch.” 

Bottom line
Adamstown may be on the bottom half of the table, but if results go their way they could grab the fourth spot after this weekend. There has been a strong rivalry between these two sides in the past that will surely be a driving factor come Saturday afternoon. The Buds have struggled with injuries in recent weeks but the addition of Courtney Wiltshire and Taylor Kelly will no doubt have a positive effect on the team. They hold their defensive line incredibly well and can easily catch opposing strikers in an offside position. Leadership is a quality that thrives in Adamstown and is part of the reason they have succeeded in recent years. Merewether is always consistent and generally lead the competition each season. Their midfield will be under-strength but that won’t be enough to stop a team with strike power out wide and in the front third. This fierce rivalry will continue but Merewether may just edge Adamstown out in this one.


Wallsend v Thornton
Sunday 6th May, 2:30 pm
The Gardens

Last start: Wallsend lost 4-1 to New Lambton, Thornton lost 4-1 to Adamstown

Position on ladder: Wallsend 4th, 10 points; Thornton last, nil points 

Squad news
Wallsend will take the field with a full-strength side as Libby Copus-Brown returns from tonsillitis. An undecided Thornton side with a mounting injury list won’t be finalised until after training on Thursday. 

What the coaches say
Wallsend coach Marc Hingston is asking for consistency from his side after failing to close out last weekends game against New Lambton.

“Our past five games we have either led comfortably or been in control but our second half has let us down,” Hingston said.

“We spoke about having a desire to change this at training so hopefully we can flick the switch and perform for 90 minutes.

“We’re really excited to play our first game at The Gardens this year.”

Thornton coach Rob Richardson is hoping his side will enjoy football and not pressure themselves to get the result on Sunday.

“Whilst we are disappointed with our last outing, it’s obvious the pressure to succeed is having a reverse effect,” Richardson said.

“This weekend is about getting the girls to enjoy football and just have fun.” 

Bottom line
Wallsend will be hoping to get back on track and extend their top four lead even further which should see them come out fired up and ready to play. When at their best, the Devils are no doubt a force to be reckoned with and can give any team a run for their money. Wallsend can create and execute opportunities that other teams simply couldn’t and that is a huge advantage heading into the match. Whilst Thornton may not appear to be a threat, it would be dangerous to discount a side hungry for their first win of the season. Not having the added pressure of trying to get a result will alleviate the stress they have been feeling the past few weeks. A changed line-up could be the key to winning and if they can overcome a strong Wallsend side, the momentum will start to flow for the Redbacks.

Related Topics:
Premier Competitions WPL

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