Herald Women’s Premier League Grand Final Preview

August 20th, 2015

Renee Valentine

Merewether v Valentine

This season: Played three times. Merewether won all three – 3-2 in Round 7, 4-0 in Round 14 and 2-0 in Round 20.

Past five starts
Merewether (from most recent): Beat Mid North Coast 3-0 in semi-finals; beat Wallsend 2-1; drew 2-2 with Mid North Coast; beat Valentine 2-0; lost 3-1 to Adamstown.
Valentine (from most recent): Beat Adamstown 8-0 in semi-finals; drew 3-3 with Thornton; lost 2-0 to Merewether; beat Warners Bay 4-3; beat Wallsend 8-2.

Final standings
Merewether first (52 points), Valentine third (41 points)

Previous grand final appearances
Valentine: Two. They lost 1-0 to Edgeworth in 2010, and beat Broadmeadow 3-2 in 2011;
Merewether: None

Squad News
Both sides are at full strength, ensuring this battle will be hard-fought and the football is bound to be spectacular as both sides play dominant passing games and have plenty of players who can score.

The game
Merewether United will attempt to shake the Herald Women’s Premier League Premiers’ curse when they challenge Valentine in this year’s Championship decider on Sunday.

No club has managed to capture the Premiership-Championship double since the league’s inception in 2009.

Teams have gone undefeated through the season proper but then capitulated at the final hurdle.

Merewether were headed for an unbeaten season until they faltered in a 3-1 loss to Adamstown in Round 19. A win that day would have given them the Premiership and it was the first time this season the pressure appeared to get to them.

They however bounced back to clinch the first piece of season silverware a week later when they beat Valentine 2-0 and Adamstown lost to Wallsend.

Both sides were easy semi-final winners last weekend and Merewether coach Cassie Koppen suggested Phoenix had sent them a clear message in their 8-0 annihilation of Adamstown.

“It will be a battle,” Koppen said. “But we’ve got to go into it as confident as we can because at the end of the day we’ve beaten them three from three times this year.”

Koppen said there were not a lot of players in her side who had played finals football and was happy with the way they handled the pressure of the semi-final.

United appeared nervous in the opening stages but worked their way into dominating the match over Mid North Coast.

Phoenix coach Cas Wright said there had been a good vibe in her squad during training this week after their clinical and dominant semi-final performance.

“They are all pumped up and still on a high,” Wright said.

“The game plan will be pretty much the same. I know how Merewether play and we have been working on combatting that. They play similar to Adamstown and we pulled it off last Saturday.”

For Wright Sunday signals reward for the slow process of helping to rebuild the club since Phoenix won the 2011 Grand Final only to be wooden spooners the following season.

Valentine had two poor seasons before returning to semi-finals last year.

They also field a team in the 18s Grand Final on Sunday.



18 Years Grand Final Preview

Football Mid North Coast v Valentine FC

This season: Played three times. Mid North Coast won 2-1 and 3-1 and they drew 1-1.

Mid North Coast lost just one game on the way to finishing top of the table – a 3-0 defeat at the hands of South Wallsend in Round 12. They finished the season with 50 points, 18 clear of their opponents today who were second. Mid North Coast progressed to the decider with a 0-0 (4-2) win on penalties over South Wallsend last Sunday. Phoenix beat Merewether 1-0 in the other semi-final on Saturday.


16 Years Grand Final Preview
South Wallsend JSC v Adamstown Rosebud JFC

This season: Played three times. South Wallsend won 3-1, Adamstown won 2-1 and they had a 0-0 draw two weeks ago.

South Wallsend’s only loss this season on their way to being Premiers was to Adamstown in Round 13. They finished with 52 points, 10 ahead of second-placed Adamstown, scoring a mammoth 80 goals and conceding just 12. Adamstown booked passage to the Grand Final with a 1-0 win over Warners Bay last Saturday and South Wallsend stormed into the decider with a 5-0 victory over Mid North Coast on Sunday.


14 Years Grand Final Preview
Thornton Redbacks FC v Football Mid North Coast

This season: Played three times. Redbacks won 1-0, 2-1 and 1-0.

Thornton finished top of the table with 58 points after 19 wins, one draw and just one loss when they were beaten 2-1 by South Wallsend in Round 11. Thornton conceded just eight goals on the way to the Premiership and scored 76. They progressed to the Grand Final with a 0-0 (4-1) win on penalties over Adamstown last Sunday while Mid North Coast beat South Wallsend 2-0 on Saturday.


Full Herald Women’s Premier League Grand Final Fixture Details:

1st Grade 3:00pm
Merewether United FC v Valentine FC

18 Years 1:00pm
Football Mid North Coast v Valentine FC

16 Years 11:00am
South Wallsend JSC v Adamstown Rosebud JFC

14 Years 9:00am
Thornton Redbacks FC v Football Mid North Coast

Related Topics:
Premier Competitions WPL

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