Herald Women’s Premier League Round 20 Preview

July 26th, 2018




Match of the Round

Warners Bay v Merewether

Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm

John Street Oval

Last start: Warners Bay beat Wallsend 4-0, Merewether beat New Lambton 3-1

Position on ladder: Warners Bay 1st, 35 points; Merewether 2nd, 31 points

Squad news

Sophie Stapleford is out for Warners Bay in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up.

What the coaches say

Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis knows first-hand how difficult Merewether is to break down but is confident her side is up to the challenge.

“We always know it’s a physical battle against Merewether and we are expecting the same on Sunday,” Davis said.

“They are a very clinical side and players like Rhali and Sarah are really difficult to shut down which is something we are aware of.

“After playing against them for so long, we know their strengths and their weaknesses which we have spoken about during the week.

“I think it’s just as much of a mental game as it is physical and we need to make sure we maintain our strong mentality throughout the match.

“It’s the last game in the regular season for both of us before finals so it’s a good chance for us to work on a few things and make sure we are 100% ready for semis.”

Merewether coach Cass Koppen is still hoping for a strong performance from her side despite already having booked a spot in the finals.

“We have got a few players out again but I’m confident the girls are up to the challenge and will still perform well,” Koppen said.

“It’s a bit of a dead rubber game but we have managed to get full points for the last round so far and we want to keep that going.

“Obviously finals are coming up so everyone has stood up and put a strong foot forward to get into the starting line up and this weekend is another chance to do that.”


Bottom line

Last time these two sides met, it was an entertaining and physical match with their best football on show for spectators. Could we see the same this weekend? Warners Bay is undefeated at John Street Oval and even though fleet-footed winger Sophie Stapleford is unavailable, they are still strong across the park. Merewether is a clinical team who always give Warners Bay a run for their money which makes them a difficult opponent. The two best teams in the competition go head-to-head in what should be a thrilling battle.


South Wallsend v Adamstown

Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm

Walker Fields

Last start: South Wallsend lost 1-0 to Merewether, Adamstown beat Wallsend 5-1.

Position on ladder: South Wallsend 4th, 10 points; Adamstown 5th, 8 points.

Squad news

Adamstown’s Courtney Wiltshire is in doubt after suffering an ankle injury playing futsal in America while Olivia Trinka may miss the game due to university placement. Piper Richards and Imogen Mcinnes are likely to be called in from the U/20’s squad.

What the coaches say

Adamstown coach Paul Devitis said it’s a game they can’t afford to lose and his side is feeling fresh heading into the game after last weekend’s bye.

“The girls are feeling really good and after winning the State Cup, we are really confident in our ability,” Devitis said.

“The State Cup was good for us because we had some of the under 20’s play and now they know our style of football so if we need to call those players up we are confident they can do their job.

“It was a very close game last time we played them but being at their ground, it will be a completely different style of play so reading the bounce of the ball will be key for us.

“They have a very dynamic front line and their midfield is also strong because they dribble really well so we will need to be at the top of our game to have any chance.

“We have defended really well in recent weeks which is great but we will need to make sure we are aware of transitions because they will probably be playing through balls which they are great at.

“It’s definitely going to be a battle but it’s a game we are looking forward to and Southy are a quality opponent so it should be a great game of football.”


Bottom line

It’s a battle of 5th v 6th with the winner likely to claim fourth place and book their spot in the finals. Walker Fields hasn’t been a happy stomping ground for South Wallsend, with the Wolves yet to win a game there but that could change this weekend. These two sides have struggled with consistency this season but have started to find form in recent weeks which sets the stage for a tight battle. Both sides are coming off a bye so should be well rested in potentially their biggest game of the season.

Related Topics:
Premier Competitions WPL

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