Competitions

Herald WPL Round 2 Preview

March 17th, 2016

Renee Valentine

Merewether v Warners Bay
At Myamblah Oval
Sunday, March 20 – 2.15pm kick-off 
Last start: Merewether lost 2-1 to Adamstown; Warners Bay had the bye

Merewether coach Cassie Koppen is keen to see how her side responds to what she described as “our worst performance of the past 12 months” but is expecting a tough hit-out against a new-look Warners Bay.

The defending champions lost 2-1 to Adamstown last week but Koppen is confident with patience United will again produce the form that had them the most feared side of 2015.

“We had a good training session Tuesday, everyone was really quite positive,” Koppen said.

“We spoke about our lack of discipline and lack of respect for the opposition last weekend and about just needing to play our own game. We just need to forget that game now and move on.

“We had seven changes from last year’s team and it is going to take a couple of months to see where everyone plays, so we’ve just got to be patient. We are probably not going to get the results we always want at this stage but we will once everyone is on board.”

Warners Bay started playing some inspired football towards the latter stages of last season and have added some strike power in W-league players Cassidy Davis and Adriana Jones this year.

“We are expecting a very difficult game this weekend,” Koppen said.

“Obviously picking up Cassidy [Davis] and AJ [Adriana Jones] is a big boost and I’m expecting a very attacking based team and one that will be quite disciplined under Leon Davis.”

The match will be Warners Bay’s first of the season after they had the bye in round one.

Warners Bay coach Leon Davis said they had a few personnel issues with Emerging Jets recruit Kally Lewis out injured and fleet-footed Taylah Smith in extreme doubt through injury but otherwise were eager to get started.

“We are keen to play and to see where we’re up to and Merewether will be a good measure of that,” Davis said.

Merewether are without Lori Depczynski and new recruit Bronte Walters this weekend.

 

Adamstown v Wallsend
At Arthur Edden Oval
Sunday, March 20 – 2.15pm kick-off
Last start: Adamstown beat Merewether 2-1; Wallsend beat South Wallsend 2-1.

 Wallsend and Adamstown made strong starts to the year by registering 2-1 victories but neither coach is getting ahead of themselves.

“It is always good to get off to a good start so you are not chasing all year but there are 17 games still to be played and it’s a long season,” Adamstown coach Ben Herron said.

“We haven’t seen Wallsend play, so it is a virtual unknown. We are all going in a bit blind at the moment, so we can only really focus on ourselves at this point.”

Wallsend beat South Wallsend 2-1 last weekend but it was a tale of two halves and coach Marc Hingston is looking for a more sustained performance from his charges who dominated the first half.

Across town Rosebud started a little slow but finished with a flourish in their win over the defending champions and were unlucky not to have won by more with several clear shots on goal denied by Merewether goalkeeper Imogene Tomasone.

Adamstown captain Clare Cummings caused some headaches for Merewether last week. She got on the score sheet with a header and had three other chances go begging and Hingston identified her as one they would have to be wary of.

“She gets 10 out of 10 for effort every game and she is a handy player to have in your team,” Hingston said.

Emerging Jets recruit Kalista Hunter is poised to make her first appearance for South Wallsend after missing the first round through injury. But the young defender is likely to start from the bench after Ashlee Jones produced a strong performance last week at the back.

The game has been moved to Arthur Edden Oval while Adamstown Oval undergoes drainage work.

 

Mid North Coast v South Wallsend
At Fairmont Gardens
Sunday, March 20 – 2.15pm kick-off
Last start: Mid North Coast lost 3-1 to Thornton; South Wallsend lost 2-1 to Wallsend.

Preparation is going to be key to this match with both coaches indicating they will put a lot of emphasis on the final moments before the game starts this week.

Mid North Coast coach Matt Baker rued the fact he did not have enough time to give instructions for the match last weekend and South Wallsend player-coach Elyce Bates is concerned a match-day road trip could leave her side sluggish at the kick-off.

“Travel on the day is always a bit draining, so it will be interesting to see how we respond to that,” Bates said.

“I have found it seems to take a bit to get going, that first 10-15 minutes, so we will have a good warm-up to try to prevent that.

“But we are expecting it to be a very competitive game.”

Bates rated Mid North Coast’s work ethic as a great danger.

“I was playing at Adamstown a few years back and we were up 4-0 and I think they came back to beat us 5-4,” she recalled. “They definitely have that in their favour, they just work all day and don’t stop.”

Baker is coaching both the 18s and first-grade squads for the Middies this year and said he ran out of time between games last weekend to issue orders in his usual manner.

That was one area he hoped to rectify this week and Baker also indicated he may tinker with positions and the formation as he searches for the most effective combinations after losing several key players in the off-season.

Mid North Coast are still without midfielder Abbey Watson through injury and South Wallsend will travel without goalkeeper Connie Osborn. Their 18s shot-stopper Faith Lewis will step up to the top grade.

 

Thornton have the bye

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