After a week off over Easter, the Women’s Super League restarts in what promises to be the closest and toughest round of football so far this season.
With some great goals, spectacular saves and plenty of fancy footwork, this weekend is guaranteed to bring plenty of entertainment.
GAME OF THE ROUND: Western NSW Mariners v Nepean FC
Alec Lamberton Field, 3pm kick off
Despite the slow start to the season, the Mariners are confident that their squad has what it takes to compete with the best. With plenty of youth and enthusiasm in their ranks, the Mariners will be looking to plug up their defence, which has already leaked nine goals this season, letting in six against the Lady Hawks in Round 2.
With a loss and a draw next to the club’s name, Nepean will be looking to get a win against the Mariners to kick start their season. The number two appears to be the club’s magic number having scored twice in both their opening games which the travelling side will need to improve their presence in front of goal if Nepean are to feature in the finals come the end of the season.
Sydney Olympic v Eastern UNSW Lions
Blick Oval, 3pm kick off
Sydney Olympic will be looking to steal all three points this weekend against an in form Lions squad. After grabbing a point against former Premier League side, Southern Branch in Round 2, the home side are looking solid with the squad working more effectively together each weekend. With pace, strength and experience, Olympic have built a side which can cause problems for even the best of teams.
Tipped as competition favourites by a number of clubs at the start of the season, UNSW Lions have had a recovered from their Round 1 hiccup against the Lady Hawks to start playing the football technical director, Sally Peterson wants. With a strong passing game and the mindset to always look forward, the club has a team, which has the ability to play some gorgeous football to watch. This is the first real test for the Lions, a win against Olympic could be exactly what the club needs to prove why they were labelled as favourites.
Southern Branch v Southern Districts
Ison Park, 3pm kick off
Currently occupying third place on the ladder, Southern Branch have played some fantastic football having already scored seven goals and only let in three in their opening two games. Southern Branch has used the week off to focus on the squad coming together better and working more as a unit. It will be the experience in Branch’s squad, which could be the edge over Districts this weekend.
Predicting the result in this game is near impossible, especially with the form both clubs are in. Districts sit top of the table with two wins, most notably a 5-4 win against the 2011 Champions, APIA Tigers in Round 2. There is one thing for certain; scoring goals is not an issue for the travelling side and this game looks to be no different.
Northern Tigers v APIA Leichhardt Tigers
Mills Park, 3pm kick off
The battle of the two Tigers is sure to prove plenty of bite as APIA travel to Mills Park this Sunday afternoon. The home side have had a tough start to the season after making the trip to Bathurst claiming a 3-2 win and then a 2-2 draw against Nepean FC. Here, Northern Tigers will have to ensure their back line holds strong as a solid defensive unit otherwise APIA have the ability to punish them.
With the physical edge and quick counter attacking football, APIA definitely has a squad capable of winning the Super League for a second year in a row if the squad can remain injury free and well disciplined. This match will be a good test for APIA to either launch their season in the right direction or be another set back early in the season.
St. George FC v Parramatta Lady Hawks
St. George Stadium, 3pm kick off
There is never an easy day when it comes to football. At St. George Stadium it won’t be any different as two titans of the competition battle it out for not only three points but pride as well. At the wrong end of the ladder, St. George is yet to claim their first point of the season. With a side full of youth there is no reason why the home side won’t be able to push for glory in front of their home crowd.
The Lady Hawks have surprised most clubs this season with their performances, especially in the front third. Having scored a total of eight goals in two matches, the travelling side will look to add to that tally. Anything less than a point will be considered a failure for the Lady Hawks as they continue their quest for a premiership.
-By Peter Nowkowski