Brush ready for Roar semi-final challenge

Canberra United co-captain Ellie Brush is ready to spring into action in this weekend’s Westfield W-League semi-final match as United head to Queensland to face Brisbane Roar for a place in the Grand Final.

Canberra United co-captain Ellie Brush is ready to spring into action in this weekend-s Westfield W-League semi-final match as United head to Queensland to face Brisbane Roar for a place in the Grand Final.

“We are all really pumped up and ready to go for the game this weekend,” Brush told www.canberraunited.com.au. “It-s a big game and we really want to win it having been knocked out in the semi-finals last year, we want to go another step further. We-ve finished runners-up and then semi-finalists so it-s time for a championship win! I think this year we really have got the team to do it and we are really excited about this weekend and the possibility of facing either Sydney FC or Melbourne Victory.”

Canberra have a history of tight matches against Brisbane with the Roar having the upper hand on the big occasion with a Grand Final win over their opponents in the first year of the competition and a narrow 1-0 victory at Perry Park earlier in this campaign as Brush admitted.

“There is certainly a bit of a rivalry between us and Brisbane and they have knocked us off once this season,” she said. “There have though been a couple of close results over the past few years so we are looking this weekend to redress the balance.”

The soaring temperatures across the Nation-s Capital this week have proved an unlikely ally for United as they prepare for what-s sure to be some extreme conditions in Brisbane. But while the thermometer has been bubbling away in Canberra, Brush is all too aware that there awaits a different type of heat in the Sunshine State.

“We are training in the heat down here but it is definitely a different type of heat up there with the humidity factor and we won-t really be used to it,” the United co-captain claimed. “We are going up there nice and early on Friday so we-ll get a training session in on the Friday night on the pitch and familiarise ourselves with the conditions. The aim of the game will be to keep possession and whoever has the most possession at the end of the game obviously has a better chance of winning and pick up the decisive result.”

Whilst United-s last trip to Brisbane saw the fixture played at Perry Park most of the Canberra players have experienced the playing surface of Ballymore with the 2008 Season Final played at the venue.

“We-ve played on Ballymore before and it-s quite spongy. It-s been known to be a field notable for cramps so we-ll have to be very well prepared and professional about all aspects of our preparation,” Brush confirmed.

United head into the weekend-s clash minus Leah Blayney, who made her Canberra debut against Brisbane just before Christmas, who suffered a 13cm tear to her quad during the victory over Perth Glory on Saturday. The loss of the midfielder though shouldn-t be felt too hard according to Brush.

“We-ve really gone into our depth this year and have shown we can cope with the injuries we have had,” Brush commented. “Last time we played Brisbane we didn-t have Emily [Van Egmond] so she should be able to step in for the injured players in that respect and the one-s that come in are more than capable of filling the spots, so we are not concerned even though losing Leah Is a big loss.”

Saturday 5 February 2011 Brisbane Roar v Canberra United Ballymore Stadium Kick Off: 2.00pm Gates Open: 1.00pm Ticket Information: $5 adult $2 child Tickets will be sold at the gate from 12.45pm

FRONT PAGE PICTURE: Courtesy of Nick Guoth