Champions ready for Season Five

Defending Westfield W-League Champions Canberra United are raring to go as Season 5 of the competition gets under way this weekend with the Grand Final re-match against Brisbane Roar at McKellar Park.

Defending Westfield W-League Champions Canberra United are raring to go as Season 5 of the competition gets under way this weekend with the Grand Final re-match against Brisbane Roar at McKellar Park. It-s been nearly eight months since United edged past the Roar in an epic 3-2 victory to claim the silverware and the club has been busy in the off-season to make sure they are best prepared for the new campaign.

After a three-day trial process held at the Australian Institute of Sport, Head Coach Jitka Klimkova decided on her final twenty players and that group took part in a weekend of team bonding a fortnight ago.

Heading out of town, the group underwent several team building exercises including balancing a cookie on their head whilst jumping in a hessian sack, before getting a team mate to eat the cookie without using their hands, bursting a balloon between them without using their hands again after running a short course and knocking over tin cans with bananas tied to their waist with a piece of string!

The activities certainly brought the squad closer together and culminated in a night walk which saw several players blindfolded some unable to communicate, some weighed down with heavy medicine balls and some doing all the directing. The following day a strenuous 1400m climb of Mount Tennant, in drizzling rain, certainly tested the mettle of the squad, but they all made it through in the end!

Pre-season action has seen the team defeat Australia under-17 twice, 4-0 in the first meeting which saw many of the trialists given their chance to shine, and a more emphatic 11-0 victory in the return in which Nicole Sykes bagged a rare hat-trick.

A 2-0 win over the Westfield Young Matildas was another fine performance with goal machine Michelle Heyman and Jennifer Bisset finding the back of the net whilst preparations concluded on the weekend with another 2-0 victory, this time over a combined Belconnen United under-16/18 boys- team who provided a stern test for the squad. A brace of first half goals from Georgia Yeoman-Dale proved the difference in the end.

That final run out allowed some of the squad some much-needed game time ahead of what is sure to be a turbo-charged encounter with the Roar in front of what is hoped to be a large and vociferous Canberra United home crowd. With six home matches to look forward to in 2012/13 and some new faces to cheer, the new Westfield W-League season should be a cracker.