Crawford Set for Novocastrian Showdown

Hayley Crawford will finally have the opportunity to take on her home town when Canberra United line up against the Newcastle Jets this weekend in the Westfield W-League semi final at Energy Australian Stadium on Saturday.

Hayley Crawford will finally have the opportunity to take on her home town when Canberra United line up against the Newcastle Jets this weekend in the Westfield W-League semi final at Energy Australian Stadium on Saturday.

The Newcastle resident, Crawford, was disappointed to miss out on Canberra United's only previous meeting against the Jets when a knee injury ruled her out of the opening game of the season.

“It was really hard, I didn-t sit still the entire game so I had to get up and walk around,” Crawford said reflecting on round one.

“I think we should have won that game [against the Jets] and I still think we-re a better team than them so hopefully on the weekend we can show that.”

After ten rounds of football, Crawford is expecting at large opposition crowd when she lines up against the city she-s most familiar with, but the number ten is hoping there will be plenty of personal support regardless.

“It-s going to be a big match with a lot of family and friends up there and a lot of old team mates to play against so I need to keep the emotions in check and make sure that I get out there for Canberra United and play a good game.”

“First game we played them they had a really good crowd, very similar to what we get here in Canberra, but I know all the local papers and people get behind their team.”

“I think there will be a fairly big crowd.” Had Crawford not signed with Canberra United it would be likely that she would be lining up for the opposition this weekend with the midfielder choosing to apply her trade in the National Capital rather than the Hunter Valley.

“At the start of the season I had a choice of playing [in Canberra] or [in Newcastle] and obviously I chose Canberra United so it is a bit of a big thing to go back to my home town against my old team mates and have such a big game to play against,” Crawford said.

“A lot of the girls I used to play with, Robbie Hooker, John Gibson have been a big help for me and the culture that Canberra United has I really like and I thought I could play by best soccer [in Canberra].”

Despite the outcome this weekend at Energy Australia Stadium, Crawford believes she made the right decision to line up in green this summer. “I guess it-s not so much a point [to prove] to them rather myself and I-ve got a lot of faith in the girls and I think I chose the right [team] whether we win or lose on the weekend, I-m still happy with my choice.”

Crawford missed out on Round One after going under the knife to clean out her knee but the striker turned midfielder has been one of Canberra's most consistent players since her return in Round Six versus Perth Glory. “I think the first couple of games I was nervous but after the Central Coast, Melbourne and Queensland game I-m comfortable with my position and how I-m playing,” Crawford said.

“I-m liking [midfield] a lot more, being able to see the play, play a lot of balls through and hopefully I can play there on the weekend and we can do the job.”

The Newcastle Jets are one of only two teams to have defeated Canberra United this season but Crawford believes history won-t repeat itself this weekend when Canberra comes into the match as the form side.

“We-ve gone seven games undefeated so I think with that and those two wins at the back of that seven games and that draw against the top team will put the confidence high and I think we can come away with the win.”

Canberra United takes on the Newcastle Jets in the Westfield W-League Semi Final on Saturday, 10th January at Energy Australia Stadium. For information on a Canberra United road trip for the semi final please visit www.canberraunited.com.au