United set for Roar examination

Canberra United’s quest for Westfield W-League redemption begins this weekend with an away trip to Brisbane Roar.

Canberra United-s quest for Westfield W-League redemption begins this weekend with possibly the hardest task imaginable, an away trip to Brisbane Roar. With all due respect to current champions Sydney FC, the Roar are the benchmark for the competition and United face the two times champions and four times finalists, twice in their opening three matches. And, it-s fair to say, the green team rarely enjoy their forays to the Sunshine State.

Having missed out on Finals last season, the first time in the history of the Westfield W-League that Canberra didn-t make the top four, the team will be extra keen to get off to a winning start under new Head Coach Elisabeth Migchelsen. But the weight of history is very much against the side from the nations- capital returning home with the three points.

Indeed, only once have Canberra beaten the Roar in Brisbane and you have to go all the way back to Season One, 1st November 2008 to be exact, when a solitary goal from Kara Mowbray ensured Canberra claimed their first win in the newly formed league. Since then it-s been Roar who have enjoyed the upper hand in Queensland with a 2-0 Grand Final win in 2009 the first in a run of six successive matches without defeat for the home team.

United-s last visit to Queensland brought a disappointing 1-5 defeat, their heaviest in Westfield W-League history, as a must-win match turned into nightmare afternoon in what proved to be Jitka Klimkova-s last match in charge. But a new season brings with it fresh optimism and Canberra will take to the field at AJ Kelly Park in Kippa with several new faces poised to make their club debut including American trio Kendall Fletcher, Lori Lindsey and Stephanie Ochs.

All three are likely to play some part in the match but United will be without Matildas international Sally Shipard, who is still recuperating from the knee injury sustained last season, Holly Houston (hamstring) and Georgia Yeoman-Dale (illness).

New club captain Nicole Sykes will lead the team into battle for her first match with the Captain-s armband and with the Roar fielding a number of high-profile new recruits of their own we should be set for a blockbuster start to the Westfield W-League 2013/14 campaign.

CANBERRA UNITED SQUAD 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Trudy BURKE, 22. Stephanie OCHS

Unavailable: 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE (illness), 15. Sally SHIPARD (injured), 17. Holly HOUSTON (hamstring)

LAST TIME OUT Saturday 12th January 2013 Brisbane Roar Katrina Gorry 11-, Tameka Butt 38- (pen), 41-, 71-, Emily Gielnik 66-) Canberra United 1 (Kristie Mewis 45-)

COMPLETE RECORD 01/11/08: Queensland Roar 0 Canberra United 1 27/12/08: Canberra United 1 Queensland Roar 1 17/01/09: Grand Final - Queensland Roar 2 Canberra United 0 03/10/09: Brisbane Roar 3 Canberra United 0 07/11/09: Canberra United 1 Brisbane Roar 2 13/11/10: Canberra United 1 Brisbane Roar 1 20/12/10: Brisbane Roar 1 Canberra United 0 07/02/11: Semi-Final - Brisbane Roar 2 Canberra United 2 (Roar wins 4-2 on penalties) 03/12/11: Brisbane Roar 2 Canberra United 2 28/01/12: Grand Final - Canberra United 3 Brisbane Roar 2 20/10/12: Canberra United 0 Brisbane Roar 0 12/01/13: Brisbane Roar 5 Canberra United 1

OVERALL: Played 12, Won 2, Drawn 5, Lost 5 HOME: Played 5, Won 1, Drawn 3, Lost 1 AWAY: Played 7, Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 4