Brisbane Roar preview

Brisbane Roar are traditional title challengers for the Westfield W-League but how are they shaping up this term.

Brisbane Roar boast a remarkable record in the Westfield W-League. They were maiden champions back in the first season, and competed in four of the first five Grand Finals. While there have been stumbles in recent years, many of the playing group are long-serving personnel with lengthy experience of what it takes to succeed. Even last season’s erratic campaign ended just a penalty shoot-out away from yet another Grand Final berth.

This season
Westfield Matildas regulars such as Clare Polkinghorne, Katrina Gorry and Emily Gielnik form the spine of the Roar roster, which has been boosted by the arrival of national team goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, American Maddy Evans and Danish defender Nina Frausing-Pedersen. Brisbane open with a match-up against old rivals Sydney FC on Saturday in a contest that should provide an insight into what the Roar are capable of this season.

The coach
There is a new face in the Brisbane Roar hot-seat with Mel Andreatta assuming the reins from Belinda Wilson during the off-season. Andreatta boasts a strong knowledge of the local women’s football scene, having most recently looked after the state’s brightest and best young players as NTC coach.

“The atmosphere (in the squad) is a positive one, and one where they know there is going to be a lot of challenges,” said Andreatta.

“They know there will be a lot of challenges provided by every team and when you have that level of competition you can’t be on the back foot, but you can see by the way the players are training they are ready for that.

“There is that history of success at the club and we wear that with pride, but with the knowledge that you have to keep working hard.

“Like any club, we have talked about expectations and, being the club that we are, we want to be in the finals series again.”

First match: v Sydney FC, Spencer Park, Brisbane, Saturday 5 November, 4pm (local)

Arrivals: Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory), Maddy Evans (Orlando Pride, USA), Sunny Franco (Sydney FC), Nina Frausing-Pedersen (Rosengard, Sweden), Allira Toby (Adelaide United), Kaitlyn Torpey (NTC Under 17 program), Georgina Worth (Canberra United), Brooke Spence (returns from injury)

Outs: Hayley Kopmeyer (Seattle Reign, USA), Ruth Blackburn (The Gap, QLD), Sofie Persson (Futsal), Carrie Simpson (Bradford City, England), Ashley Spina (Cricket), Alisha Foote (released)