Captain's say Queensland to win
Well it’s unanimous, Queensland Roar will be the inaugural Westfield W-League Champions, according the six other club captains.
Well it-s unanimous, Queensland Roar will be the inaugural Westfield W-League Champions, according the six other club captains.
While several of them said they would dearly love to see Canberra United come out on top in Saturday-s Grand Final at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane, when faced with the question “Who will win”, everyone said Queensland Roar.
All six agreed though that Queensland, who finished the 10 round competition eight points clear at the top, will not have it there own way, with almost everyone acknowledging the fact Canberra inflicted the only defeat upon Roar and in two games is yet to taste defeat against their highly fancied rivals.
Both teams appear evenly matched, but it will be interesting to see how Queensland copes with the loss of key midfielder Alicia Ferguson, after she injured a knee in last week's semi final win against Sydney FC.
Here is what the captains had to say.
Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle Jets)
Of course we would like to see Canberra United win given that they beat us in the semi final, then we can at least say we were beaten by the champions. Queensland Roar will have a bit of a hole to fill without Alicia Ferguson controlling the midfield and calming the play down when needed, not to mention her free kick abilities that have surfaced this season.
Canberra seems to be Queensland-s voodoo team this season and have several key players that the Roar will have to watch. Caitlin Munoz is always a handful and can unleash a rocket at goal at any time and Ashleigh Sykes speed can get in behind any defence. Both Lydia Williams and Casey Dumont have had great seasons in goal, so I don-t think there will be too many goals.
As far as a result, this might be one to go the full 90 and extra time. But I think Queensland have the experience when it counts with Kate McShea, Karla Reuter and Clair Polkinghorne in defence and we all know, “ all the great teams are built on rock solid foundations in defence”.
Queensland to win 1-0 in extra time.
Tanya Oxtoby (Perth Glory)
Saturday-s final is set up to be a terrific match and one I am really looking forward to watching. Queensland has been the standout team all season, but was seriously challenged last weekend by Sydney FC. They still managed to do the job in what was a tough match. They have terrific depth, which will once again be tested with the loss of Alicia Ferguson from the final. Lauren Colthorpe though is an excellent player and a lot will fall on her shoulders and how she can control the midfield in Ferguson-s absence. Courtney Beutel has also been on fire this season and will have to watched closely by the Canberra defence.
However I have always liked the underdog and I would like to see Canberra push Queensland right to the wire. Like Queensland, they have been a good side right through the season and seem to play well against Queensland. Thea Slatyer will be a very important player in the final and how she controls the defence for United and keeping the likes of Beutel and Lana Harch quiet. In attack, Caitlin Munoz will be the key and whether she can create the openings for her side.
As for a result, I think Queensland will win in extra time.
Caitlin Cooper (Central Coast Mariners)
I believe Queensland will take out the Westfield W-League Grand Final as they have showed some real class throughout the whole season. With the majority of the Queensland side having international caps under their name they have a lot of experience when it comes to football. With Casey in goals, Polks (Clare Polkinghorne) at the back, Tameka (Butt) in the middle and Courtney Beutel upfront it-s an extremely good side.
However in saying that, Canberra have some class of its own, with Lydia (Williams) in goal, Amy Chapman in the middle of the park and also Caitlin (Munoz) upfront this side shouldn't be gone unnoticed. With their never say die attitude and their willingness to win I believe Canberra will put up a good fight. I'll definitely be wearing my green on Saturday that's for sure.
Di Alagich (Adelaide United)
Queensland Roar has been the most consistent side this season. They had a tough semi final and got through that and will give them a lot of confidence and they have nothing to fear. One of their biggest strengths is the depth that they have and they are the fittest squad in the league. They are well rounded squad and have a belief that they will never be beaten. Courtney Beutel was very impressive in the semi final; she held the ball up well and linked well with her teammates. Kate McShea is a rock at the back and Tameka Butt is playing very well, while Kasey Dumont has been outstanding in goals.
Canberra has also been very consistent and their defence has been very good and kept them in many games. There is no doubt they will stand up to Queensland and hold them up for a lot of game. I think they probably lack the experience across the park that Queensland have, but in Thea Slatyer and Caitlin Munoz they do have two very strong leaders. Ashleigh Sykes is a very lively striker and does get into dangerous positions, but overall they might struggle to break down the well-organised Queensland defence.
Queensland will go into the game as favourites and I think they will win 2-0.
Tal Karp (Melbourne Victory)
I think it-s going to be a terrific final and both teams will be desperate and aggressive early on, before they settle into the game. In a grand final though anything can happen. Canberra has shown they can get a good result in the big games, but I think I will have to go for a Queensland win in this one.
Why? I am not going to name any individuals, as both teams have a number of match winners, but I think Queensland is very strong right across the park, with no real weaknesses and they also have depth off the bench. I think this could be the difference between the two teams in the final.
Heather Garriock (Sydney FC)
I think the final will be a great spectacle and its a big honour for both these teams to be there. Anything can happen, but I have a gut feeling that Queensland will win this game convincingly, say 2-3 nil. Obviously they have been the most consistent side all season and have the results on the board. The biggest challenge for them will be on the mental side, as they haven't beaten Canberra in two games this season and lost their only match to them. If they can overcome this hurdle, I think they will win convincingly, but if not, it will be a tight game and will possibly go into extra time.
In terms of key match ups, both teams have two of the best keepers in the league and they are in form. Caitlin Munoz is the key for Canberra, as her finishing ability is unbelievable. She can score from anywhere on the pitch and with both feet, while the Canberra defence is experienced and tough to beat.
For Queensland, Lauren Colthorpe is the key, especially with Alicia Ferguson missing and if Lauren can command the midfield for Queensland, they will be hard to match. If Courtney Beutel is given any space in behind the defence, she will punish you as she has shown countless times this season.
So there you have it, a clean sweep for Queensland. Let's see if they are proven right.