Juric targets Kerr-Hill duo as Sky Blues seek to banish Grand Final heartache
Sam Kerr may have dominated the headlines leading up to the Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final but Sydney FC head coach Ante Juric says there’s no point in focusing solely on the marquee striker.
Juric instead pointed out fellow Perth Glory forward Rachel Hill as an equal threat and revealed that stopping the service to the duo that have scored a combined 22 goals this season would be key to the Sky Blues' success.
“Obviously Sam Kerr’s a key and Hill as well, they’re dangerous going forward just like us, we’ve scored an abundance of goals this season so it will be an attacking game, we’ll need to stop those two and the service to them,” Juric said.
“I don’t know if you can [keep Kerr quiet], you have to stop the service to her. She’s so good one-on-one she can hurt anyone.
“In saying that we have Alanna [Kennedy] and some decent defensive players who maybe can do it with support. She’s hard to stop, we just need to score more than her and tidy things up at the back.”
Sydney will be lining up in their second consecutive Westfield W-League Grand Final and their third in four years but haven’t won the league’s ultimate honour since 2013.
Juric said the group wasn’t thinking about last year’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Melbourne City but admitted he had seen some differences between their approach this time around.
“I go into every game wanting to win and I’ve told the girls that that’s gone, last year,” he said.
“It’s a different team we’re playing against, we’ve got different players.
“They were very nervous before the game the whole week. This year is a lot different, the girls are relaxed, yesterday they were laughing and just enjoying ourselves so I can see that difference but at the end of the day it’s how they turn up.”
Sydney defender Alanna Kennedy, who was in City colours last year, said her teammates were ready to go but warned them not to underestimate Perth’s engine room.
“We’re excited, I think we’ve had a good preparation so far,” she said.
“There’s the obvious threats up front but even watching their game on the weekend there’s a lot of players in their midfield who don’t get enough credit, good little players.
“They have quality all over the pitch so it’s going to be a tough game but I think we’re at our best we can do the job.”