The early rounds of the Westfield W-League’s ninth season have been hotly contested, and one very interested onlooker has liked what he has seen so far.
That observer is none other than Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic, who has been casting a watchful eye over the majority of matches and the form and progress of players.
Of particular interest to Stajcic has been gauging the level of the players who have been the staple of the Westfield Matildas squad over the past 12 months.
“I have probably watched over ten games already and it has been pleasing to see the standard of the games,” said Stajcic.
“The most pleasing part has probably been the form of the Matildas who have come back from Rio. In virtually every game that I’ve watched the Matildas have been standout players on the field which is really good to see.”
But the likes of Westfield Matildas stars Katrina Gorry, Caitlin Foord, Michelle Heyman, Kyah Simon, Steph Catley and co are not the only players Stajcic is looking at.
One of Stajcic’s key objectives over the next 2-3 years is increasing the depth and options in all positions in the national team, and he said it was up to other aspiring players to prove they have something special to put themselves in the mix.
“I’m still looking for players to stand up and show that they’re capable of matching it or being better than the current crop of Matildas,” said Stajcic.
“We’ve still got a lot of the season to go and I know there a lot of young players playing which is great so I’m going to be looking for players who want to take that next step up.
“I attended the Young Matildas camp and watched them closely, and there are some players who are capable of pushing for spots.
“It’s up to them to try and get some game time in the W-League and further develop their experiences as players. But it’s not just them. There are also older players who are pushing for a spot in the Matildas setup.”
In a Westfield W-League season boasting arguably the best contingent of foreign players in the league’s history, it is as fitting an audition as any for those looking to put their name in Stajcic’s thinking.