Player of the week: Nicola Bolger

Sydney FC midfield dynamo Nicola Bolger was instrumental as the two-time champions opened their title defence in simply stunning fashion this weekend.

Sydney FC midfield dynamo Nicola Bolger was instrumental as the two-time champions opened their title defence in simply stunning fashion on the opening weekend of the 2014/14 Westfield W-League campaign. The Sky Blues routed Melbourne Victory 5-1 with Bolger - long one of the Westfield W-League-s most under-rated performers - a lively presence in the middle of the park as well as netting two well-taken goals.

Though still only 20, she first featured for the Sky Blues in the opening season of the Westfield W-League in 2008. Bolger scored in her first starting appearance for Sydney to set the tone for a curious goalscoring run. She has now scored six goals against Melbourne Victory, including in last season-s grand final, tallying more against the Victorians than all other teams combined.

Now after a starring role in the ABC TV match of the round, we asked about her curious goalscoring run, the Sky Blues blistering opening and just who make life interesting at Sydney FC.

What is it about playing against Melbourne Victory that means you are always on the scoresheet? I don-t know, it is actually bizarre. We laughed about it after the game. I don-t get it, but I-m not complaining. Everyone loves to score, so hopefully it is the sign of things to come.

Your second goal was more evidence of good football technique. Is that something you feel has always been part of your game? I grew up playing football with the boys from a young age and it (technique) was always a big part of my game. Staj (Sydney coach Alen Stajcic) is big on that, as with other areas, but for me personally it is an aspect of my game I want to have as good as I can.

How did it feel to have great start to the season for you personally with two goals and a strong showing? Personally, it felt really good. I worked hard in the pre-season but to actually get out in the first game and have a good performance was great.

The team certainly seemed to have continued their momentum from last year-s grand final win? Being Sydney we maybe have a target on our backs. And being champions add more pressure. We worked so hard and really wanted to hit the ground running. We started positively for sure.

The team looked very cohesive in the opening game. Is that a reflection of a strong team pre-season? It was a bit disrupted with a few players away with the Matildas and Young Matildas. We worked really hard and continuously and we really put it all together in the last few weeks when we were all there. So hopefully it continues to progress.

Coach Alen Stajcic said last week at the launch that this year-s side is the best Sydney FC side he has had. How do you see this squad in comparison to previous years? I agree with that now, although when he first said it I was surprised. But we have so much depth and talent, even though we have plenty of young players. There are great players on the bench and so many options. It creates a good competitive environment where everyone is pushing each other.

And on a much more lighted note....who is the biggest joker in the team? Probably Sam Kerr. She would want me to say she is the funniest but I don-t know that she is! But she is always laughing and mucking around.

Who is the coolest person in the squad? Hmm, that is a tough one. Coming from a different reason, I would probably say Ellyse Perry given the intriguing life she lives and what she has done. I look at her and think ‘wow-. And the way she carries herself as well.

So who then is the daggiest person in the team? I would say Leena (Khamis), as she is an easy target (laughs).