At the halfway point of the regular season, few could have predicted that the Westfield W-League newcomers would be sitting comfortably in the top half of the table.
At the halfway point of the regular season, few could have predicted that the Westfield W-League newcomers would be sitting comfortably in the top half of the table and nipping at the heels of the league leaders. With a fourth consecutive match undefeated, this week's star performer is Western Sydney Wanderers FC.
There's no doubt that the Wanderers FC women's team had some teething problems early on, but they showed plenty of promise - and goal-scoring ability - in their opening fixture, despite conceding four goals. A heartbreaking 1-0 loss to rivals Sydney FC the following week should have dented their pride, but Stephen Roche's team bounced back immediately and haven't been beaten in their last four fixtures.
An impressive 3-0 victory over Newcastle Jets at Campbeltown Sports Stadium on the weekend emphasised the strength of the league's latest addition and proved that consistency and confidence are key to earning results in this competition.
Captain Sarah Walsh has been a predictably reliable presence up front all season, and her two goals against Newcastle once again proved her worth in front of goal. Everything seems to be slotting into place for the former Matilda.
"For me personally it's been a very different experience at the Wanderers," she says. "It's a little bit more of a relaxed environment, which has been very enjoyable, and we're exceeding our own expectations at the moment."
The Wanderers' fourth match undefeated was made even more impressive by the fact they had to do it without the help of Servet Uzunlar and Teigen Allen, who were both away on international duty with the Westfield Matildas.
"It's a good dilemma for Steve to be in, to have these hard decisions to make this week," says Walsh. "And when the Matildas come back in he might have to find a different position for them because the girls who played in their positions were outstanding."
While they haven't always had the easiest time of it, Western Sydney Wanderers FC have certainly found their feet and will be looking to kick on through December in search of silverware in their inaugural Westfield W-League season.
"We tried to set realistic goals at the start of the season. But I think there's belief within the team and there's no reason why we can't actually win it now. And you can tell that's exactly what we're after."
The Western Sydney Wanderers FC will travel to Western Australia on Saturday, December 1 to continue their title fight against league leaders Perth Glory.