Westfield W-League season review

The 2012/13 competition is over and Sydney FC are deserving champions, so it's time to sit back and enjoy a Westfield W-League season review.

The 2012/13 competition is over and Sydney FC are deserving champions, so it's time to sit back and enjoy a Westfield W-League season review.

Western Sydney's newcomers turn a few heads

Whenever a new club is introduced into an established league, critics typically expect the newcomers to struggle through a torturous first season before collecting the wooden spoon with only a handful of points to show for their troubles. But Western Sydney Wanderers FC defied the odds and pulled off some remarkable wins in their inaugural Westfield W-League season.

Their opening fixture against Adelaide United could have gone either way - eventually ending 4-3 to Adelaide - but it was their dominant 4-0 showing in the return fixture in Round 8 that proved the Wanderers were a team to fear in the Westfield W-League. While their finals hopes were dashed in the final round, they have well and truly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with come next season.

Youngsters take their chances

The league saw a number of its stars sidelined for 2012/13, so several youngsters were fast-tracked into the first teams and showed just how deep the talent pool is in Australia.

Standout performers include teenage sensation Sam Kerr, who scored a wonderful goal in Sydney FC's Grand Final victory, while 20-year-old Emily Gielnik, who managed to break into the Westfield Matildas squad last year, chipped in with several important goals for Brisbane Roar, including an outstanding hat-trick in a Round 10 fixture against Adelaide United.

Surprise packages

At the start of the campaign, only the staunchest of supporters would have believed that Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory would both be challenging for the title come the end of the season. However, Perth managed a league-topping 34 goals in 12 games and only two losses, while Melbourne put a stuttering start behind them to eventually reach the Grand Final, where they were valiant in their 3-1 defeat to Sydney.

Perhaps most exciting was the announcement that Canberra United would take part in the International Women's Club Championship in Japan. The girls in green, who claimed the 2011/12 Westfield W-League title undefeated, were among four of the best women's football teams in the world, including European powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais, and returned from their travels with plenty of experience under their belts.

2014 and beyond

If this W-League season review has proven anything, it's that the level of quality in the league continues to rise. We've seen a raft of youngsters come up through the ranks and dominate their more experienced opponents. We've seen Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory battle against the odds - and succeed - to reach the Grand Final, and we've enjoyed the best fixtures that Australian women's football has to offer week in, week out. We can't wait for the new season to kick off.