The Westfield W-League season cannot come quickly enough for Australia’s national women’s team coach Hesterine de Reus, who made a whirlwind visit to WA this week.
While de Reus shares the excitement generated amongst fans of the women’s game as the season approaches, she also has other motives for willing the start of a new campaign.
The W-League season, which kicks off for Perth Glory away to Newcastle Jets on November 9, will give de Reus the luxury of seeing Matildas players in a single competition on a weekly basis for around four months.
By her own admission, the season is all too brief but the growing stature of the W-League ensures Australia’s biggest stars return home to take part.
De Reus today met with Matildas co-captain Kate Gill and Glory Women coach Jamie Harnwell to discuss the upcoming W-League season.
“I will try to visit all the club coaches before the W-League season starts, so it was good to have a chat with Jamie,” de Reus said.
“We are also trying to create the best training environment for the national team players. When the W-League is running, it’s not too hard to have a good training environment but when the W-League is finished it’s really hard.
“Players who don’t want to go overseas also need to have a good training environment, so we had a chat about options with playing with the boys and what’s the best for Katie, and maybe Collette (McCallum), Marianna (Tabain) and the young players.”
De Reus said the W-League offered a good standard of football for the international players and was vital to the success of the Matildas. But she also acknowledged a 14-week competition, including finals, meant that what players did outside of the domestic season was also crucial to the continued improvement of the Australian game.
“Building working relations with the coaches is really important,” she said. “In the end, we work with the same players and it will be to the players’ benefit to have good cooperation.”
De Reus took the Matildas reins following last year’s departure of Tom Sermanni, who was in the opposite corner during Australia’s recent trip to the United States.
Despite losing 4-0 and 3-2 to the US, the Matildas showed some good signs in the second match before conceding late to lose the game.
“The message is if we can play international matches regularly the performances will be more consistent,” de Reus said.