Stars strive for finals glory

Football West News

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Perth Glory Women coach Jamie Harnwell hopes an alignment of stars will bring the club the ultimate success this Westfield W-League season.

Football West News

Glory wrapped up their maiden premiership last weekend with two regular season matches to play. It was the first national success for any WA soccer team in more than a decade.

Harnwell, who was a member of the Glory team which won the last National Soccer League grand final in 2004, hopes the W-League team can maintain their winning form into their semi-final at nib Stadium in mid-December.

“We have always produced some quality players but we have never been able to put everything together,” Harnwell said of the difference this season.

“We have a good mix of experience and youth, and a good mix of WA players plus some from interstate and overseas. The whole group has gelled really well and to have only lost one game so far is an incredible achievement.”

Glory have won nine games in extending a 10-point lead at the top of the W-League. Alongside the likes of Collette McCallum, Kate Gill, Marianna Tabain, Elisa D’Ovidio and Sarah Carroll, Harnwell injected new faces to ignite the campaign.

Samantha Kerr returned to Glory and with her came fellow Matildas Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Mackenzie Arnold, while Canadian international Shelina Zadorsky has been outstanding in defence.

Canberra’s failure to take maximum points from their match against Newcastle Jets last weekend meant Glory had wrapped up top spot before their clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.

They celebrated in style with a 5-0 thrashing, courtesy of goals from Kerr (two), McCallum, Tabain and Gill.

“I told the players they needed to prove they are best team in the league,” Harnwell said. “Now in the finals we have to prove we are the best team on the day. We have to be confident going into a home final, but it is still a one-off game.”

Gill was delighted with the league success and the impact it had on women’s football.

“We get a great crowd and the majority of them are female players,” she said. “I think it has been a boost for WA football, and especially WA women’s football.”