Perry set for two-sport weekends
Dual sporting international Ellyse Perry is preparing for a hectic mix-and-match summer which is likely to see her play both football and cricket on the same weekend.
Perry returned from Sri Lanka on Tuesday morning following Australia’s four-run win over England in Sunday’s World T20 cricket final and was due to resume training with her W-League club Sydney FC on Wednesday afternoon.
Sydney – which on Wednesday announced Matildas star Kyah Simon as its captain – expects to have Perry available for all but two of its 12 W-League regular season games.
The domestic T20 and one-day competitions – like the W-League – are conducted between October and January, inevitably causing fixture clashes with Perry’s cricket team, New South Wales Breakers, and her new soccer team.
Asked if Perry could play both sports on the same weekend, Sydney FC coach Alen Stajcic said “that’s a possibility”.
“They (Breakers) tend to have a triple-header, they tend to play Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so it will just depend on which is the bigger game.
“But we’ve already mapped it out and she will be available for ten out of the 12 games at the moment.
“That’s a pretty good scenario, any player can miss one or two games for any reason.
“She’s committed to that and if anything else happens, we’ll just play it by ear.”
Perry had effectively been forced out of her former W-League team Canberra, club officials telling her she had to choose between the two sports because she could not always commit to soccer.
Several months later she came to a deal with Sydney FC, which allowed her to continue to play cricket as well.
Perry – who will play at either right or left back – and skipper Simon will be among eight Matildas in Sydney’s W-League squad.
One of Sydney’s other major recruits is 19-year-old Matildas forward Sam Kerr.
“I’d been in Perth for a while and I just wanted a new challenge and I thought Sydney was the place to do it,” said Kerr, who has recently returned form an ACL injury.
New Zealand internationals Emma Kete, Hannah Bromley and Annalie Longo have been added to the squad, which lost some players to the new Western Sydney Wanderers.
With 12 teenagers in his squad of 20, Stajcic said his emphasis was on performances ahead of results.
He expected 2011-12 grand finalists Brisbane and Canberra would be up there again and said Perth had improved and Western Sydney would be strong.