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Cyprus Cup first steps for Matildas on the Road to Canada

March 07, 2014 By: Penny Category: World Football

Cyprus Cup first steps for Matildas on the Road to Canada

There are still 458 days before the first ball is kicked at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup but today the Matildas take their first steps on the Road to Canada.

Running annually since 2008, the Cyprus Cup is 12 team competition featuring a number of Top 10 teams in the world.

Running from 5–12 March 2014, this year’s edition sees the likes of France (5th), Canada (7th), England (11th), Italy (12th) and the Netherlands (14th) competing.

This is first time Australia will participate in the tournament with head coach Hesterine de Reus considering it a vital part of the Matildas Asian Cup preparations.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the players to step up from the W-League level, where the demands are a bit less and the intensity is a bit less,” said de Reus.

“The international standards are a bit higher so it’s an opportunity for us to switch to international standard straight away.”

With the tight timeframe between the conclusion of the W-League and departure for Cyprus, de Reus’ squad heavily features players who have performed well in the recent W-League season.

Grand finalists Melbourne Victory (3) and Brisbane Roar (6) account for the bulk of the squad while long time season front runners Sydney FC (6) also feature heavily.

With only two players premiers Canberra United feel, with some merit, hard done considering the strong performances across the park and, in particular, from their defensive players.

Gaining the most benefit

With the Asian Cup just 70 days away, the Cyprus Cup assists de Reus two fold.

Firstly, it provides four guaranteed competitive matches against Top 20 countries of distinct and divergent styles; styles that mirror those of upcoming AFC opponents.

Secondly, the extended squad and amended rules (six substitutions are allowed per match) gives the option of evaluating several players at the international level.

“It’s a training camp; it’s a very tough schedule so we also will give many players an opportunity to play matches,” de Reus said of the tournament.

“It’s a good chance to see how you [the Matildas] play against the different styles and so we can further develop our playing style relating to the opponent.”

Opposition Dossier

Australia has been placed in Group B alongside France (the highest ranked country in the tournament), the Netherlands and Scotland.

All three have distinct styles, pose different challenges and have world class players for the squad to overcome.

The first group game pits the Matildas against the country de Reus’ represented 43 times, the Netherlands.

The Dutch are an emerging nation in women’s football and, although they are surprisingly yet to qualify for a World Cup, they could be one of the nations who benefits from the increased World Cup spots for UEFA in 2015.

The last time Australia met Oranje Leeuwinnen was prior to 2013 European Championships with the Matildas falling 3 – 1 to the home side.

Like many European sides the Netherlands are structurally solid and defensively sound.

The main attacking threats come through their all-time leading goalscorer Manon Melis (Göteborg FC) with up and coming striker Lieke Martens (Göteborg FC) and attacking midfielder Sherida Spitse (LSK Kvinner FK) also dangerous on the counter.

Eugénie Le Sommer one of France's many threats | Credit: Marion Kehren

Eugénie Le Sommer one of France’s many threats | Credit: Marion Kehren

As on the last occasion they met, Australia can expect to have a large portion of the possession with the question being can they use it better than they did last time.

Game 2 sees a rematch of the July “snatch and grab” when the Matildas defeated World No 5 France.

In that encounter brilliant goalkeeping from Brianna Davey and Lydia Williams, backs to the wall defending and a rearguard action led by Katrina Gorry saw the Matildas prevail 2-0.

One of the most aesthetically pleasing sides to watch in world football, France will ask different questions of Australia.

As with the likes of Japan and South Korea in the Asian Cup, the Matildas will likely see minimal time on the ball.

Once again the changes de Reus has implemented in defensive structure will be put to the test.

And a significant test it shall be.

Les Bleues possess some of the most creative and technically gifted players.

From Laure Boulleau (PSG) and Corine Franco (Lyon) in the defence, to Camille Abily, Louisa Necib and Amandine Henry (all Lyon) in the midfield and Marie-Laurie Delie (PSG), Eugénie Le Sommer (Lyon) and Gaëtane Thiney (Juvisy) upfront.

“France and Holland, they have a bit of a similar style of playing.”

“Holland is a bit more leaning back, a bit more focus on defending first.”

“France, they play the same system but they are a much more attacking team, a skilful team.”

Kim Little and Scotland pose a different challenge | Credit: Liam McFadden / Flickr

Kim Little and Scotland pose a different challenge | Credit: Liam McFadden / Flickr

The final group match brings the unknown challenge of Scotland.

Managed by former Swedish international, and one of the applicants for de Reus’ current job, Anna Signeul, the Scots are another nation working to build a strong women’s football program.

Scotland plays the traditional European game with physicality a feature.

However, with the relatively recent emergence of Kim Little (Seattle Reign), Lisa Evans (Turbine Potsdam), Jane Ross (Vittsjö) and Rachel Corsie (Notts County FC), their style is slowly transitioning.

“The most important thing with Scotland is that they will play with two strikers and I expect Japan also to play with two strikers.”

“It is important to us to see how that affects our style of play and we have to strategy a bit to play against the two strikers system.”

Win all three games and the Matildas would be set to play off against the winners of Group A.

While good results won’t be sneezed at, de Reus has made it clear strong performances are the objective of this tournament as she looks to narrow down to a final squad for the Asian Cup.


Teigen Allen (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Laura Alleway (Brisbane Roar FC), Nicola Bolger (Sydney FC), Hannah Brewer (Newcastle Jets FC), Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar FC), Kim Carroll (Brisbane Roar FC), Stephanie Catley (Melbourne Victory FC), Emma Checker (Melbourne Victory FC), Brianna Davey (gk) (Melbourne Victory FC), Casey Dumont (gk) (Sydney FC), Caitlin Foord (Sydney FC), Kathryn Gill (Perth Glory FC), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar FC), Michelle Heyman (Canberra United), Elise Kellond-Knight (Melbourne Victory FC), Alanna Kennedy (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Sam Kerr (Sydney FC), Leena Khamis (Sydney FC), Chloe Logarzo (Sydney FC), Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar FC), Gema Simon (Newcastle Jets FC), Emily Van Egmond (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Lydia Williams (gk) (Canberra United)


Netherlands v Australia
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Kick Off: 11.30pm (AEDST)

Australia v France
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Kick Off: 2.30am (AEDST)

Australia v Scotland
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Kick Off: 2.30am (AEDST)


The format of the Tournament will be three groups of four teams, where each team in the group will play each other once.

This will be followed by a finals day where –

  • 1/2nd Place: The winners of Group A play the winners of Group B.
  • 3/4th Place: The best runner up of Group A and B play the winner in Group C 2nd place team in Group A play 2nd place team in Group B.
  • 5/6th Place: The second best runner up of group A and B play the higher ranked of the 3rd place team in Group A and B.
  • 7/8th Place: The lower ranked 3rd place team in Group A and B play 2nd place team in Group C

Katrina Gorry headed to NWSL side FC Kansas City

March 07, 2014 By: Penny Category: World Football

Katrina Gorry headed to NWSL side FC Kansas City

Brisbane Roar and Matildas midfielder Katrina Gorry has signed with National Women’s Soccer League side FC Kansas City.

Pending the receipt of her P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC), and as with Stephanie Catley, Gorry will join the 2013 NWSL finalists in June at the conclusion of the Asian Cup in Vietnam.

Gorry becomes the fifth Australian to participate in the NWSL in 2014 and is ample reward for the diminutive playmaker as her stocks continue to rise here in Australia and overseas.

“When we asked our players who they want on the team, Katrina’s name came up several times,” remarked Technical Director Huw Williams.

“That speaks volumes for her and, frankly, confirmed our thoughts that she could be a great fit for our team.”

One of the best attacking midfielders in the country, the 21 year old has all but cemented a place in Hesterine de Reus’ starting XI and was a crucial piece in Belinda Wilson’s Brisbane Roar side as they made their way through to the 2014 W-League Grand Final.

Gorry finished the W-League season with five goals including a game changing hattrick against the Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 3.

A technical and fluid player, Gorry appears to have joined a club that will make the most of her attributes with Kansas City lauded for their style of play in the first season of the NWSL.

FC Kansas City commence their season at home on 13 April against Caitlin Foord’s Sky Blue FC.

Matildas draw 2-2 with Netherlands in Spirited Comeback

March 07, 2014 By: Penny Category: World Football

A strong second half fight back has seen Australia draw 2-2 with the Netherlands in their opening match of the 2014 Cyprus Cup.

A slow start resulted in the Matildas jumped early by the Dutch before two second half goals from Katrina Gorry and Michelle Heyman in under 5 minutes brought them level.

In their first international of 2014, the Matildas started the encounter lethargically with the Netherlands controlling the proceedings early.  The Dutch finally capitalised on their possession in the 12th minute through Anna Miedema.

It took until the 30th minute for Australia to work their way into the match and just when they appeared to be finding some rhythm, the defence was again breached.

This time a set piece from a Netherlands corner was turned home by central defender Stefanie van der Gragt.

Down 2-0 at half time, Hesterine de Reus injected Gorry and Heyman, as well as defender Laura Alleway, into the match with almost immediate effect.  The Matildas started the second half much more positively and were soon rewarded.

As she did when they last met, Brisbane Roar and newly signed FC Kansas City midfielder Katrina Gorry pulled one back with a clinical finish after Stephanie Catley pushed forward to supply her in the 54th minute.

[More: Katrina Gorry headed to NWSL side FC Kansas City]

Four minutes later Canberra United spearhead Michelle Heyman had Australia quickly level when she fired home in the 59th minute from a Sam Kerr cross.

All square, the match settled into a tug of war for the final half hour with Australia having the best of the chances but unable to beat Sari Van Veenendaal in the dutch goal.

In the other Group B match, France and Scotland played out a 1-1 draw.

The Matildas next match is against World No. 5 France on Saturday, 8 March. Kick off is 2.30am AEDST.

Follow our updates on TheWomensGame twitter.

Australia          2 (Gorry 54’, Heyman 59’)
Netherlands    2 (Miedema 12’, Van der Gragt 33’)
Athlítiko Kentro Zenon Stadium
Kick Off: 12.30pm (local time) / 11.30pm (AEDST)

Matildas Starting XI: Brianna Davey (GK), Teigen Allen, Alanna Kennedy, Kim Carroll, Stephanie Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Tameka Butt, Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Emily Van Egmond, Kate Gill

Netherlands Starting XI: Sari van Veenendaal, Kika van Es, Stefanie van der Gragt, Mandy van den Berg, Siri Worm, Renée Slegers, Tessel Middag, Maayke Heuver, Manon Melis, Anna Miedema, Lieke Marten

Stats: Australia / Netherlands

Possession: 40% / 60%
Corners: 3/5
Free Kicks: 12/9
Shots On Target: 3/6
Shots Off Target: 3/3


Australia v France
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Kick Off: 2.30am (AEDST)

Australia v Scotland
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Kick Off: 2.30am (AEDST)


Sandra Brentnall

March 07, 2014 By: Penny Category: Club Noticeboard

AFTER a number of false…


Photo has been blackened for copyright reasons

AFTER a number of false dawns, WA women’s soccer stalwart Sandra Brentnall has finally hung up her boots for good and drawn the curtain on a decorated playing career that spanned 40 years.

The scorer of the first ever international goal for the Australian women’s national team, the Matildas, and also the first to bag an international hattrick, Brentnall has substituted her place on the pitch for one on the bench as coach of Leeming Striker’s State League Division 1 reserves women’s team for the coming season.

Brentnall, whose international career spanned 1978-1983, is a recipient of the Australian Sport Medal, was recently inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA’s Hall of Legends and the Sandra Brentnall Medal is awarded to best on ground in the Women’s Cup Final.

“It was a big decision but I’ve definitely finished now,” she said.

“My body can’t handle it anymore after 40 years, so I’ve decided to go into coaching, which I used to combine with playing.”

Hoping to pass on as much as she has gleaned from nearly a lifetime in the game, Brentnall said her commitment to coaching will be as fierce as that she displayed in her boots.

“I would like my players to get as much as they can out of playing, to step up and reach the highest level they can, enjoy playing some attractive soccer, learn as much as they can about the game and not worry about where they finish,” Brentnall said.

“I’ll be kicking every ball with them, and I’m quite animated off the pitch… it’s not in me to sit back.

“I’ll be giving those players 110 or 120 per cent as long as they give me 100 per cent, but I will coach very much as I played.”

While taking her first steps in a full-time coaching role, Brentnall said she had aspirations to coach at as high a level as possible, possibly professionally, and is working towards a coaching qualification.

Article from

The World Football Programme Radio 107.9fm

March 06, 2014 By: Penny Category: Competitions


10.00  WA TIME
Studio hosts: Penny Tanner and Peter Rowe (Mandurah City FC President)
Listeners invited to Text their club news to 0408 921 832,
Facebook WPF/107.9FM Email
Archive on and live streaming

10.10 WA TIME
Chris Correia, Football West Media
NPL WA, match of the round, other league news

Subiaco AFC
Possible guest

10.40 WA TIME
Carlo Rigoli, Morley Windmills President
Karel Hofstee Cup, effect of NPL set up on club’s preseason

11.00 WA TIME
Mitch Grima,
Wrap of NPL leagues around Australia, FFA Cup, A League

11.40 WA TIME
Nicola Williams, Female Football Academy
Women’s Night Series, Northern Redbacks, Matildas

Bonita Mersiades, Football Today
Queensland Fury, Football Media Association, Australian Football banter

The local forums we promote for good local content are FootballWA’s WA State
League facebook page,’s football blogs, Football Today, Australian Football on
facebook, Football West TV and their facebook page

Leeming Strikers looking for players

March 06, 2014 By: Penny Category: Club Noticeboard

Leeming Strikers Soccer Club is pleased to announce we are looking to register an u17 girls side in 2014 to boost the depth of our current State League women’s squad.

The team will be managed by Leeming player and qualified coach Lindsay Aldrick who will join our current coaching team of Sandra Brentnall and Chris Hatley.

Leeming is the place to be if you want a friendly and well organised club with low fees, great facilities and a commitment to success.

Please contact or phone 0431 254 145 for details.

The more the merrier, so tell your friends!

New Female Football Academy starting soon

March 06, 2014 By: Penny Category: Club Noticeboard

Carolina Morace takes a training session. Photo: Female Football Academy website Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Perth’s first female specific football academy will be launched by elite International accredited coaches in late February.

The training academy has been launched to encourage girls and women to improve their football ability.

Carolina Morace (UEFA Pro Licence) and Nicola Williams (AFC A Licence) will lead the academy coaching.

Their methodology focuses on each player’s individual coordination, physique, technique and tactics within a safe, fun and professional environment to learn.

They aim to develop players in a professional European style along with Australian Curriculum training.

To improve as a player in these areas research suggests you must train a minimum of 3 sessions per week and play in one competitive match.

If you are serious about making improvements to your game, to make the premier team, state team, NTC or W-League squad, the Female Football Academy will provide the extra session/s training you need.

The academy begins on February 24 and you should visit for more information.

Listen to Nicola Williams on 107.9fm this Saturday March 8 between 11-12noon.