Adelaide City Women reaped the rewards of solid pre-season training and quality technical play to bring home three points in Round 1 of the PlayStation 4 Women’s National Premier League last Friday night. The match, held at Elite Football Systems Centre, Angle Park, saw five time Premier League title holders City, control possession and claim the win two goals to one over a dogged Para Hills Knights.
The Black and White kicked off at a steady pace looking to keep the ball and use the back four and keeper Sarah Willacy #1 when needed to do so. This provided a solid platform to build from, with both flanks providing go forward outlets and penetration into the final third. Progressively the momentum and pressure built, the Para Hills keeper having to some work to do. When the ball was turned over in attack, City players stayed high and worked hard to regain possession to again look for goal scoring opportunities. Rewards came in quick succession, in the 34th and 36th minute, the net bulging twice from shots by goalscorers Matilda McNamara #3 and Maddie De Rieu #11, giving Adelaide City a 2-0 scoreline as the teams took the halftime break.
The second 45 commenced where the first had left off, City applying unrelenting pressure up front. A stubborn Para Hills Knights sat deep, at times forcing shots from outside the box which did not trouble the Knights goalkeeper enough. The high offensive play left Para Hills looking for a counter and it came in the 68th minute after having gathered possession in front of their goal they were able to quickly move forward and score. The match continued in a similar vein, with many exciting attempts by City being stopped by the keeper or going wide, leaving the crowd gasping very time.
At the referee’s full time signal the match finished 2-1, City unlucky not to have a bigger margin but no doubt pleased to take home three points. The result sees the Women start the season equal with Friday night’s other first round winners Metro United, West Adelaide and Adelaide University.
We caught up with Head Coach Edoardo Rosso to get his thoughts on what lies ahead for the clubs’ Premier Women’s team.
“I would say that the players and staff are wrapped to represent the re-united club in the WNPL and in true Adelaide City spirit they will go out motivated to gain the much deserved respect that is due to their hard work and dedication to the sport, club and community. We are excited to open the newly formed WNPL in SA and are well aware that it will be a long and demanding season. There are a lot of clubs competing for the top berth leading to the play offs in September and we surely want to be one of them.”
When asked about the player group and season prospects, Rosso was optimistic and realistic. “We have plenty of very good players, but they know that they are all equal and all there for the same reason: to do well for their club” he said.
“Competition is fierce, but we look at it with optimism as a chance to show what we are capable of and what we are all about, which is a positive, fun, exciting and intense brand of football. We want people to come to the games, witness a good spectacle and take home the notion that wherever there is football, Adelaide City is a force to be reckoned with. We respect the opponents and ourselves, and we live by our motto, which showed us the way for so many years: 100% effort, 100% of the time!” he enthused.
The next WNPL match will see Adelaide City Women take on Fulham Unted in Round 2 Friday, 1 April, at Adelaide Shores Football Centre, West Beach at 8:15pm.