The Westfield W-League is back! We begin our title defence with a massive Grand Final re-match against Perth Glory at nib Stadium. Here’s everything you need to know about Friday night’s clash…
How to watch
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Set the scene for me…
It only feels like yesterday that Steph Catley was holding aloft the Westfield W-League trophy in celebration of another record-breaking season.
On a picture-perfect afternoon at nib Stadium, City cast aside a passionate, partisan Perth crowd and drew on all their reserves of physical and mental strength to achieve back-to-back Grand Final triumphs.
Now, it all starts again tonight when City returns to the scene of its historical triumph to face off against their West Australian adversaries in a tantalising Grand Final rematch.
It has been a busy off-season for new Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo, who has assembled a squad with a combination of star power, returning faces and exciting new signings.
The arrival of Matildas striker Kyah Simon is a major coup, with the 26-year-old fit, firing and determined to make her mark on the W-League in City colours.
Her presence in the final third will add even more firepower alongside Larissa Crummer and new American signing Ashley Hatch – an exciting young prospect who scored seven goals in her debut NWSL season to be named Rookie of the Year.
Matildas star Alanna Kennedy is another high-profile addition and will underpin strong defensive unit that consists of captain Steph Catley and American Lauren Barnes, while the partnership between Jess Fishlock and World Cup winner Yukari Kinga gives City balance and dynamism in the middle of the park.
The Glory will again be among the title contenders after pushing City all the way last season. All eyes will undoubtedly be on superstar forward Sam Kerr, with Costa Rican international Raquel Rodriguez and former City star Marianna Tabain completing a potent attack.
It’s a burgeoning W-League rivalry which is set to be rekindled in pulsating fashion. The run to a third-straight championship begins here, and season 10 of the W-League is shaping up to the most exciting yet.
Player to Watch
The return of Larissa Crummer has the feel of a new signing. The 21-year-old will be determined to make up for lost time and return to the heights of her 2015/16 campaign, where she took out the league Golden Boot with 11 goals.
Blessed with power, strength and a lethal right boot, Crummer will be the focal point of the City attack and is undoubtedly one to keep your eye on as the season progresses.
Welcome to the City Family, Alanna!
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Westfield W-League Round 1
Friday 27 October 2017
Perth Glory vs Melbourne City FC
Venue: nib Stadium
Melbourne City FC: 2. Yukari KINGA, 3. Lauren BARNES, 4. Ashley HATCH, 5. Lia MULDEARY, 7. Steph CATLEY (C), 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 10. Jess FISHLOCK, 11. Rhali DOBSON, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 14. Alanna KENNEDY, 15. Amy JACKSON, 16. Sofia SAKALIS, 17. Kyah SIMON, 18. Hayley RICHMOND, 19. Tyla-JAY VLAJNIC, 20. Emily SHIELDS (GK), 30. Emily KENSHOLE (GK)
**two to be omitted**
Unavailable: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (unavailable)