Arrive Alive NSW Womens Premier League Round 5 Preview


The league?s two leading teams come together in a monumental clash at Lynwood Park.
Competition leaders NWS Koalas will certainly have their premiership credentials put to the test by the defending champions, Macarthur Rams. Marconi will be looking to bounce back after last Sunday?s shock defeat whilst their conquerors, Penrith Nepean United, will want to maintain the momentum gained from their first win of the 2008 season. Meanwhile, Finals contenders Sutherland Sharks and Manly face off at Cromer Park.
The Koalas started the season with a couple of goalfests but their last two matches against Sutherland Sharks and Sydney University have been tough struggles for the table toppers.
This weekend?s match looms as an extreme examination of what they have to offer in 2008 as Macarthur, after a slow start to the season, have started to hit top form.
Their 4-0 disposal of Sutherland last week would have sounded the alarm bells to all other sides that hold thoughts of premiership success this season. The Rams at their best are an awesome team and a match like Sunday?s is certainly the sort of motivation they would be looking for to raise the bar even further.
Stephanie Ham and Renee Cartwright have been in fine goal scoring touch for Macarthur and Koalas Coach Claude De Francesco will be working hard this week on a defensive plan to keep the two Macarthur stars under wraps. Koalas have plenty of strike power of their own however with Anna McLean and Alicia Cavanagh in good form.
Both sides have plenty of quality players who will be primed for this one. This match will be the subject of this week?s Football NSW match report to be seen on the Football NSW website next Monday.
It?s The Shire versus The Peninsula in the other main match of the weekend. Sutherland had been building a strong start to their season before coming a cropper against The Rams last weekend. 
The Sutherland girls will be keen to rebound from the loss and prove to their supporters that this was nothing but a blimp on the radar screen of their season. Manly, on the other hand, will just be thrilled to play some football. The fortnight of washouts will have made it tough to maintain focus after the Manly side had made a promising start to the season.
This one looks to be a close, tight contest between two teams who?ve shown plenty of potential in the early rounds of the competition.
Marconi Stallions host Central Coast Lightning at Marconi Stadium. The timing of this game is not good for the Central Coast girls.
After a 12-0 thrashing at the hands of Macarthur Rams two weeks ago the Central Coast girls come up against one of the competition?s leading lights the week after Marconi suffered a surprise loss to Penrith Nepean United.
The Marconi girls would have been given a tough time by Coach Mauro Tacca this week and will be champing at the bit to do plenty of damage to some poor opponent to redeem themselves.
Enter Central Coast! Marconi have quality across the park and the young Central Coast side will need to dig deep to keep their heads above water in this one.
The finals match for review sees Sydney University take on Penrith Nepean at Sydney University Oval.
Sydney University have found the going quite tough in the Arrive Alive NSW Womens Premier League. However, the University girls put in a creditable performance against league leaders NWS Koalas last weekend.
They will hope to build on that effort against a Penrith side that must still be on a high after last week?s win over Marconi Stallions.
The Penrith side hadn?t shown much in their only other two outings of the year but their first win of the season is the type that a team can build a season on. It?s important now to show that the win was no fluke. Penrith will be looking to make this number two on what they will hope to be a run of success in the coming weeks.
As a devout fan of women?s football I must say that I?m really looking forward to Sunday?s big match between Koalas and Rams. It looks to be the clash of the season so far. Both sides have plenty to prove whilst others will be sitting in the wings waiting for their turn to test the ability of the competition?s top two.
The quality of football I?ve seen in the first few weeks of competition has been of a high standard.
The Arrive Alive NSW Womens Premier League is blessed with some very talented players. Do yourself a favour by getting out to your nearest park this weekend to watch the elite women?s footballers of NSW strut their stuff!
-By Ross Anderson