Arrive Alive Women?s Super League Round 3 Preview


Football is a lot less fattening than Easter Eggs so those of us who are kilogram challenged will be thankful to get back to the park and watch all the stars in action!
The round of football offers some interesting match ups with some teams looking to build on promising starts to the season whilst others chase valuable points and gather momentum.
Southern NSW FC welcomes St George FC to Ison Park on Sunday. The girls from Nowra haven?t had much to celebrate so far this season having recorded two losses from two matches. Both defeats have been narrow ones however and to teams who are currently undefeated in the competition. Southern will be thinking that this game presents an opportunity to open their account for 2009.
St George FC, on the other hand, will just be thankful to finally take the field. With their first two matches of 2009 having been postponed for varying reasons it?s hard to gauge a form line for how the team will perform this season. The 2008 season standings reflected a side that weren?t too far off the mark in the race for the finals so St George will be out to make a statement of intent from week one.
I favour Southern NSW FC at home in this game.
Another side that?s yet to kick a ball in anger is PCYC Lady Hawks who christen their new home, Melita Stadium, with their first game of 2009 against Gladesville Ravens. On behalf of all women?s football fans I welcome PCYC Lady Hawks on board in the Arrive Alive Women?s Super League. How they?ll go in their debut is anyone?s guess. They have a mixture of familiar faces along with some debutants, all of whom I?m sure will be out to impress.
The Ravens started the season with a narrow but convincing win over Northern Tigers. Round 2 though brought more grief than pleasure when they suffered a hammering at the hands of Inter Lions. On paper, at least, this looks an easier assignment but Gladesville?s confidence must be at a lower ebb after watching seven goals go by against The Lions. The Ravens have a good squad, however, and you can be sure that Coach Paul Wade has them ready for this weekend.
I believe that The Ravens are deserved favourites for this game. PCYC though are sure to give their fans plenty to cheer about. Gladesville should grab the points however.
The girls from Bathurst come visiting the big smoke this weekend with a visit to Parklands Oval for an encounter with Northern Tigers. Tigers, Panthers, Lions; what?s this fixation that everyone has with big cats? But I digress. The ?original Tigers?, as I like to call them, were stuck in their cages for Round 2 when the weather caused the postponement of their match with Blacktown Spartans. The opening weekend of the season saw them go down narrowly to Gladesville Ravens. This youthful squad will be keen to snatch their first points of 2009 this weekend.
I doubt that The Panthers are travelling all the way to Parklands with thoughts of defeat in their minds. They were one of the dominant sides of 2008 and, whilst their roster has a different look about it in 2009, there?s still plenty of talent there to cause headaches for opposing sides. A draw and a win in the opening two rounds reads like good coming into this game. Coach Paul Waine will be keen to head back up the highway with three more competition points in his back pocket.
The Panthers to win but there may not be much in it.
The Central Coast Lightning v Sydney Tigers game promises to be one of the highlights of the round.
Central Coast Lightning started the season with a bang like a clap of thunder in beating Southern NSW FC 2-0 at Pluim Park. Unfortunately the thunder brought rain clouds with it in week two with The Lightning?s game against St George FC postponed due to the weather. There are plenty of people who feel that Central Coast will be contenders this season. That thought will be put to the test against a Sydney Tigers side that has plenty of high profile players wearing their playing strip in the club?s debut season.
The Tigers started 2009 with a strong showing, albeit in defeat, against Inter Lions. Rain also curtailed their Round 2 schedule but that may have helped the girls get over the bumps and bruises that remained from a very physical clash at Concord Oval. Coach Tarek Madani was disappointed with his team that day but I certainly thought there were signs that Sydney Tigers will be contenders this season. There is too much talent in this team for them not to be looking towards the finals.
This should be a good game of football. It?ll also give the pundits a better idea of how each team may shape up in this season?s Arrive Alive Women?s Super League. I think that Sydney Tigers may just sneak away with the points.
The final game of Round 3 sees the competition leaders, Inter Lions, up against the improving Blacktown Spartans side at Ron Routley Reserve.
Inter have looked every inch a championship contender in the opening rounds of the competition. A solid win over Sydney Tigers was followed by a mauling of the Gladesville Ravens; form which sees them start firm favourites for this weekend?s game. Everything seems to be coming together for The Lions as their host of new faces form better combinations. The side welcomed the return of a fit, enthusiastic Catherine Cannuli in Round 2 with her late goal sending an ominous message to Inter?s future opponents.
A new look Blacktown side certainly showed signs of life in their only game so far this season when they came up with a draw against last season?s Minor Premiers, Western NSW Panthers. That performance is certainly a good basis on which the team can build their 2009 season. However, Inter Lions look the side to beat this year so Blacktown will get a stern test of their credentials this Sunday.  Can they come up with the goods?
You don?t win competitions in April but Inter Lions have started in the best manner possible. Whilst The Spartans may well be improvers in 2009 I can?t see them holding The Lions at this stage. Inter to win.
What does the weekend hold? Are there upsets in the air? On paper there look some safe bets but football games aren?t played on paper. Good luck to all our Arrive Alive Women?s Super League teams as they do battle this weekend.

-By Ross Anderson