A number of teams will be hoping to continue a recent run of good from, others will hope to re-establish themselves as finals contenders after shaky starts to the season. Wherever your team sits in that summary you can be sure that Round 7 will see the state?s best female footballers keen to do battle.
What appears to be the match of the round is at Sydney University Oval between fifth placed Sydney University and the third on the table NWS Koalas.
The home side sit just one point outside the top four but have two games in hand. The University girls have put together some strong results so far this season though their three wins have been against sides below them on the competition ladder. The side?s one encounter with a top four side brought a narrow loss to Manly United FC. This weekend may be the true test of the home side?s mettle but they give every indication of being able to rise to the occasion.
The Koalas started the season strongly before a run of injuries seemed to contribute to their sudden drop off the pace. However, The Koalas rebounded last weekend with a solid performance in drawing 0-0 with defending premiers Macarthur Rams. The visitors may well recall a late in the season defeat at the hands of Sydney University in 2008 that went a long way towards costing them the Minor Premiership. Will there be an element of revenge in their minds come Sunday?
This should be a close match between one of the established competition big guns and a team looking to lift to that next level. I think that The Koalas may win narrowly.
Penrith Nepean United host the Illawarra Stingrays at Cook Park, St Mary?s. The two teams season?s so far are in deep contrast.
Penrith Nepean have struggled to compete in 2009. A glimmer of hope was offered after a fine draw with NWS Koalas a fortnight back but the side?s hopes came cashing back to earth last Sunday with a loss to fellow cellar dwellers Sutherland Sharks. Facing the team that?s scored more goals in season 2009 than any other wouldn?t have the locals brimming with confidence.
Illawarra Stingrays certainly don?t appear to be struggling to find their feet in their return to the Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League. Despite a string of season ending injuries to key players The Stingrays continue to march forward, culminating in a solid 3-1 win over fellow contenders Manly United FC last Sunday. The Stingrays much vaunted attack will certainly put the blow torch to the Penrith defence in this game.
On form it would be hard to see anything but an Illawarra Stingrays win.
The Sutherland Sharks may still be celebrating their first win of the season last weekend. However, the shire girls face a big test this weekend when they travel to Lynwood Park for a match with Macarthur Rams.
The Rams juggernaut was rolling on big time until last Sunday when the NWS Koalas held the premiers to a scoreless draw at ELS Hall Park. One would think that the Macarthur girls will be itching to get back into the winner?s list immediately and The Sharks look a tempting target for the defending champions.
The Sharks win last weekend was a welcome relief for the players and coaching staff. Will that win give them the lift in confidence that they need to get their season back on track? Looking optimistically you?d certainly hope so but The Rams are a big step up in grade to last week?s match. The Sharks will need to lift a few more rungs on their game to keep pace with their opponents here.
I?d love to tip The Sharks but the form guide doesn?t sit well with such a prediction. This looks like a Rams win.
Our last match for preview sees second placed Manly United FC meet Marconi Stallions at Cromer Park.
Manly have been one of the form sides so far this season. They?re playing a good, free flowing brand of football. There seems to be a good mix of youth and experience in the side; something that?s certainly working to the side?s favour in 2009. Their loss to the Illawarra Stingrays last Sunday was no disgrace with Manly giving the impression that they?ll be hard to toss come finals time.
It?s been a tough season for The Stallions up until here. They have a hard working squad who?ve generally been competitive in the majority of their games but appear to be lacking the target player that can do their opponents damage. Giving up a late winner to Sydney University last Sunday would certainly have hurt. The Stallions need something to give their season a kick start; a win here would certainly be a confidence booster.
On what I?ve seen of the two sides so far it?s hard to tip against Manly United FC here.
The weather bureau is promising us a fine weekend which means that there?s no excuse for sitting inside rather than venturing out to see the Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League stars in action. I hope to see plenty of supporters in the stands this weekend.
-By Ross Anderson