Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League Round 11 Preview

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Of course making the Final in Chengdu also ensured The Matildas of a place at next year?s Women?s World Cup in Germany.
The girls became the first Australian side to win a trophy since we linked with Asia; a tremendous achievement for our very talented female footballers.
All supporters of girls/women?s football will be hoping that the Matildas success translates into even more girls participating in the world game. Well done Matildas!
The Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League has been one of the breeding grounds for our current batch of international stars. The progression of many of the players into the W League has assisted in helping develop our international side to its present level.
This weekend sees a number of competitive clashes, weather permitting.
At Concord Oval a resurgent Inter Lions take on Sutherland Sharks.
Last weekend Inter turned in their best performance of 2010 in destroying the promising young Marconi Stallions line up. Inspirational Captain, Catherine Cannuli, led the way with four goals in a match where The Lions finally showed signs of living up to their potential.  Now that we?ve seen just what they are capable of can Inter continue this slashing form? Looking at their squad list you?d find it hard to bet against it. Taking apart a Marconi side that?ve shown so much this season made a big statement.
Sutherland Sharks have not had a season to remember. They?ve struggled to put two halves together despite some signs of life in various matches.  Coach Michael Michael has worked hard to turn his team around but he?s efforts are yet to be rewarded. The Sharks certainly have players with more than a smidgen of ability but it just hasn?t come together for them in 2010.
It would be hard to bet against Inter Lions going on last weekend?s performance. They should win well.
At Hensley Athletic Field Sydney University host Manly United FC.
Sydney University?s recent efforts have been much improved. Their run of form may has coincided with some confidence building successes, including a solid win over Marconi Stallions. Though beaten last weekend by defending premiers Illawarra Stingrays, University put in a fine performance that had them right in the match until the final moments. Kate Trebilcock continues to find the back of the net for the home side and Manly will need to keep a close eye on her.
Manly United FC has been one of the form teams of the competition so far. They have unlimited firepower with the likes of Gill Foster, Emma Stewart, Liz Morison and Bronte Bates playing starring roles for the seaside girls throughout the season. Coach Larry Bates seems to have his side really humming. At this stage they are looking like the main danger to Illawarra Stingrays repeating their title success of last season. Manly are a quality side to watch.
Sydney University will push Manly all the way. However, Manly have been very impressive this season and look likely to get the points this weekend.
At J.J.Kelly Park the Illawarra Stingrays do battle with the Western NSW Panthers.
The Stingrays had a troubled lead up to last weekend?s clash with Sydney University with two of their players hurt in a car accident the evening before the match. With a number of new faces in the starting line up The Stingrays were certainly put to the test by University but prevailed nonetheless. Yes, Illawarra are fortunate to have such a start studded roster to call on but you still have to do the job on the field and the 2009 Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League Champions certainly carried through. It?s little wonder that they are undefeated in 2010.
The Western NSW Panthers started their new season in the Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League with a surprising amount of success. No-one doubts the determination of the girls from Bathurst but there were questions asked as to whether or not they?d compete as they rose from Super League status. Compete they have however, despite a disappointing run of losses against some of the leading sides in recent weeks. The Panthers bounced back with a big win over lowly Southern Branch last Sunday but this is a big step up in class.
The Stingrays are a very exciting football team. They have plenty of artillery and The Panthers will have their hands full closing them down. I?ll tip The Stingrays.
At Lynwood Park the Macarthur Rams meet Marconi Stallions.
The Rams match with NWS Koalas last Sunday was a victim of the wet weather. In the previous round Macarthur had scored a solid win over Western NSW Panthers in Bathurst. Macarthur has been relatively secure inside the top four for most of the season though they?ve battled to keep in touch with frontrunners Illawarra Stingrays and Manly United FC.  The Rams may not strike the same sort of fear into opponents as they once did but they are still a side who can never be underestimated. After all, the names Khamis, Ledbrook, Garriock and Walsh are all familiar to Rams fans in recent seasons.
Marconi Stallions have earned plenty of rave reviews this season as their band of promising young players have played an exciting brand of football. Unfortunately the youthful side haven?t always achieved the results their efforts may have deserved with their relative inexperience coming back to bite them. Last weekend, however, they were hit by an Inter Lions tidal wave which swamped them, leaving the Marconi side with their worst pummelling of 2010. It will be interesting to see how the Marconi fillies bounce back this weekend.
The first round meeting of these two sides was an enthralling encounter, highlighted by an unexpected Marconi fight back which saw then come from behind to take the points. The Rams felt that they were hard done by that day and this is their chance to prove it. Expect another quality clash but I?ll go for The Rams to win a close one.
In South Nowra the Southern Branch girls take on NWS Koalas.
Southern Branch are conceding an average of six goals per game. Last weekend they copped an 8-0 hiding at the hands of Western NSW Panthers. The statistics don?t read well towards a second round reversal by a Southern Branch side who are finding the Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League a little beyond them. I?d like to express some optimism for the Southern Branch side but it?s hard to see things getting better for them in the near future. I?m happy to be proven wrong however.
The NWS Koalas came off a season high win against Inter Lions at ELS Hall Park to see their game against Macarthur Rams last weekend washed out. The Koalas haven?t shown us a lot in 2010 but the 5-1 win over Inter Lions could be the result that revives their season. They?d be travelling to South Nowra with plenty of confidence, not only on the back of that win but also on the disappointing season of their opponents. Nothing less than a win by The Koalas will keep their faint finals hopes alive.
I can?t see anything but a Koalas win in this match.
At the time of writing this preview I can hear heavy rain outside that will obviously put a number of our Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League matches in doubt. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope that we get to see some football this weekend. Good luck to all the teams in getting on the park.
See you at the ground, I hope, this weekend.
-By Ross Anderson