Arrive Alive Women?s Super League Round 12 Preview

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All four games were washed out leaving a heavy schedule of catch up games for most clubs in the coming weeks.
The good news is that the sun is shining at the moment and the weekend forecast is very positive. It looks like we?ll see some football this weekend! APIA Leichhardt Tigers have the bye this week.
Competition front runners Blacktown Spartans host Eastern NSW Lions at Francis Park.
Blacktown are undefeated in 2010. They?ve had a close scrape or two but have been able to fight their way out of trouble when required. The football hasn?t always been pretty but The Spartans have got the results. That?s not to say that Blacktown can?t play ?sexy football?; they certainly put together some very attractive against Lady Hawks in their most recent outing. The pace of Lauren Vosota has proven to be a bonus for the Blacktown side; an asset that has worked in well with the good form of the other players in the side.
The Eastern UNSW Lions have impressed with some consistent performances this season. They?ve been on the verge of upset wins over a couple of the more highly fancied sides in the competition only to concede a late goal that?s cost them maximum points. Their first win of the season was well deserved but they?ve not played a game since that victory and it must be almost like starting the competition all over again. The Lions will take heart from their 0-0 draw with the Blacktown side in Round 3. Can they go a step further this time around?
This will be a tight tussle. The Lions don?t concede many goals but The Spartans are a side that has the potential to score plenty. I suspect that Blacktown will win but Eastern UNSW won?t make it easy for their opponents.
At Parklands Oval the Northern Tigers play Springwood United FC.
The Tigers go back to their previous home this week and the question on everyone?s lips is ?Will Tiger the Wonder Dog be there to watch?? Tiger featured in a Football NSW article last season, having been one of the Northern Tigers staunchest supporters. Tiger would notice some differences this season as her favorite football team is playing a promising brand of football. The Tigers will have to back up after a midweek catch up game against Gladesville Ravens and will be without a couple of regulars who are off to the World Cup in South Africa. However, this is a game they?d expect to win.
Springwood United FC are still searching for that elusive debut success in the Arrive Alive Women?s Super League. The sides closest to them on the competition table are obviously the ones they?d fancy their chances of success against the most and the Northern Tigers do fit into that category. On their best efforts in 2010 Springwood are capable of winning some games before season?s end. Are they consistent enough to achieve that goal?
Last time these two teams met Northern Tigers came away with a 3-1 win. Springwood are in with a chance but I fancy that Northern Tigers may do just enough to win.
The Gladesville Ravens also return to their former home, Peel Park, when they take on the Lady Hawks.
The Ravens are currently second on the competition table but have both the Central Coast Lightning and APIA breathing down their necks in the race for a top two spot. If The Ravens keep winning then a major semi final is theirs for the taking. Their two losses in 2010, to APIA and Blacktown, have both been narrow ones where a little luck may have seen the result reversed. The Gladesville girls have to survive a midweek encounter with Northern Tigers prior to Sunday?s game but consistency has been the name of the Gladesville side?s game this year.
The Lady Hawks sit mid table with a variety of performances ranging from very good to the occasionally very ordinary. At their best the Lady Hawks have proven to be a very competitive side that may just lack the match winner or two required to turn close losses into victories. They struggled against Blacktown whose pace and skill found plenty of defensive gaps in the Lady Hawks line. Gladesville are a side who?ll offer a similar test. The Lady Hawks shouldn?t be underestimated though.
The Ravens are playing well this season. They have been consistently good and that consistency is a likely advantage they have over their opponents. The Ravens should win.
At St George Stadium the home side comes up against Central Coast Lightning.
St George FC have only the Springwood United FC side below them on the ladder but one win could potentially lift them two or three spots on the competition table. Their recent form doesn?t inspire much confidence in the side?s ability to cause an upset on Sunday but you cab be sure that the St George girls will give it their best shot. It?s been a disappointing season for the side after a promising start. St George are a young side who must be aiming to recruit a couple of experienced players to lead the way come next season. Meanwhile the challenge is there to get as much out of 2010 as possible.
Central Coast Lightning are a side that don?t look to have played to their potential so far this season. Some promising efforts have been intermingled with some lacklustre ones as the Central Coast girls have battled a few setbacks. Despite this The Lightning sit third, just one point off second place; a fact that must have a number of their title opponents more than a little concerned. This is a good football side with plenty of talent in its ranks. Sunday?s game is one that you?d be expecting them to win and the way the approach this game may tell a lot about what the run up to the finals holds for them.
I recall a conversation with St George Coach Craig Fletcher earlier this season where he nominated Central Coast Lightning as the team to beat in this season?s Arrive Alive Women?s Super League. Things started going a little awry for The Lightning thereafter but Craig?s words may come back to haunt his side on Sunday. Central Coast Lightning do look the likely winners.
Football NSW is also pleased to advise that hummel have come on board as the Player of the Week sponsor for the Arrive Alive Women?s Super League. The winner of the award each week will receive a hummel gift pack which will include which includes a backpack, towel, ball, cap, socks, wristband, pump and t shirt. Clubs will be asked to nominate their Player of the Week each week for the remainder of the competition to give your team?s star the chance to win this impressive prize. Thank you to hummel Australia for their great support of women?s football.
See you at the ground this weekend.
-By Ross Anderson