It’s all systems go for an exciting 2019-20 Futsal Women’s Premier League season and what a summer it’s shaping up to be.
Inner West pulled off a remarkable unbeaten Magic trick last season, finishing nine points ahead of Mountain Majik to claim incredible back-to-back premiership-championship doubles.
The other stunner came at the other end of the table with perennial finals-contenders Dural Warriors picking up the competition’s wooden spoon as the entire club also rolled out of premier league.
In their place return Boomerangs, who haven’t had a women’s side make the finals in four top-flight throws, and while Majik, Campbelltown Quake and UTS Northside all enjoyed shiny summers last time out everyone was still left languishing in Inner West’s shade.
Magic didn’t drop a regular-season encounter to one-handedly lift the Premier’s silverware, won both their finals to grab the grand final trophy in the other hand, kicked four on the trot to balance the 2018 Futsal Cup on one foot, as the 2017/18 championship won the summer before glistened brightly on the other sneaker.
It’s a remarkable winning streak that runs 22 matches deep… but expectations can also be like playing with a loosening shoelace – not only your opponent can bring you undone.
There are signs too of a strengthening opposition as the Mountaineers, Quake and Northside all showed they’re capable of earning the big results.
Majik enjoyed their best women’s campaign to finish second on the ladder (their first finals foray) and just behind Inner West on grand final day, and they have some powerful weapons in their arsenal like 24-goal golden boot winner Ashlie Crofts; throw in the fact they lost just one of their opening 12 runs last year and you’ve got a team on the brink of achieving top rank.
Campbelltown made the top-four for the first time since their 2014/15 championship victory and there’s plenty of talk they’ll be better again this time round.
Quake are no strangers to the strength of character needed to compete at this level as they agonisingly lost the first six premier league playoffs before edging long-time foes Sydney City Eagles 3-2 in the 2011/12 decider, as well as grabbing a sweet premiership-championship pair two summers later.
UTS have now fallen one game short of a maiden grand final berth the last four years running, pushing Inner West all the way in a 1-0 semi-final loss last summer following their penalty-shootout loss to Magic the year before, and they’ll be itching to better a fourth-place finish in four straight seasons.
Eastern Suburbs Hakoah hiccupped their way through a summer that threatened to erupt at any moment… but didn’t. For a first-up premier league effort it was pretty good and they relished a solid end-of-season run that included a spectacular 2-2 draw with Magic; an improvement on their eventual fifth-place shuffle will see them flirt with a finals dance.
Mascot started poorly without a win in its first seven games and despite a run of three W’s dropped away in sixth spot a dozen points off playoff pace; however they do have an imposing history on board with two premiership-championship doubles to their name (2016/17 & 2012/13) – both coming interestingly when Boomerangs were in the mix, and the Territorians are back this year.
A bottom-two placing the last three seasons doesn’t do Enfield justice as they suffered a heart-breaking run of five one-goal losses last summer, but it’s certainly been long days since they beat premiers Dural twice in the finals to place a 2014/15 championship trophy alongside their 2011/12 premiership triumph.
For the record six different clubs have been premiers over the past decade – Inner West, Mascot, Dural, Campbelltown, Enfield, Sydney City, and they also all share the past 10 grand final trophies and two Futsal Cups (Inner West and Dural).
The championship decider has been a top-two battle six years in a row.
The 2019-20 Futsal Women’s Premier League season kicks off on Sunday, September 22, with grand final day scheduled for December 21.
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