This Saturday, Brisbane Roar will take their Westfield W-League fixture against Adelaide United up to the Sunshine Coast’s Stockland Stadium in a bid to share women’s football with a new audience.
This Saturday, Brisbane Roar will take their Westfield W-League fixture against Adelaide United up to the Sunshine Coast-s Stockland Stadium in a bid to share women-s football with a new audience.
It will be the first time a regular season match for the Roar Women has been taken outside of the Queensland capital with the team having played at Perry Park, Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre, Ballymore Stadium and Cleveland Showgrounds since the competition-s inception.
Brisbane midfielder Ellen Beaumont sees no disruption in the change of venue as her side looks to claim their fifth undefeated match in a row, following three wins and last weekend-s dramatic late draw against league leaders Canberra United.
“I do see it as a home game and think it-s great we get the opportunity to share the talent of the W-League to a new audience north of the Brisbane and Redland Bay district,” she said.
“Plus, rather than doing ice baths after the game we get to go to the beach instead, that-s definitely a bonus.”
The 26-year-old is no stranger to change having spent last year over the other side of the world in Calgary, Canada enjoying a football-free 12 months.
“I did have a lot of time off when I was in Canada - the last official match I played was our grand final loss to Sydney in season two of the W-League,” Beaumont said.
“I had not anticipated a return to football whilst I was in Calgary, however, being back in Brisbane and getting in touch with my Roar friends they gave me the idea and inspiration to play again.”
While the support of her former teammates was encouraging, it was the backing of Head Coach Jeff Hopkins that ultimately tipped the scales.
“After an initial meeting and a couple of weeks- of training, Jeff had found a spare jersey of mine from the first W-League season and gave it back to me,” she said.
“He said he would like to offer me a new one for this current season and I said ‘of course!-.”
Since returning to competitive football, Beaumont is happy to see an upward progression in the quality of the Westfield W-League in her short absence.
Her Brisbane teammates won the title in the 2010/11 season with this year-s campaign seeing a throng of high-profile internationals join the competition.
“The standard of the league has definitely improved,” Beaumont said.
“The style of play is more dynamic, attacking and fast paced and the players are fitter and smarter than ever before which is exciting for women-s football in Australia.
“It is fantastic to have USA World Cup star Megan Rapinoe play for Sydney - I was a little star stuck when we played them.”
However, Saturday-s opponents Adelaide United are in the midst of one of the most unenvious winless streaks in football - without a victory in their last 32 Westfield W-League matches.
Brisbane prevailed 2-1 in the reverse fixture in round four at Adelaide-s Burton Park but Beaumont said her side were under no illusions that this weekend-s match would be easy.
“It-s an unfortunate record of 32 games without a win for them,” she said.
“They do put up a fight in all their games and they don-t give up so I am expecting a tough battle, they have some strong forwards.
“However, I think our chemistry is right in our team and we won-t be complacent.
“Every player wants to start and it-s been a competitive week at training, we are looking forward to it.”
Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United Saturday 10 December 2011 Sunshine Coast Stadium, Nicklin Way, Sunshine Coast Local kick-off: 2pm Live: ABC TV
Tickets available at the gate or Football Queensland office - adults $5, concession/child $2.