Brisbane revamp W-League squad

Brisbane Roar Women coach Jeff Hopkins has named a strong squad ahead of the season opener on November 6 against reigning champions Sydney FC, in hopes of regaining the title they claimed in the competition’s first year.

Brisbane Roar Women coach Jeff Hopkins has named a strong squad ahead of the season opener on November 6 against reigning champions Sydney FC, in hopes of regaining the title they claimed in the competition-s first year.

After securing the premiership and winning the grand final in the Westfield W-League-s inaugural season, Brisbane were pipped at the post last year, finishing third in the league and losing 3-2 to Sydney FC in the decider.

This year, however, Hopkins has assembled a squad with an exciting mix of young stars and experienced veterans that looks capable of going one better, led again by Clare Polkinghorne, fresh from her FFA Female Footballer of the Year award last month.

Foundation players Brooke Spence and Kim Carroll have recovered from long-term injuries to boost Brisbane-s defensive stocks, alongside long-time Westfield Matilda Karla Reuter, former Melbourne Victory player Laura Alleway and Queensland Academy of Sport graduates, Rebekah Stott and Erika Elze.

Brisbane-s midfield will be key in linking the back four and the fruitful attacking options up front, and as always, Hopkins- squad is filled with talented midfielders capable of changing the game.

After years playing in the US, Aivi Luik was one of the league-s best recruits in the Westfield W-League 2009 season and along with Westfield Matildas Polkinghorne, Tameka Butt and Lauren Colthorpe, will make up Brisbane-s midfield.

19-year-old Butt, despite nursing a troublesome hamstring for the majority of last season, finished Brisbane Roar Women-s top scorer with five goals, cementing her status as one of Australia-s most promising young talents.

Coach Hopkins will be hoping Lana Harch will reignite the form that saw her claim Westfield W-League Player of the Year in the 2008/09 season, as well as the player of the match in their victorious grand final.

Harch will be joined in the Brisbane attack by last year-s joint Westfield W-League Young Player of the Year Elise Kellond-Knight, Joanne Burgess, Emily Gielnik, Amy Chapman and Alicia Foote, while 18-year-old Casey Dumont will be between the posts for the third consecutive season.

Brisbane-s first challenge takes the form of a grand final rematch against last year-s winners Sydney FC on Saturday week at Ballymore Stadium, kicking off at 2pm.

Brisbane Roar Women squad: Casey DUMONT (Goalkeeper), Laura ALLEWAY (Defender), Karla REUTER (Defender),Clare POLKINGHORNE (Midfield), Brooke SPENCE (Defender), Joanne BURGESS (Striker), Kim CARROLL (Defender), Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (Striker), Alicia FOOTE (Striker), Lana HARCH (Striker), Aivi LUIK (Midfield), Rebekah STOTT (Defender), Tameka BUTT (Midfield), Amy CHAPMAN (Striker), Erika ELZE (Defender), Lauren COLTHORPE (Midfield), Emily GIELNIK (Striker)

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