PREVIEW | Roar buzzing for W-League opener

With a solid pre-season under their belts, Brisbane Roar is feeling confident ahead of tomorrow’s Westfield W-League season opener against Canberra United according to captain Clare Polkinghorne.

With a solid pre-season under their belts, Brisbane Roar is feeling confident ahead of tomorrow-s Westfield W-League season opener against Canberra United according to captain Clare Polkinghorne.

Brisbane finished top of the competition ladder last Westfield W-League season as Premiers but fell one match short of a fifth straight Grand Final appearance, losing to finalists Sydney FC in the semi-final.

The squad had a proper pre-season campaign for the first time in their short history and with more than nine weeks of preparation under their belt, Polkinghorne said they-re ready to take it up a level in the season proper beginning tomorrow.

“It-s been a long off season for us but we-ve also had a very solid pre-season,” she said.

“We-ve worked hard together and we-ve got a solid squad this year.

“Training has been great this week, everyone is buzzing and really looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.”

Head Coach Belinda Wilson has assembled a strong squad to contest the 2013/14 season with Germany captain and current UEFA Female Footballer of the Year Nadine Angerer the headline act of the newcomers.

But Polkinghorne was quick to point out the quality of players throughout the 20-player squad that also includes 19 Queenslanders.

“We-ve got a lot of depth this year all across the park, Hayley Raso has come in from Canberra and Larissa Crummer from Sydney,” the Roar skipper said.

“They-re two Under 20 national team players who can score goals and make an impact on the game.

“We-ve also got a few younger girls, they-re the future of this Brisbane Roar club.”

While admitting Canberra were a bit of un unknown going into tomorrow-s round one match-up at AJ Kelly Park, Polkinghorne said certain characteristics of their opponents were unlikely to change.

“They-re always a tough team, very physical, always a threat in the final third,” she said.

“They-ll be tough to control but in saying that, we-ve had some strong performances against them in the past and I think if we can get off to a strong start, that will hold us in good stead.

“They-ve got a couple of new recruits from the US and a new coach so it-ll be interesting to see if their style of play has changed.

“They-ll still be very well organised and they-ve got dangerous players up front as well.”

Brisbane Roar v Canberra United Saturday 9 November 2013 AJ Kelly Fields, Brisbane Local kick-off: 3pm (4pm AEDT) Tickets: $5 adults, $2 concessions, Under 15/Brisbane Roar members free

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Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Nadine ANGERER (gk), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 3. Amy CHAPMAN, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 10. Katrina GORRY, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC, 12. Erika ELZE, 13. Tameka BUTT, 14. Natasha WHEELER, 15. Brooke GOODRICH, 16. Hayley RASO, 17. Emily GIELNIK, 18. Sunny FRANCO, 19. Ayesha NORRIE, 20. Kate STEWART (gk) *five to be omitted*

Ins: Nadine ANGERER (1. FFC Frankfurt, Germany), Joanne BURGESS (returns from injury), Kim CARROLL (returns from injury), Larissa CRUMMER (Sydney FC), Hayley RASO (Canberra United), Sunny FRANCO (Queensland Academy of Sport), Brooke GOODRICH (Queensland Academy of Sport), Ayesha NORRIE (Queensland Academy of Sport), Natasha WHEELER (Queensland Academy of Sport)

Outs: Lana HARCH (retired), Hannah BEARD (Newcastle Jets), Ashley SPINA (Newcastle Jets), Rebecca PRICE (The Gap), Sachiko TATSUOKA (Redlands United), Emma PITTMAN (The Gap), Joanne BUCKLEY (Redlands United), Hoshimi KISHI, Georgia CHAPMAN

Unavailable: Nil

Canberra United squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Trudy BURKE, 22. Stephanie OCHS *one to be omitted*

Ins: Lydia Williams (Pitea, Sweden), Kendall Fletcher (Vittsjo, Sweden), Meg McLaughlin (Sydney FC), Lori Lindsey (Washington Spirit, USA), Stephanie Ochs (Washington Spirit, USA)

Outs: Mackenzie Arnold (Western Sydney Wanderers), Caitlin Cooper (Western Sydney Wanderers), Ariane Hingst, Kristen Mewis (Kansas City, USA), Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar), Christine Walters (work commitments), Nikki Washington (Portland Thorns, USA), Samantha Wood (Canberra FC)

Unavailable:3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE (illness), 15. Sally SHIPARD (injured), 17. Holly HOUSTON (hamstring)