Roar Women captain Clare Polkinghorne believes expected hot temperatures will play in the Roar’s favour in tomorrow’s massive Westfield W-League Semi-Final at Perry Park (4pm KO).
The 2017/18 Premiers took to Perry Park for their final pre-match training session this morning to get a feel for the conditions ahead of what is tipped to be a scorching Brisbane day.
Kick-off has been pushed back by one hour to 4pm local time, but captain Clare Polkinghorne says her side won’t be fazed by the conditions.
“We had a very solid session this morning, we’re all fit and healthy and ready for tomorrow,” Polkinghorne said.
“The hotter the better for us. If we can control the ball and make them chase us, that will work in our favour.”
The Roar have had the wood on City so far this season, notching the Club’s first ever win against the Victorians earlier in the season at Suncorp Stadium before taking a point in a scoreless draw on the road less than a month ago.
The two sides also have history in Westfield W-League finals, with their last post-season meeting going the whole way to a penalty shootout back in 2016.
The Roar head into finals on the back of consecutive four-goal hauls with strikes from five different scorers, but it’s Brisbane’s whole-team defence that has been the cornerstone of their run to the Premiership.
Brisbane’s impressive defensive record in season 10 includes two clean sheets against City – a record that the skipper intends on improving.
“It’s going to be a really tough game. We’ve had the upper hand on them this season but we’re expecting to be challenged tomorrow,” Polkinghorne continued.
“That’s one thing we’ve built our season on – our defensive structure and defending not just as a back four, but a whole unit.
“We like to press high and be aggressive. When you have the likes of Mackenzie Arnold behind it gives you confidence to make sure you’re doing your job.”
A strong crowd is expected to fill Perry Park tomorrow and Polkinghorne hopes a pro-Brisbane crowd can spur her side on to a sixth Westfield W-League Grand Final appearance.
“Perry Park has a rich history in Brisbane football, it’s a nice stadium and hopefully we can get a good crowd here who create a great atmosphere.”
Westfield W-League Semi-Final: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
Perry Park, Bowen Hills
Sunday, 11 February (4pm KO)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Mackenzie ARNOLD (Gk), 2.Carson PICKETT, 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6.Celeste BOUREILLE, 7.Ayesha NORRIE, 8.Kaitlyn TORPEY, 9.Wai Ki CHEUNG, 10.Katrina GORRY, 11.Natalie TATHEM, 12.Allira TOBY, 13.Tameka BUTT, 14.Summer O’BRIEN, 15.Abbey LLOYD, 16.Hayley RASO, 17.Emily GIELNIK, 19.Hollie PALMER, 20.Georgina WORTH (Gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Amy CHAPMAN (promoted), 11.Natalie TATHEM (promoted), 19.Hollie PALMER (promoted)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (Gk), 2.Yukari KINGA, 3.Lauren BARNES, 4.Ashley HATCH, 5. Lia MULDEARY, 6.Aivi LUIK, 7.Steph CATLEY (c), 9.Larissa CRUMMER, 10.Jess FISHLOCK, 11.Rhali DOBSON, 12.Jodie TAYLOR , 13.Rebekah STOTT, 14.Alanna KENNEDY, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16.Sofia SAKALIS, 17.Kyah SIMON 19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 20.Emily SHIELDS (Gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5. Lia MULDEARY (promoted), 9. Larissa CRUMMER (promoted), 16. Sofia SAKALIS (promoted)