Brisbane Roar will launch season 10 of the Westfield W-League on Friday afternoon against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium (4:20pm KO QLD time).
Following a strong pre-season and a number of key player signings, Head Coach Mel Andreatta is confident in her squad's capabilities and potential.
“In comparison to coming on board before the season commenced late last year, I have had time to strategically plan player recruitment that will play a great role along side our home-grown heroes leading into the season,” Andreatta said.
A fresh face to wear the Brisbane orange is Hong Kong international striker Wai Ki Cheung who caught Andreatta's eye during a pre-season trial.
“Wai Ki has demonstrated great skills domestically as well as for her country and will play an important part of our attack.”
United States duo Carson Pickett and Celeste Boureille come to Brisbane well-equipped with impactful speed and endurance, both representing their nation at underage levels during their young careers.
Hayley Raso (below) returns to Brisbane after playing along side Boureille for the championship-winning Portland Thorns in the NWSL as well as representing Canberra United in the 2016/17 Westfield W-League season.
“The new players bring great experience that will be beneficial in games that will be tightly contested this season,” Andreatta said.
“Hayley performed strongly for the Thorns as well as for Canberra United and I’m sure the fans are just as excited to have her back as we are on her home turf.”
The squad also features a great number of Matildas and home-grown players such as Katrina Gorry, Amy Chapman, Mackenzie Arnold, Allira Toby and Ayesha Norrie.
“Katrina and Mackenzie have represented Australia this year in the Tournament of Nations and I’m excited for them to bring a great positive influence to our younger players,” Andreatta said.
“Our local talents have gone from strength to strength in the last six months and I’m looking forward to see how it will all play out in the season.”
As a strong supporter of fan engagement, Andreatta has implemented a dedicated Westfield W-League active support group called The Roar Corps.
“The club and fans have got right behind it and it has grown exponentially,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing more people join it to have those chants sung loud and to get those drums beating strong.”
With numerous Matildas players set to line-up against eachother on Friday night, both the Roar and Sky Blues will be hopeful of snagging bragging rights over their rivals with the ledger locked at seven wins apiece.
After a lengthy off-season, Andreatta is confident the work that has gone on behind the scenes will pay dividends out on the park.
“Planning was a great focus from the staff and I within the lead up to season 10," she said.
“I’m looking forward for that hard work to pay off on the field for the players and the staff.”
Western Pride goalkeeper Kirsten Veeren will bolster the shot-stopper ranks while young midfielder duo Hollie Palmer and Lucinda Pullar have also been added to the Roar Women squad for round 1.
Westfield W-League 2017/18 Round 1: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar.
Friday, 27 October
Allianz Stadium, Sydney. Kick-off 4:20pm (QLD time).
Brisbane Roar FC Westfield W-League 2017/18 squad
Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Kirsten Veeren, Georgina Worth
Defenders: Summer O'Brien, Clare Polkinghorne (c), Kaitlyn Torpey, Carson Pickett
Midfielders: Celeste Boureille, Amy Chapman, Katrina Gorry, Ayesha Norrie, Hollie Palmer, Lucinda Pullar, Natalie Tathem
Attackers: Tameka Butt, Wai Ki Cheung, Abbey Lloyd, Hayley Raso, Allira Toby
Coach: Melissa Andreatta