Young players to step up for Roar Women

Despite missing six key players for tomorrow’s match against Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar Head Coach Belinda Wilson is still confident of a strong showing against the competition’s newest team.

Despite missing six key players for tomorrow-s match against Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar Head Coach Belinda Wilson is still confident of a strong showing against the competition-s newest team.

Skipper Clare Polkinghorne as well as Laura Alleway, Tameka Butt, Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry and Brooke Spence are all way in Shenzen, China with the Westfield Matildas leaving vice-captain Elise Kellond-Knight and the remaining leadership group members Vedrana Popovic and Lana Harch to lead the way.

Wilson has brought in three replacement players, Lauren Brown, Chelsea Harper and Hayley Sheahan, into her Roar squad from the Queensland Academy of Sport with Harper set to make her starting debut for Brisbane tomorrow.

“In terms of players, everyone starting tomorrow will have had time on the pitch since round one except one young girl who will make her debut at right back,” Wilson said.

“She-ll be the only player without experience at this level but they-ve all trained with us for a long time and now it-s just about them stepping up.

“The other players around her [Harper] will support her and the other young girls will make their debuts either this weekend or next.”

Despite the inclusion of some uncapped squad members, Wilson was excited to see how her makeshift squad reacts to the challenge.

“We will miss the players who are away but the whole squad and the depth in the squad will play a major role in how we go this season,” she said.

“We-ve said that since day one given the injuries we had to contend with before the season even started.

“We knew we-d lose players but it-s about not changing anything else about the way we approach the game.

“For the younger players, it-s about confidence now - if they-re good enough to train in the squad, they-re good enough to play so that-s what they have to remember.

“It will be a surprise to see how we deal with the situation and how we adapt to it.”

Western Sydney themselves are without two regular players as well with Servet Uzunlar and Teigan Allen away with the Australian squad, meaning coach Stephen Roche will have some team decisions of his own to make.

“I know the majority of the players and I know Rochey as a coach,” Wilson said.

“Even though they-re a new team and a bit of an unknown, I think I know enough about the players and the coach to be able to prepare.

“We won-t change too much and even though they-re not in the same position, only missing two key players, but they-ll still have to re-organise themselves a bit.”

Brisbane Roar take on Western Sydney Wanderers in round five of the Westfield W-League tomorrow afternoon. Kick-off at Cleveland Showgrounds is at 3pm.

Tickets are available at the gate. Adults $5, concessions $2, kids under 15 and BRFC members free.

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Hoshimi KISHI (gk), 3. Amy CHAPMAN, 6. Ashley SPINA, 7. Erika ELZE, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9. Emma PITTMAN, 10. Lana HARCH, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC, 14. Georgia CHAPMAN, 15. Hannah BEARD, 16. Sachiko TATSUOKA, 18. Kate STEWART (gk), 20. Joanne BUCKLEY (gk), 22. Lauren BROWN, 23. Chelsea HARPER, 24. Hayley SHEAHAN * one to be omitted*

Ins: Georgia CHAPMAN (returns from injury), Joanne BUCKLEY (promoted), Lauren BROWN (promoted QAS), Chelsea HARPER (promoted QAS), Hayley SHEAHAN (promoted QAS).

Outs: Laura ALLEWAY, Clare POLKINGHORNE, Brooke SPENCE, Tameka BUTT, Emily GIELNIK, Katrina GORRY (all national team duty)

Unavailable: Rebecca PRICE (knee - 1 week)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1. Liz DURACK, 2. Samantha SPACKMAN, 3. Alexandra HUYNH, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Olivia KENNEDY, 6. Rachael SOUTAR, 8. Vanessa HART, 9. Sarah WALSH (c), 11. Louise FORS, 12. Jessica SEAMAN, 13. Catherine CANNULI, 14. Trudy CAMILLERI, 16. Linda O'NEILL, 17. Alisha BASS

Ins: 6. Rachael SOUTAR, 17. Alisha BASS, 20. Thora HELGADOTTIR

Outs: 10. Servet UZUNLAR, 15. Teigen ALLEN (both national team duty), 21. Georgia ROWNTREE (omitted)

Unavailable: Jenna KINGSLEY (knee - season)