Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A look at the Westfield W-League

As always with my sports articles this was written for and can also be found at

Often the W-League is forgotten by of football followers, even unheard of for some, but it is a competition that deserves its place in the sun, next to the Hyundai A-League.

The Westfield W-League is currently contested by 8 squads, Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Canberra United, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory, Sydney FC & Western Sydney Wanderers.  Central Coast, Melbourne Heart & Wellington Phoenix do not have sides in this competition, while Canberra United play in the W-League but not in the A-League.

The W-League began back in season 2008-09 with 8 squads, however it was Central Coast who fielded the 8th side, with WSW not yet in existence.  The 2nd season was only 10 rounds long and was played entirely within the last 3 months of 2009. Season 2010-2011 saw the competition drop to just 7 squad’s with Central Coast’s withdrawal, with Season 2011-12 following suit. With WSW joining the football Australia family for the 2012-13 season we have seen the W-League return to 8 teams.

This Saturday see’s Brisbane Roar’s W-League team, play in their 5th straight finals campaign, as they host Sydney FC in the first semi-final.  Both sides have a deep history in comp having met in all four finals series, twice in the grand final match.  In fact only 3 teams have played in all 4 grand finals to date with Canberra United having played Brisbane Roar in the other two finals.  These 3 sides are also the only 3 to hold the premiers trophy, with Brisbane & Sydney holding it twice & Canberra once.

This year will finally see a fourth side make it into the grand final with Brisbane playing Sydney in the first semi and Canberra having not made it into the finals series.  The 2nd finalist will either be Melbourne Victory (in their 3rd finals appearance) or Perth Glory (making their 1st finals appearance).  Which ever of these sides makes the grand final they will face strong competition from the vastly more experienced Brisbane or Sydney sides.

As a Roar fan I am proud of our W-League history having been crowned Premiers in the inaugural 2008-09 season and again this season, while having finished 2nd in 2010-11 & 2011-12.  We have made all four Championship matches winning in 2008-09 & 2010-11 and losing the other two.

As a football fan I have enjoyed getting out to support the girls on the occasions that other obligations have permitted, and find the laid back relaxed atmosphere at these games far nicer than the authoritative heavy security presence at A-League matches.  I also like the fact that W-League matches, like youth league matches, are free entry for season members upon presentation of the membership card.

I would encourage all fans of football and members of A-League clubs to get out and support their W-League sides if and when you get the chance.

The finals history of the W-League is as follows (winners in bold)
Premiers: Brisbane Roar
Semis: Newcastle Jets v Canberra United & Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Grand Final: Brisbane Roar v Canberra United

Premiers: Sydney FC
Semis: Sydney FC v Canberra United & Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Grand Final: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC

Premiers: Sydney FC
Semis: Brisbane Roar v Canberra United & Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Grand Final: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC

Premiers: Canberra United
Semis: Canberra United v Melbourne Victory & Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Grand Final: Canberra United v Brisbane Roar

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