Westfield Matildas at Home: Westfield W-League 2020-21 Ultimate Guide

The 2020-21 Westfield W-League is a couple of days away from lift off and a host of Westfield Matildas and talented youth internationals are set to feature for their respective clubs.

In this ultimate season preview, check out  the lowdown on all the Westfield Matildas, Young Matildas and Junior Matildas who will be in domestic action this season. 

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The 2020-21 Westfield W-League kicks off on December 27

Adelaide United

Coach: Adrian Stenta
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 2-1-9. Finished 8th.

Despite their disappointing ladder position, Adelaide United were competitive throughout 2018-19 season, suffering defeat by the narrowest of margins on many occasions.

The off-season saw Adrian Stenta take the reigns as Head Coach, stepping up from his role as Assistant Coach for the last two years.

Emily Condon
Emily Condon is heading into her eighth season at Adelaide.

The Reds will yet again line up with a team packed with exciting young South Australian talent, including Westfield Young Matildas Charlotte Grant, Emily Hodgson and Annalee Grove.

Midfielder Emily Condon is the only player in their squad with a senior international cap to her name, having made a solitary appearance for the Westfield Matildas against Portugal in the 2018 Algarve Cup.

WATCH: Football Australia 2020 Review Show 

Brisbane Roar

Coach: Jake Goodship
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 5-2-5. Finished 5th.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Last season Brisbane Roar fell narrowly short of finals football for the first time since 2016-17, however with a star-studded squad they will be confident they can be back challenging for silverware this time around.

Jake Goodship’s roster boasts more active Westfield Matildas than any other club this season, including inspirational captain Clare Polkinghorne and midfield duo Katrina Gorry and Tameka Yallop.

Their international quartet is completed by new signing Emily Gielnik, who returns to the Westfield W-League after a stint in Europe representing German powerhouses Bayern Munich and Swedish outfit Vittsjö.

Clare Polkinghorne and former Roar coach Mel Andreatta lift the Premiers Plate in February 2018.
Veteran defender Clare Polkinghorne will lead a star-studded Brisbane Roar side this season

Experienced defender Kim Carroll, who has played over 50 times for the Westfield Matildas, has also re-joined the club this season. 

Former Westfield Young Matilda Morgan Aquino may well be the side’s new number one, having signed from Perth alongside fellow youth international Leticia McKenna, while promising Westfield Young and Junior Matildas defender Jamilla Rankin will be looking to force her way into Jake Goodship’s backline after a strong season with Football NSW Institute in the NPLW.

READ: Clare Polkinghorne back to lead Brisbane Roar

READ: Health and wellness key to Emily Gielnik’s success

Canberra United

Coach: Vicki Linton
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 4-1-7. Finished 6th.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Canberra United were a powerhouse during early years of the Westfield W-League but over the last couple of years have found success far more tough to come by.

This season they will be boosted by the return of former Westfield Matildas striker Michelle Heyman, who has come out of retirement to don the Canberra green again.

Midfield pair Grace Maher and Laura Hughes were both called up to November’s Women's Talent Identification Camp which was held in the nation’s capital and will look to deliver strong domestic campaigns that catch the eye of Tony Gustavsson.

Michelle Heyman
She's back! Former Westfield Matildas striker Michelle Heyman has come out of retirement to represent Canberra United this season.

Goalkeeper Sally James and defender Emma Ilijoski were also called up by Mel Andreatta, while 16-year-old Westfield Junior Matildas captain Jessika Nash is another to watch having received her first senior contract this season.

Canberra’s new coach Vicki Linton will be hoping Heyman’s experience and goalscoring prowess, combined with the exciting young talent at her disposal, will fire United back where they belong.

WATCH: FULL PREMIERE: Generations of Australians

Melbourne City

Coach: Rado Vidosic

2019-20 record (W-D-L): 13-1-0. Finished 1st, winning the Grand Final.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Melbourne City's squad may have changed dramatically from last season's double-winning roster, however they will not be without a host of international representatives yet again. 

Five-time Westfield Matildas defender Jenna McCormick made the headline move from Melbourne Victory (via a short stint with Real Betis in Spain), while 2019 FIFA World Cup squad member Teigen Allen also transferred from City's cross-town rivals. 

City's squad also includes two goalkeepers with varying degrees of Westfield Matildas experience. Likely first-choice Teagan Micah is yet to make a senior international appearance but has been involved in Westfield Matildas camp on several occasions, while 39-year-old former Westfield Matildas captain Mellissa Barbieri (retired 2015) has signed on in a player/assistant coach role. 

Jenna McCormick
Jenna McCormick is back in Melbourne but will be donning different colours this Westfield W-League season

Striker Rhali Dobson has one Westfield Matildas cap to her name while Westfield Young Matildas midfielder Hollie Palmer, formerly of Brisbane Roar, will be another player to watch. 

Westfield Matildas defender Emma Checker, who made 14 appearances for City last season, also confirmed this week that she would be returning to the club. 

Young Matilda Chelsea Blissett has unfortunately suffered a serious knee injury ruling her out for the campaign, however a similarly talented young defender in former Junior Matildas captain Tori Tumeth, will be eager to make the most of her first Westfield W-League opportunity.

The overriding challenge for Rado Vidosic is to back up last season's success despite the nucleus of his team being ripped out - however on paper at least, he looks to have a assembled a squad capable of being competitive yet again. 

READ: Teagan Micah named in Norwegian Team of the Season

READ: McCormick returns to the Westfield W-League eager to impress

Melbourne Victory

Coach: Jeff Hopkins
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 7-2-4. Finished 2nd, suffered semi-final defeat.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Much like their fierce cross-town rivals, Melbourne Victory’s major concerns heading into the new campaign will be with filling the sizeable void left by the headline departures of some key players – most notably Natasha Dowie and Jenna McCormick.

READ: Lisa De Vanna returns to the Westfield W-League

Recruiting Lisa De Vanna, the highest scorer in Westfield Matildas history, is one way of addressing these concerns. 

De Vanna Victory

Westfield Young Matilda Kyra Cooney-Cross was an instrumental component of Western Sydney Wanderers' success last season meanuing the 18-year-old will return to the Victory brimming with confidence. 

Combined with former youth internationals Angela Beard, Melina Ayers and MelindaJ Barbieri, Jeff Hopkins will be confident his side have what it takes to finish in the top four for a third consecutive season. 

Newcastle Jets

Coach: Ash Wilson
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 2-1-9. Finished 9th.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Newcastle Jets were the last team to announce their squad list for the upcoming campaign and will be looking to improve upon their place on the foot of the ladder last season. 

READ: Gema Simon announced as Newcastle Jets co-captain

Their squad includes three players with Westfield Matildas experience: co-captain Gema Simon, centre-back Hannah Brewer and striker Tara Andrews

Gema Simon
Westfield Matildas defender Gema Simon will co-captain the Newcastle Jets this season

Young Matildas fullback Tessa Tamplin is expected to feature heavily yet again while two more players with youth international experience are new signings Chloe O'Brien and Sunny Franco, who are also fresh off a NPLW NSW winning campaign with Manly United. 

As far as 2020-21 is concerned, the only way is up for Ash Wilson and her squad. 

Perth Glory

Coach: Alex Epakis
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 3-2-7. Finished 7th.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Alex Epakis oversaw an incredible era of success with Sydney University in the NPLW NSW and the 29-year-old coach is now faced with a whole new challenge as he succeeds Bobby Despotovski as Glory boss. 

After qualifying for the Grand Final in 2018-19, a Sam Kerr-less Perth found success hard to come by last season. 

READ: Hana Lowry: Pushing Forward

While they may be the only club in the competition without a player who has played for the Westfield Matildas, their squad is brimming with young talent - many of whom are WA-based. 

Perth Hana Lowry
Hana Lowry will be eager to build upon her seven W-League appearances to date.

Junior Matildas Hana Lowry and Isabella Wallhead were among those given their chance last season, while Young Matildas Deborah Anne de la Harpe, Abbey Green, Sarah Morgan and Lexi Moreno are all talented youngsters likely to play their part this campaign. 

Captain Natasha Rigby was also part of November's Talent Identification Camp in Canberra and be looking to guide her side back towards finals contention in 2021. 

Sydney FC

Coach: Ante Juric
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 8-1-5. Finished 3rd, suffered Grand Final defeat.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

For their lofty standards, Sydney FC endured a slightly disappointing conclusion to their 2019-20 campaign as it ended without silverware. 

While their opening round opponent will no longer be a Grand Final rematch against Melbourne City, a return to Bankwest Stadium for the first time since their shock 5-0 derby defeat last season is a similarly prime opportunity for vengeance. 

READ: “I’m pretty pumped to be here and back in the environment”: Ellie Brush

Yet again, Ante Juric has assembled a quality roster that includes Westfield Matildas Ellie Brush and Princess Ibini and Rachel Lowe.

Sydney FC defender Ellie Brush at November's Matildas Talent ID camp in Canberra

Last season's Westfield W-League Golden Boot winner Remy Siemsen, Ally Green, Jada Mathyssen-Whyman, Taylor RayAngelique Hristodoulou and former Newcastle Jets midfielder Clare Wheeler are all players with Young Matildas caps under their belt. 

Junior Matilda Charlize Rule is said to have impressed in pre-season training and will be out for her first taste of Westfield W-League action. 

With the vast majority of their squad enjoying extended run-outs during the 2020 NSW NPLW season, Sydney FC have enjoyed fair uninterrupted pre-season and will look to hit the ground running as they set off to match City's record tally of four Westfield W-League Championships. 

Western Sydney Wanderers

Coach: Dean Heffernan
2019-20 record (W-D-L): 7-1-5. Finished 4th, suffered semi-final defeat.

Overview and Westfield Matildas players

Western Sydney Wanderers finally broke their Westfield W-League finals curse in 2019-20 and are now faced with the challenge of sustaining and building upon their success moving forward. 

Dean Heffernan will be forced to heavily lean upon homegrown talent with confirmation that international trio Denise O'Sullivan, Julie Dolan Medallist Kristen Hamilton and Lynn Williams will not be returning this campaign. 

In response, Western Sydney have been boosted by the return of veteran striker Leena Khamis and versatile midfielder Georgia Yeoman-Dale. 

Khamis playing for the Westfield Matildas
Retired Matilda Leena Khamis will pull on the Red and Black yet again this season

Caitlin Cooper completes the club's trio with Westfield Matildas experience as she returns for a third consecutive season. 

Last season's Western Sydney Wanderers Best and Fairest award winner Courtney Nevin, Susan Phonsongkham and Aideen Keane all represented Australia at the 2019 AFC-U19 Women's Championships, while Heffernan's squad also features former Jet Teigan Collister, Rosie Galea and Olivia Price who have represented the Young Matildas. 

Junior Matilda Bryleeh Henry completes the complement of international stars, past, present and future, who will pull on the Red and Black this season. 

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