Cup action returns this Friday night as Adelaide City face their first title defence of 2018, when they take on West Adelaide in the Women’s Premier & State League Cup Final
City’s captain Tiarn Powell is feeling “very confident” as the black and white prepare to take on West Adelaide this Friday night at VALO Football Centre – The Parks.
“We have been playing well – West Adelaide are a strong side, but we believe if we focus and repeat our performance against them, we can get the job done” Powell said.
This will be Adelaide City’s sixth straight Women’s Premier & State League Cup Final, but Michael Hatzipanagiotis’ side only gained silverware last year, when they defeated Adelaide University.
Their opponents however, haven’t made an appearance in the Women’s Premier & State League Cup Final since 2014, when a 10-women West Adelaide knocked off Adelaide City to become champions.
West Adelaide captain Christina Papageorgiou was reminiscent of that day, but said the squad has changed dramatically since then. “We are a very young squad, with the exception of a few of us. So every year we have been working towards something big and if the girls stick together, they will achieve great things”.
Both teams faced tough opponents along the way, but it was City who came up against top tier powerhouses, knocking off the likes of Metro United and Salisbury Inter.
“We have to take every game as it comes, but playing those top teams has helped our preparation for the Cup and League” said Powell.
West Adelaide recent victory over Cumberland was a boost for both the WNPL and the Cup final, beating them 5-0 at VALO Football Centre.
“After the Cumberland game the girls were relieved and excited to have made the final, we know that we still have a huge task ahead of us and for most of the squad this is their first time playing in a cup final” Papageorgiou said.
Both sides have added depth to their squads throughout the season, City captain Tiarn Powell believes they have a few niggles heading into the match, but will be able to fill a strong and healthy team team.
West Adelaide acquired former Cumberland United captain Anna Pritchard, but will be unavailable for selection as she will be cup tied.
Papageorgiou said West Adelaide has also lost another major squad player, that being Sarah Willacy due to an ankle injury. “Sarah has been our biggest loss this year, but we’ve had Justine play for us and she’s done an excellent job.”
Both sides have met 3 times this year, with City beating West Adelaide twice and drawing once. But the biggest win recently for Adelaide City came in last year’s WNPL Final, where they beat West Adelaide to be crowned champions.
“The squad has changed over the years, so there may be a few changes to the lineup” Powell said.
Papageorgiou said last years final is in the past, but the squad has definitely learnt from it. “This year we’ve had more time to work on things, and are prepared for the challenge.”
West Adelaide and Adelaide City have been the two most dominant WNPL teams in recent years and winning both trophies is the aim for both clubs every season.
“It’s what we play for, to be able to do it again this year, would be amazing. A great boost heading into the finals” Powell told FFSA.
Papageorgiou said “our goal at the start of the year was to firstly play good, attractive football. At times that has lacked, which is why we finished 3rd on the ladder, but this doesn’t mean that we aren’t good enough to take on the top two teams and collect silverware along the way.”
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