The 2018/19 Westfield W-League kicked off on Thursday night with the traditional ‘Sydney Derby’ which saw Sydney FC run out 3-0 winners over Western Sydney Wanderers Women. Adelaide United begin their season on Sunday 28th October (3:45 pm Adelaide time) against Melbourne Victory in what should be a great test to start off the season.
Today we highlight the local Women’s National Premier League SA (WNPL SA) players that have been signed by Westfield W-League clubs across the country for the upcoming season.
After returning from a long-term injury, Grace played 11 matches for Adelaide City in season 2018. Grace played a vital role in defence and was a key player in helping City secure the 2018 WNPL SA Championship, where she also won the Player of the Match for her efforts. Grace was also selected in the 2018 WNPL Team of the Year.
After playing a vital role in the Adelaide United 2017/18 W-League season, Georgia returned to Adelaide City where she had an outstanding 2018 WNPL campaign, only missing 1 game all season. Georgia was an outstanding player in the midfield this year, scoring 4 goals along the journey.
A 2017 NTC program graduate, Chelsie made her mark in the WNPL with Adelaide City, playing a key role upfront in her first season in the WNPL. The back of the net must have been a magnet for Chelsie who managed an impressive 16 goals in 17 matches for the Black and Whites. Chelsie was also selected in the Young Matildas squad in 2018 where she was part of the squad’s friendly matches against Thailand.
Well, what a year and a crazy few weeks Charlotte has had. Making her debut in the WNPL, Charlotte came out strong from Round 1 and proved that she has an outstanding career ahead of her. In the last few weeks, not only has Charlotte celebrated her 17th birthday, she was also named in the 2018 WNPL Team of the Year, won the FFSA Female Rising Star Award, won the 2018 Shirley Brown Medal (WNPL Player of the Year), was signed by Adelaide United, and was called up to the Young Matildas where she made her International debut and playing the full 90 minutes against Mognolia and Lebanon. Charlotte is one to watch for the future!
Emily, another graduate of the NTC program, had a great debut season with West Adelaide in the 2018 WNPL where she made 22 appearances playing a key role on the wing. Emily was recently selected into the Young Matildas squad for the friendlies against Thailand and is currently in Lebanon for the AFC U19 Women’s Championship qualifiers.
Dylan is one of four Adelaide City players selected for Adelaide United this season. Dylan played every game for the Black and Whites in 2018, featuring in all 27 matches, scoring 14 goals throughout the season. Between Dylan and Georgia, there is no wonder why Adelaide City managed to score the most goals this year, as well as concede the least. One tough midfield to get past! Dylan capped off a magnificent WNPL campaign by being selected in the 2018 WNPL Team of the Year.
The 2018 Adelaide University captain is back in Red for the 2018/19 Westfield W-League season. Laura played a key role in Uni’s WNPL campaign. Laura spent the season up-front in an attacking midfield position, only missing 1 game all season. Laura also managed to net 9 goals throughout the season, and who can forget the 30-yard screamer she scored in Round 13 against West Adelaide? Watch it here if you missed it! - Laura capped off another wonderful WNPL season by being selected into the 2018 WNPL Team of the Year.
Sian makes her return to the National stage, becoming the second Salisbury Inter player to be signed by a Westfield W-League club. Sian played a key role in Inter’s WNPL campaign. Being a goalkeeper is always tough, however, Sian’s efforts helped Salisbury retain their position for the 2019 WNPL season. After breaking her hand in Round 17, many thought she was not in contention for a Westfield W-League contract, however, after a quick recovery and determination, the 2018 Salisbury Inter 'players player' earned the right and is given the second keepers spot at the Reds for season 2018/19.
Meleri is the second 2018 NTC player to be signed by the Reds for the upcoming Westfield W-League season. Meleri starred for the NTC in the WNPL playing 13 games and managing to net a goal for her efforts. Meleri was selected to be part of the Adelaide United training squad where she impressed coach Ivan Karlovic and was awarded a contract for the upcoming season.
A long term ankle injury meant Sarah only managed 11 games for West Adelaide in 2018. Those 11 games though did not go unnoticed by Reds coach, Ivan. Sarah proved to be an exceptional shot-stopper for her club, which allowed her to be awarded the first keepers spot for the 2018/19 W-League campaign.
Brisbane Roar have joined the WNPL SA party by signing the Fulham United defender. Fulham decided to add some strength to their defence to ensure they survived relegation from the WNPL this year. Jenna was signed and featured 15 times for the club. Looks like she enjoys being upfront too, scoring 9 goals in those appearances. Not many defenders could manage that statistic. Jenna also finished 8th in the Shirley Brown count, after a great season. Jenna will be ready to face the Reds when Adelaide travel to Brisbane on November 18 to take on the Roar.
Adriana became the first player from Salisbury Inter to be signed by a Westfield W-League club. After scoring 6 goals in her 19 appearances for Inter, Melbourne City were interested and signed Adriana for their upcoming season. Adriana had previously spent the last two Westfield W-League seasons with Adelaide United.
Adelaide United have also announced the signings of Georgia Iannella and Lara Kirkby (both from FFSA NTC) as short-term replacements for Emily Hodgson and Charlotte Grant, who are currently on international duty for the Young Matildas.
Football Federation SA's (FFSA) Women’s Competition Coordinator, Firas Shahin was impressed with the number of players signed for the 2018/19 season stating,
“Having 14 WNPL SA players signed by Westfield W-League clubs across the country shows that the WNPL SA is an ever-growing competition with the quality proving to be among the best in Australia. Having interstate clubs sign SA players shows that the competition is attracting viewership from all over Australia and this gives excitement to the players in the league and proves that South Australia can produce players with such quality”
FFSA extends a massive congratulations to all the players selected for the 2018/19 Westfield W-League season. Be sure to follow Adelaide United throughout their campaign as they fight for a finals birth.