After a lengthy off-season, Brisbane Roar’s Westfield W-League campaign kicks off with a grand final rematch against reigning premiers Sydney FC this Saturday at Ballymore Stadium.
The clash will see the Roar try to reclaim the upper hand against rival club Sydney FC, who took the premiership from right under the Roar-s nose, in a 3-2 defeat in the 2009 grand final.
The new look Roar squad, led by captain Clare Polkinghorne, have their eyes firmly set on winning the premiership they took home in the inaugural 2008/09 Westfield W-League season.
This season has seen a range of new talent added to the team, including Melbourne Victory recruit, Laura Allway, goalkeeper Kate Stewart and Queensland Academy of Sport graduates, Rebekah Stott and Erika Elze.
Brisbane Roar coach Jeff Hopkins said he has seen the team bond well throughout the pre-season with a number of experienced players taking the new recruits under their wing.
“It-s a good time of year for the younger girls, they are picking up some valuable tips from the senior girls,” he said.
One of the main factors that Hopkins believes will get the over the line in the weekend-s crucial encounter is the prospect of a great home crowd.
“The support has been fantastic over the last couple of years,” he said.
“It might be one of the things that tips the balance towards us.
“We are really keen to put on a good performance and hopefully we will get a really good crowd to start the season off.”
With six Brisbane players returning to Australia this week after Westfield Matildas duties in Germany, Hopkins believes the travel factor should not have any impact on their ability to perform well for the Roar on Saturday.
“They are all pretty experienced at the travel side of things, so it shouldn-t be a problem,” Hopkins said.
“We get them back for a couple of days and we just need to rest them so they are ready to go for the weekend.”
Brisbane Roar Women take on Sydney FC on Saturday 6 November. Kick-off is at 2pm at Ballymore Stadium, Clyde Road, Herston.