Roar stay focused on W-League decider


Whether it’s your fifth Westfield W-League Grand Final or your first, the message from the Brisbane Roar camp is simple – keep focused on the football and enjoy yourself.

Whether it-s your fifth Westfield W-League Grand Final or your first, the message from the Brisbane Roar camp is simple – keep focused on the football and enjoy yourself.

Brisbane is one of the most successful sides in the Westfield W-League since the competition-s inception in 2008, playing in four of the five Grand Finals to date with their fifth in six seasons to take place this Sunday against Melbourne Victory W-League.

Roar playmaker Tameka Butt has not only played in each of her club-s Grand Final appearances but incredibly, has also found the back of the net on each occasion.

She-s the definition of ‘big game player-, also notching a hat-trick in her 50th Westfield W-League match – last season-s final game of the season and the one that clinched the club-s second Premiership.

On the other hand, 17-year-old Brisbane midfielder Ayesha Norrie is drawing to a close a memorable first season in the competition.

After a handful of substitute appearances, Norrie was handed her first start by Head Coach Belinda Wilson in the last regular season match against the Victory and maintained her position for the semi-final win over Canberra United.

She-s now set to play her maiden Grand Final on Sunday.

Butt said it was important for the more senior members in the side to ensure the younger brigade, like Norrie, would stay focused but make the most of the experience.

“I think you just want to make sure they have the same experience as you did in your first Grand Final so the build-up is important to keep them calm and relaxed but enjoy it as well,” she said.

“Everyone can get pretty nervous and you deal with your nerves in your own way.

“But the mood has been good, everyone is obviously happy with the win and I think we-re still building momentum.”

Norrie, who names last year-s FIFA World Cup qualifying loss 2-1 loss to China with the U17 national team as the biggest match in her career so far, said she-ll learn from the older players heading to the Grand Final.

“They-ve been through these experiences before and they know what-s expected,” she said.

“They know how important it is to be focused and to be quick and sharp on the ball.

“For me, I don-t really know what to expect but I-ll take it as it comes and enjoy it.”

Norrie said she wasn-t expecting any game time in her first Westfield W-League, let alone the chance to play in a Championship decider.

“I was even surprised to be on the bench in round one,” she said.

“To start for the team has been fantastic but it-s definitely not something I was expecting. I-m proud that I-ve gotten to this point but I-m also nervous, very nervous!”

No matter what happens on Sunday, Butt knows one thing is for certain – the build-up of a Grand Final week will whet the appetite of the squad-s youngest players.

“You do have more nerves going into it but it-s just exciting,” she said.

“It-s a feeling that you enjoy so you aspire to it each season.”

Melbourne Victory host Brisbane Roar in the Westfield W-League 2014 Grand Final on Sunday, 23 February at Lakeside Stadium. Kick-off at 3pm AEDT. Broadcast on ABC1 from 3pm nationally.

Non-travelling Brisbane Roar members and fans can watch the match at the club-s official away match supporters venue, the Shafston Hotel.