ALW Focus: Hana Lowry discusses a season of contrasts

Ben Gilby continues his series of in-depth interviews with members of Glory’s Liberty A-League squad by catching up with midfielder Hana Lowry.

2023/24 was a season of contrasts for the Glory’s A-League Women’s team.

A powerful start to the campaign saw them established in the top two of the ladder before Christmas, but after the turn of the year, the side were unable to continue their run of wins and eventually finished the season in 10th place. 

“I think it’s been a season of lots of ups and downs,” reflected Lowry.

“Obviously with the start we had it was a huge positive and something that we can’t forget about because of how these last few months have gone.

“In saying that, these past few months have of course been difficult, but it’s these moments that make you more resilient and there has still been lots to learn from.

“Missing out on Finals has been really difficult to accept, especially after also missing out these last few seasons, but it’s been important to still focus on putting in good performances to end positively.”

Glory went into the campaign with positivity and racked up a series of victories to top the ladder, a run of form that the midfielder puts down to the detailed preparations that were undertaken in the off-season.

“I think the start we had was a credit to the players and staff for the great pre-season we had,” she said.

“Everyone came in at a good level and we were very determined to start well as a group.

“We set high standards for ourselves right from the start and we understood how important it was to make a mark early on.” 

However, from the beginning of 2024, the side were unable gain another win and for Lowry, that was down to fine margins and the dangers that arise if you don’t take chances when they come.

“I think it’s hard to pinpoint the reason that our season took a bit of a turn,” she said.

“I think there were games where we needed to be more clinical all over the pitch, games where we needed to create or capitalise on chances and moments where as a team we switched off and conceded goals we shouldn’t have.

“The league has been very tight this year and fine margins have changed a team’s season.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalise on certain moments, but in saying that, I still feel there has been a lot to learn from the season.”

Two of the real positives of the campaign were the career-best form of goalkeeper Morgan Aquino and the presence of so many locally-produced players in the squad.

Georgia Cassidy, who was part of the Young Matildas Asian Cup squad and Grace Johnston both impressed before the latter unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury.

Additionally, Tanika Lala scored her first ever ALW goal in only her second appearance as a substitute during the final round of the campaign against Melbourne City at Macedonia Park and Lowry is hugely proud of all of them. 

“Morgan has been excellent all season and it’s so well-deserved,” she said.

“She is such a great team-mate both on and off the pitch and her performances have been a credit to how hard she has worked over many seasons.

“She’s kept us in games and stepped up when we needed her and despite it being a difficult season as a team, she should be really proud of how she has performed.  

“Equally, it’s been great to see some local players get their chance and really make the most of it.

“For me, playing with a lot of these girls throughout NTC and State teams, it’s so special to now see them step up and perform at such a high level.

“It’s a credit to themselves for the work they have put in to get here, as well as the coaches around them that have allowed them to get the opportunity.

“They have taken the opportunity with a lot of confidence and fitted into the environment well, which allowed them to have a smooth transition into the league.

“I think the pathways that WA have created have allowed girls to know that they can play at a high level and be recognised.” 

With Glory suffering another season of heartache after missing Finals, the midfielder is absolutely determined that it will not happen again in 2024/25.

For her, the key focus next season is consistency of performance. 

“I think with the A-League being longer now, it’s so important to value consistent performances throughout the season,” she said.

“As we have seen, a strong start doesn’t always lead to a strong finish and vice versa.

“So I would say the main part is to focus on always improving in performances and striving to get better each game.”