On the eve of the Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final against Sydney FC, Perth Glory have received a huge honour in the form of five of its players being selected in the PFA Westfield W-League Team of the Season.
Goalkeeper Eliza Campbell, defender Katie Naughton, midfielder Nikki Stanton and strikers Rachel Hill and Sam Kerr were all included in the team, with Kerr also being named captain.
Voted on by W-League players at the end of the regular season, the rest of the team comprises Brisbane Roar duo Clare Polkinghorne and Yuki Nagasato, Melbourne City’s Steph Catley, Sydney FC pair Caitlin Foord and Alanna Kennedy, plus Christine Nairn of Melbourne Victory.
With Glory representatives making up nearly half of those selected, we thought a little tribute to the in-form quintet was in order.
It is hard to over-estimate the impact Campbell has made in her debut season for the club.
Her superb shot-stopping, excellent decision-making and impressive distribution have underpinned Glory’s huge defensive improvement this term.
The 23-year-old Matilda has received multiple Save of the Week awards and firmly established herself as among the very best ‘keepers in the competition.
The American centre-back, who is celebrating her 25th birthday today, has been another key component in Glory’s defensive improvement in 2018/19.
A composed performer who is strong in the air, Naughton is also very comfortable with the ball at her feet and excels at stepping into midfield to get her side on the front foot.
A call-up to the USA senior team cannot be too far away for the Illinois native.
Now in her fourth season with Glory, Stanton must surely be regarded as the club’s most successful ever import.
Her tenacious, combative approach in the midfield engine-room is a key part of what makes Bobby Despotovski’s side tick, as is her pinpoint set-piece delivery.
Having been a part of the Glory team that lost the the 2017 Grand Final, the 28-year-old is desperate to help secure that elusive maiden title this weekend.
Hill has followed up last year’s impressive debut campaign for the club by producing another string of strong performances.
Rekindling her lethal partnership with Kerr, the USA Under-23 international again led the competition for assists with seven, while also scoring six times.
Her sublime chip in the Round 3 win over Western Sydney Wanderers was undoubtedly one of goals of the season.
It’s not easy to find a superlative that has not already been used to describe Kerr in recent times.
Glory’s skipper rattled in 16 goals during the regular season to secure the Golden Boot for the second successive year and then added a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Melbourne Victory just for good measure.
The accolades keep flowing for the Freo local, but she has publicly declared that she would trade in all her personal honours for a winners’ medal in Saturday’s Grand Final.