Westfield W-League Focus: Despotovski happy with ‘good blend’ in squad


Glory’s Westfield W-League Head Coach Bobby Despotovski is pleased with the balance of his squad heading into the 2019/20 campaign.

The women in purple will get things underway on Sunday with a trip to Canberra United (kick off at 1pm WST), looking to build upon last season’s Grand Final appearance.

And Despotovski likes what he has seen from his charges thus far.

“We’ve had four good weeks of pre-season and everyone is excited to get going,” he said.

“It’s a long trip to Canberra, but it’s good to get it out of the way early in the season and we have a bye the week after.

“So we’ll look to get a good start and then we have some more preparation time before our next game.

“We are going to look to play the majority of the young girls that we have and we’ll see how we go.

“We have some older girls who will be leaders on the park and help the younger ones that are coming through, plus the four internationals coming in.

“I think it’s a good blend of youth, experience and the internationals and now it’s up to the young girls to take their chance and keep their place in the starting eleven.”

Glory will field three new internationals this season in the form of American duo Crystal Thomas and Morgan Andrews and Spanish international Celia, while Mexican defender Arianna Romero is set to return for her second spell at the club.

Natasha Rigby will skipper the side following the departure of Sam Kerr and will be joined by the likes of Matildas ‘keeper Eliza Campbell, Glory appearances record-holder Shannon May and experienced defensive duo Kim and Sarah Carroll.

A host of talented youngsters are also expected to see plenty of game-time, including Leticia McKenna, Lexie Moreno and Isabella Foletta. 

In terms of the backroom staff, meanwhile, Jessine Bonzas and Jason Petkovic remain on board, along with physio Chris Hutchinson and they have been joined by Academy and W-League Team Manager Terry McFlynn, Strength and Conditioning Coach Saia Wood-Halafihi and another physio in Briony Fonti.

“A lot of the [coaching and backroom] group has been here for the last two or three years,” said Despotovski.

“We all know each other well and are working towards one common goal.

“We’ll give everything we can to get into the top four and then try and win it from there.”

In terms of Sunday’s Round One clash at McKellar Park, where Glory drew 4-4 on their most recent visit, Despotovski has been concentrating very much upon his own group. 

“I’ve never been one to worry about the opposition too much in terms of who they have in their team,” he said.

“We always focus much more on how we play, our style and who the best players are for the various positions to give us the best chance of winning the game.

“If we do all of our things correctly and are organised defensively, we have a good chance to win the game.”