Lady Reds quietly confident ahead of season opener

The Lady Reds kick-off their 2012/13 Westfield W-League campaign at Burton Park on Saturday against new franchise Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Lady Reds kick-off their 2012/13 Westfield W-League campaign at Burton Park on Saturday against new franchise Western Sydney Wanderers.

Coach Dave Edmondson revealed the squad has been hard at work for two months and is in top condition for Saturday-s opening match.

“The girls have trained hard for the last six-to-eight weeks and are starting to look much fitter and more organised,” he said.

“There, as always, are things we need to work on but we will be ready for the season opener on Saturday.”

The Lady Reds outfit has undergone some changes during the off-season with eight of last season-s squad returning, while 12 new faces have been introduced into the squad.

Edmondson admitted the many changes to the Lady Reds squad has not hampered their preparations with the new members fitting in nicely.

“The squad has gelled well, we have been training together five times per week over the last two months and we have completed a number of team building exercises during that time too, to get to know each other better and to trust in each other,” he said.

One of the key players returning from last year is skipper Abby Erceg who was one of the stars from the Reds 2011/12 campaign.

Joining her is fellow New Zealand internationals Sara McLaughlin and Holly Patterson, with all three members of the Kiwi-s London Olympic-s squad.

Between them, the trio have a wealth of international experience and while Ecreg returns to shore up the back half, Edmondson believes McLaughlin and Patterson will add to the front third.

“Abby will bring her experience and leadership as well as her defensive strength and ability,” he said.

“Holly and Sarah are very different players and will add to our attacking threat this season with their technical ability and desire to score and create goals.”

Although the Wanderers will be making an historical debut appearance, Edmondson believes they will be a genuine title threat in their first season.

With the signings of Sarah Walsh, Teigen Allen and Servet Uzunlar, there-s no shortage of talent or experience and the Wanderers will prove to be a tough test first up for the Lady Reds.

“With some experienced and impressive Matilda signings, I expect WSW to be a title contender in their first season,” he said.

“They will be a tough opponent for our first game but we performed well at Burton last year and we are determined to make the most of our home advantage this weekend and get off to a good start.”

“Every team is looking competitive this season and I think it will be a very even competition but I am quietly confident that we will surprise a few people with the way we play this year.”

Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers Saturday 20 October 2012 Burton Park, Adelaide Kick-Off: 2pm ACDT

Adelaide United squad: 1. Kristi HARVEY (gk), 2. Ruth WALLACE, 3. Alex NATOLI, 4. Jessie WHAREPOURI, 5. Abby ERCEG (Captain), 6. Cassandra TSOUMBRIS, 7. Racheal QUIGLEY, 8. Sarah McLAUGHLIN, 9. Marijana RAJCIC, 10. Jenna MCCORMICK, 11. Grace HENRY, 12. Elise WHORLOW, 13. Ann MAYO, 14. Lorena MAGGIO, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Jessica WATERHOUSE, 17. Laura JOHNS, 18. Georgia MACRI, 19. Holly PATTERSON, 20. Kelly BARLTROP (gk)

Ins: 3. Alex NATOLI (FFV NTC), 4. Jessie WHAREPOURI (Manly United, NSW), 6. Cassandra TSOUMBRIS (Fulham United), 8. Sarah McLAUGHLIN (Claudeland Rovers, New Zealand), 10. Jenna McCORMICK (Adelaide University), 12. Elise WHORLOW (Adelaide City), 13. Ann MAYO (Illawarra Stingrays, NSW), 14. Lorena MAGGIO (Eastern Suburbs, QLD), 16. Jessica WATERHOUSE (FFSA NTC), 17. Laura JOHNS (Adelaide City), 19. Holly PATTERSON (Claudeland Rovers, New Zealand), 20. Kelly BALTROP (Para Hills)

Outs: Sian McCLAREN (Sydney FC), Anna GREEN (Lokomotiv Leipzig, Germany), Leanne SLATER (retired), Katherine EBBS (USA), Donna COCKAYNE, Ebony PHILCOX, Ange FIMMANO, Nenita BURGESS, Ashleigh GUNNING (Arna-Bjørnar, Norway), Vanessa REED, Daniela DI BARTOLO, Greta FRENCH-KENNEDY

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1. Liz DURACK, 2. Samantha SPACKMAN, 3. Alexandra HUYNH, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Olivia KENNEDY, 7. Jenna KINGSLEY, 8. Vanessa HART, 9. Sarah WALSH (c), 10. Servet UZUNLAR, 12. Jessica SEAMAN, 13. Catherine CANNULI, 14. Trudy CAMILLERI, 15. Teigen ALLEN, 16. Linda O'NEILL, 17. Alisha BASS, 21. Georgia ROWNTREE (one to be omitted)

UNAVAILABLE: 6. Rachael SOUTAR (foot)