Adelaide United Women Captain Amber Brooks says the Reds still have a lot to prove even if they cannot reach the Westfield W-League 2019/20 finals series.
The Reds’ elusive playoff hopes were officially dashed after they were mathematically ruled out of reaching the top four following their 3-0 loss to Melbourne Victory Women last weekend.
However, Brooks believes the team’s motivation must now be on registering their first win and cause contending sides problems, starting with second-ranked Western Sydney Wanderers Women.
She compared how last season it was the then winless Wanderers who inflicted a 4-1 defeat on United when they were looking to book a finals spot.
“I think if you think about this similar time of year last year where we were in a position to try and secure playoffs and we came up against a Western Sydney team that hadn’t won a game all season,” Brooks said.
“And they came into Marden and really put a beating on us, I think we lost 4-1 and that kind of sealed the deal for us to not make it to finals.
“… I think individually there’s a lot of motivation for everyone and then collectively as a team to show we’re not as poor as our results indicate.”
While a WSW defeat would not end their own finals ambitions; it would restore some pride within the Reds camp.
The Wanderers have won three of their previous four matches, defeating Perth Glory Women 3-1 in their last encounter.
“They’re obviously a strong side offensively and solid defensively,” she said.
“So just really expecting a tough match like it was against them in Round 1.”
Adelaide suffered a last-gasp 2-1 setback when the two teams met on the opening round of the campaign.
Brooks felt the manner of that loss has been symptomatic of their season. They have been competitive in almost every game, but the quality has eluded them at both ends of the pitch in crucial moments.
“I think it’s kind of been the story of the season,” she continued.
“A little bit of bad luck but then kind of not being clinical offensively in those key moments and maybe losing focus defensively in those key moments.
“Whereas Western Sydney has been able to bag a lot of goals and be a little bit tighter defensively.”
Adelaide United Women host Western Sydney Wanderers Women in Round 11 of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 season on Saturday, 25 January at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Gates open at 6.00pm.