It’s semi-final eve and I arrive at Brisbane’s QSAC stadium. As I corner around the entrance gate and amble across the external synthetic track, I spy a single figure sitting alone on a plastic chair at the field’s edge.
Damn, she really is injured. She must be. Her team mates are all out in the centre of the field having a grand old time; shouting/tackling/laughing and competing.
Belinda Wilson has decided to host a game’s night before the big match tomorrow, and the Roar girls are totally soaking up the gregariousness of this casual training session. It looks like fun but it’s no fun for the industrious midfielder watching on. Amy is resting her newly torn hamstring and she is not in any physical shape to be participating in this evening’s team bonding nor the season’s most important match to be held the next day.
A huge loss as it would turn out. Brisbane’s first ever semi final defeat since the W-League’s 2008 conception.
Most would agree having one of the team’s most influential play-makers missing from this significant game’s squad, proved to be detrimental to the Roar’s usual offensive strategy and confidence.
A huge blow.
One that Sydney FC cleverly capitalised on and consequently danced away as victors and eventual W-League champions.
The weekend previous (Round 12) match played out a very different result for the Brisbane. A game that arguably was their season’s best, maybe even of all time for the club.
The 1058 strong crowd that witnessed the game’s 5-1 scoreline massacre on Season Four’s champions Canberra United were treated to a footballing spectacle!
Anyone who touted that women can’t play football would have eaten their words after seeing Tameka Butt cooly score an impressive hat-trick or observed Katrina Gorry slide tackle a defender and then in the same movement, return to her feet, turn and slip a beautifully placed ball under Canberra’s goalkeeper into the back of the opposition’s net.
Team cohesion at its best. Even Canberra’s players were shaking their heads in awe at their opponent’s dominant style of football.
Maybe the Roar peaked too early? Was that final round fixture the faux Grand Final? Does it matter? Not now but they are still the premiers of Season Five.
If the Roar and their fans are to focus only on the disappointment of missing out on the grand final then they would be negating all the fabulous goals, assists, defensive shut-outs, goal-saving fingertips and the blindingly-obvious team commradery amongst this gutsy squad.
Far from disappointing.
In a season that has proven to be the most fiercely competitive, both physically and technically, with a continual change of guard for the Top Four positions, Brisbane have brought home an almighty finish to only lose two games all season.
To concede fewer goals than any other squad (apart from Melbourne) and to have courageously won and contended matches whilst missing more Matildas than any other squad during the national team’s November tour of China.
Take a bow, Brisbane! Well played, Belinda Wilson and to your coaching staff.
You have all lifted the paradigms of elite athleticism, inspired future Matildas and Socceroos, won the hearts and loyalties of fans through your committment towards community projects and accessability to crowds after games.
Like all other W-League teams for the 2012/13 Season; you have battled and lyou “Never Say Die”. You have all ministered umpteen flashes of footballing brilliance, instilled an insurmountable home-town pride and have done a great service towards raising the expectations/standards of play and the promotion of Women’s Football.
Thank you Brisbane Women’s Roar.
Season 5 Minor Premiers… Legends.