Canberra's poised to return to top tier of W-League with plenty of offensive power.
Since winning the W-League Premiership for the 2016-17 season, Canberra United has missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
They have a heavy rotation of players coming and going, but with head coach Heather Garriock entering her third season at the helm, Canberra feels like they have finally established their identity.
In their history, Canberra has qualified for the playoffs the third most among W-League teams. With the squad they have constructed for the upcoming campaign the club feels like they can right the ship and get back to their winning ways.
Last year’s sub .500 finish may have been just the realization Canberra needed to make changes in personnel to put together a competitive W-League team.
WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM LAST SEASON?
Canberra started last season strong and held a top position in the ladder until week seven when they dropped out of the top four teams. The second half of the season saw Canberra only earn one win and net just three goals.
They scored the second fewest goals of any W-League team last year, but gave up the third fewest goals.
Defence and the goal stopping ability of goalkeeper, Shamiran Khamis was not the issue for Canberra. Seven of their games were decided by one goal or less. If Canberra’s offense could have stepped up like their defence, last season would have been a completely different story.
Garriock and company understand their lack of offense from a season ago and have signed high level forwards that might have the defence looking like the lesser side for Canberra this season.
There is urgency this season for Canberra and no one feels that urgency more than Garriock.
“It’s really important that we have a solid season this season for Canberra United, not just for the club but for our fans as well,” she says.
Another sub .500 performance will not be good enough for Canberra and they believe they have the team in place to be a club the rest of the W-League is chasing.