Cordner just another of the Roar's attacking options | (Credit: Getty Images)
Considering Brisbane’s big cache of stars and national team players, it’s not difficult to understand why Jeff Hopkins and the Brisbane Roar Women had yet to sign an import in the first two seasons of the Westfield W-League.
So for them to go against the policy, it must have taken a unique player to change their minds. Enter Trinidad and Tobago star Kennya Cordner.
Cordner grew up in Speyside in Tobago and attended Signal Hill Secondary Comprehensive. It was at Signal Hill that she first was introduced to football and it wasn’t long before her talent was recognised.
Cordner, like fellow Roar striker Lisa De Vanna, is blessed with blistering pace, great ball handing and the ability to score off either foot. These skills have seen the 22 year old play in for Northampton Laurels FC in the US Women’s Premier Soccer League and for Swedish side Kvårnsveden IK in the Damallsvenskan. However, the trials in Australia were a bit of a surprise, even to her.
“I don’t know much about it really,” she said. “I was practicing with the national team back home and then the U17s manager told me that I had trials here in Australia for the W-League.”
Kennya Cordner settled in quickly, blew through the trials and it wasn’t long before she was pulling on the Roar jumper for her first game. Since then she has been a regular in the Brisbane squad and that is making the Australian experience very enjoyable.
“It’s really nice training with the Brisbane Roar and the play here is really different to what I play back at home.
“It’s physical here although not as fast as in America but its good for me.”
While she has a couple of goals for Brisbane and 32 national team goals to her name, Cordner is aware that she still has plenty of scope for improvement.
“I need to work on my finishing because that has been pretty off,” she states. “I am getting there but I am only 85% there.”
Along with De Vanna, she has added another dimension to a Brisbane attack that already boasts the likes of Tameka Butt, Lana Harch, Lauren Colthorpe and Joanne Burgess.
In De Vanna and Cordner, Hopkins now has the ability inject pace into the game at time when the opposition defence would least want it. That strategy was used to perfection last week with the two terrorising the Canberra United back line late in the game resulting in a 96th minute goal to the Tobagoan.
Considering the quickness of the Sydney FC defence, it wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility to see the diminutive striker line up against Servet Uzunlar and co.
Nicknamed ‘Ya Ya’, Cordner is a football star back home in Trinidad and Tobago and just last month, she was named the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation Women’s “Player of the Year” for 2010. Although still young, it’s the second time the striker has taken out the honour after her 2005 triumph.
Amongst her goals for the new year, she hopes gain selection in one of the WPS teams soon. In the meantime Cordner is enjoying her time in Australia and the chance to gain a W-League championship.
“It’s a pretty cool bunch of girls and I have got to know some of them really well.”
“I would definitely recommend the League here because its amazing. I will definitely be talking about it to others. ”