The Central Coast Unity Bank Women’s League will look a little different this year as WPL welcomes newcomers Wyong to the competition. Unfortunately, we lose Toukley therefore WPL will stay a 10-team competition for the year ahead. Unlike last years shortened season, we are back to a full 18-round competition starting Sunday the 11th of April.
League Champions Gosford City will once again be hard to tip against as they have managed to keep most of the players from last year, whilst adding a few new players that will compete for First Grade spots.
Gosford comes into round one with the only perfect record from the Mate Association Cup. Gosford coach Peter Edwards commented on his teams’ pre-season, “We’ve had a tricky pre-season with venues and lights making training to be consistent, but after seeing us perform brilliantly in the cup against some good opposition, I’m confident in the team is starting to play in the style and mentality I’m looking for”.
Gosford who was very unlucky not to go the whole season undefeated and lost the Grand Final by penalties will be looking to make this a historic season.
2020 WPL Premiers Umina United will be looking to do one better this year as they have their eyes set on taking out the double. Umina will welcome back their successful coach Steven Donaldson but unfortunately, he won’t have last year’s captain Danielle Harris.
Danielle has “earned herself a year off”, so Steve has been on the lookout for a replacement this off-season. With a few positional changes, Umina has done just that bringing in midfielder Leisel Collins. Steve has labelled his new recruitment as a “brilliant midfielder who is looking to be class in the competition, and amongst what is already a winning team”.
Expect Umina to pick up where they left off at the end of last year and challenge Gosford for the top spot in WPL.
Kanwal FC will have a bit of a different look on the sidelines this year as they welcome Jennifer Tatum and Hayley Ballard to their WPL coaching staff for the year ahead. Kanwal who finished 3rd last year looks to be just as competitive if not better as have lots of depth throughout the squad and are shaping up well.
Kanwal, who were the only team to beat League Champions Gosford during the regular season last year and were very unlucky not to beat them again in the finals series and book a spot in the Grand Final. Coach Hayley knows it will be no easy task as she expects “Another close year in the WPL competition but we are excited about what our squad has to offer”.
Jen Tatum also had a lot to say how the season and what her squad has to offer as she is “really looking forward to the season.”
Terrigal will enter the 2021 season with a relatively unchanged playing group that finished in 4th spot last year. Darryl Darke will once again lead the Terrigal “Olasses” WPL squad for the forthcoming season.
One of Darryl’s main focus for this off-season has been integrating “a number of our youth players & recruiting a couple of experienced players” as his side looks to once again make finals and compete at the highest level. Terrigal is still in the early stages of a long term plan that Darryl is hoping will bring plenty of success.
Darryl and his side are “looking forward to the season start” but knows Killarney in round 1 will be a competitive and tricky first opponent.
East Gosford were very unlucky not to play finals football last year falling just 3 points short of the 4th spot. The Rams welcome back Jorge Chavez who will be looking to improve on last year and challenge for a title with his squad.
East Gosford has had an influx of new players and with very dominant performances in the MATE Association Cup will look like a force for the 2021 season. “With 10 new players to integrate into our system, we knew it would take a few games to get things going. A lot of work behind the scenes has taken place to improve and grow our women’s program, the excitement can be felt throughout the club”.
East Gosford will face Southern in round 1 who they came up against in the cup and walked away 8-0 victors. Jorge knows Southern will come out a “much better team this weekend”.
Southern & Ettalong
Southern & Ettalong United will have a new face in charge of the WPL side this year as they embrace new head coach Augusto Terra for 2021. Southern who were League Champions in 2019 could not back it up last year as they finished in 6th but will look to get back to winning ways under their new coach.
With a new coach, there are always going to be changes. “The Club has made some changes this season and we are just building up a new team, pre-season went really well, and the team is starting to take good form physically and technically” Augusto stated.
“The first game is not going to be easy, and I believe that every single weekend we are going to have a good challenge. However, we have been training hard and are getting ready for this” Augusto also added.
Like a lot of clubs and teams this year, the pre-season has not been ideal due to the weather and other circumstances. This is the same for Adam Tait and his WPL squad who “have had a disruptive pre-season with a few injuries and player losses to other clubs”.
Killarney Districts finished 7th on the WPL ladder last year just picking up 5 wins from 14 games. Adam knows that his team and players are in for a tough season ahead, but they are also very aware of it.
“We are expecting a tough game against Terrigal for our first game of the year”, Adam added, But Killarney will be looking to get their season off on the right foot and start the season with 3 points.
The Woongarrah WPL squad look ready for 2021 season, as they have been able to retain a core group of 14 players from the 2020 season and several new additions joining the wildcats for the season ahead.
Dave Hurley will be the head coach of the WPL squad once again and is looking forward to the year that is ahead. “We are really excited, with a balance of youth and experienced players, that have decided to take this opportunity to join our squad for 2021, It’s going to be a huge year ahead for our youthful squad, competing against several well-established teams that have formed some very notable combinations. Taking this into consideration, we will learn to adapt to these conditions and look forward to this season.”
Dave and his squad will be hosting their local rivals Kanwal at Hamlyn Terrace in the first round as they will be searching for a victory in the local derby.
Kariong FC will be hoping to put last season in the rear view mirror with their first grade side only picking up 1 point from 14 games. Coach Haylie Eyers is very hopeful that her girls will turn things around and be competitive for the upcoming season.
“This squad is continuously being developed, so after a tough season last year, it will certainly be challenging to prove ourselves once again and win games we know we can.” Haylie also went on to add, “With a few key players returning to the club as well as new additions, the season ahead looks promising”.
Haylie is very hopeful that her squad will show that they are a fighting force for the WPL season ahead.
Wyong will enter WPL for the 2021 season, steered by head coach Paul Halton. It is always an exciting time whenever a fresh team enter a competition with so much unknown about this Wyong outfit.
For Wyong, it has not been an easy road to get back into WPL, having to find a squad eligible to play but are “looking forward to our challenge” Paul stated. “It’s been a challenge building a squad, but we have made some great signings.”
Wyong will face a big obstacle come round 1 as they take on 2020 League Champions Gosford at Gavenlock Oval. Wyong was the only WPL team that did not compete in the Mate Association Cup so a lot is unknown on how the side will shape up come their first fixture.
Thanks again to Darren Hooper from Central Coast Unity Bank for his continued support of Women’s Football on the Central Coast. Click to learn more about Unity Bank