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Terrigal v East Gosford

The 2023 WPL Grand Final rematch will headline round 6, East Gosford came out victorious on that day as they search for the same result when they travel to Duffy’s Oval this Sunday for a top-of-the-table clash with Terrigal. 

Despite starting their year with three wins from three games, Gab Blanch and her Terrigal side have found their opening fixtures far from straightforward. 

In their opening fixture, the defending league champions faced a tough WPL outfit in competition veterans Umina. Subpar finishing made their day out harder than it had to be as Terrigal were only able to find the back of the net from the penalty spot thanks to Candice Phelan to secure a 1-0 win. 

Their next showdown was a Saturday night fixture against Killarney and despite walking away with a 2-0 victory over the Terriers, Blanch voiced post-game that her team had still a long way to go to reach their potential. 

Last week’s fixture against Kincumber once again seemed like a straightforward match for Terrigal who claimed a 3-0 victory, however it was anything but as the Roos’ took the match to them for the entire contest and were unlucky not to walk away with anything to show for it. 

Nonetheless, Terrigal still enters this weekend unbeaten and sharing the top spot on the ladder as they are yet to concede a goal in all three matches which shows the quality and determination in their backline. 

When questioned if anything has surprised her or her team so far this season, Blanch stated, “Honestly, only the absurd amount of rain we’ve copped at this stage. It has provided a really disjointed start to the season.”

Gab also touched on what her team needs to improve on after their first three games. “A big focus for us right now is capitalising on the opportunities we create. We build up with such creativity and confidence, we are just lacking somewhat in the final third.”

“I believe lack of training has a bit to do with this, and I’m confident we’ll find our rhythm once we are training and playing more regularly.”

Terrigal have already had the opportunity to face East Gosford this season as the two teams met in the Grand Final of the 2024 Association Cup Final. 

Terrigal were able to get some revenge for their Grand Final loss last season against the Rams as they were crowned winners with an emphatic 6-0 victory.

Despite this, Blanch is adamant that win won’t give them the upper hand come Sunday. “I see no clear advantage, anything can happen on game day. We head into every fixture with absolute awareness of the target on our back. Teams are showing up differently against us, that’s what we have created for ourselves. This weekend is no different.”

“I anticipate a tough game, as always with East Gosford. The focus is on us and what we can do in every moment to control the game. We are looking forward to it.”

Blanch finished by stating, “I believe if we play to our capability, it will be an easy three points.”

There was a lot of uncertainty around East Gosford at the start of the season after the Rams lost multiple players from their successful team last year. 

However, Jorge Chavez and his side have proved that they will once again be title contenders as they also enter the match of the round with a perfect win record after three games. 

Equivalent to their opposition, East Gosford are also yet to concede a single goal in all three of their games, proving they have the same quality amongst their backline who will look to neutralise the attacking threats of Terrigal come kick-off. 

Head coach Chavez even admitted he is shocked by how well his team has come together with the introduction of his new players. 

“After losing eight players from our grand final winning side last year, I’m super surprised how well we have come together in such a short amount of time. Full credit to all the girls and coaching staff”

Starting their season with wins over Killarney (6-0), Kincumber (4-0), and Umina (4-0), East Gosford now prepare for their toughest challenge yet. 

Losing last year’s Golden Boot winner and also WPL player of the year, there were always going to be questions around East Gosford and their attack in 2024. 

However, the pair of Laura Mundy and Jessica Dominello have hit the ground running, scoring a combined total of nine goals in three games as they look to keep that form going against Terrigal.

“We take each game as it comes and look at improving on the fundamentals,” voiced Chavez.

“We know the style of football we aim to play, and I believe each game this year we have made huge leaps in our understanding and execution of our game plan.”

When asked what he anticipates from the opposition this weekend, Chavez declared, “We expect nothing new from Terrigal, their formation and tactics stay pretty much the same. They do what they do extremely well! They are a well-drilled team.”

“They are a great counter-attacking team that looks to break your line as soon as possible. Their results so far this year have been surprising, but we don’t read much into that as we know they really step up against us.” 

“They have 19 quality players, and we will have to execute our game plan to perfection if we are to walk away with the three points.”

Sunday’s match of the round is shaping up to be a blockbuster between the two competition favourites and one you will not want to miss come 2.45pm at Duffy’s Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Match Official – Nathan Boler

All Round 6 Fixtures –