Doyle has Canberra in her sights

The Central Coast Mariners are primed to dish out some capital punishment this weekend when they line-up against Canberra United in Round 5 of the Westfield W-League.

The Central Coast Mariners are primed to dish out some capital punishment this weekend when they line-up against Canberra United in Round 5 of the Westfield W-League.

The Mariners have been in tremendous touch so far in season 2 and following a blistering 5-1 defeat of the Newcastle Jets last weekend, the Gosford outfit will be out to maintain the intense pressure on front-runner Brisbane Roar.

Much of the success of Stephen Roche-s side to date has been built around a strong defensive unit, and one of the main components to the rock solid backline has been Rachael Doyle – the Mariners- central defender has formed a sturdy partnership with captain Caitlin Cooper.

“We are really enjoying ourselves at the moment, the whole team really,” said Doyle.

“My good understanding with Caitlin goes back to last season, and we have really improved our game. We both feel really confident in one another-s ability, and I believe our performances have shown this.”

Doyle, who compliments her teammates for an exceptional work ethic in the pre-season, is confident the Mariners can maintain their strong start through until the end of the season.

“Each of the girls have worked really hard from the word go.

“Unfortunately, it is a short season, so it is vital that we do not make any mistakes as a loss or two could rule any team out of the running for the finals,” said Doyle.

“We are also not helped by the shorter pre-season – with all the girls finishing off playing commitments with their State League clubs – so it is really important that all players come into camp and work hard from the word go; this we have done really well.”

The Mariners Women trail Brisbane Roar by one-point on the League ladder, and this weekend face a tough challenge against the W-League-s representative from the nation-s capital.

Canberra United sit in sixth-spot on the ladder and is coming off their first win of the season – a 2-0 defeat of Melbourne Victory – though Doyle & Co. will be eager to bring Canberra back down to earth.

“We must win the match, no doubt. We want to play finals football, and our aim is to go out and win every single match.

“Against Brisbane we went out and played our game, and we did well despite conceding a late goal.

“Even though we are travelling well, we cannot fall into any traps and we will not at all be underestimating our opponents this Saturday, as their result against Melbourne Victory last weekend suggests they are up for the challenge,” Doyle said.

Despite not starting the season as one of the ‘fancied- teams for a shot at the title, the general feeling around the Mariners camp is to prove all the doubters wrong.

“Our side wasn-t expected to do as well as we have so far, and that is fine with us. We-ll just keep doing what we are doing, playing to our strengths and hope to cause many more upsets this season,” said Doyle.

Doyle-s immediate goals revolve around the Mariners, though a potential Matildas call-up is something she certainly hopes to achieve.

“The W-League is a great opportunity to be in the spotlight, to catch the attention of the national team boss (Tom Sermanni) and perhaps get a call up to the team.

“I have been involved with the Young Matildas and it is a great feeling. I will certainly work hard on my form to put myself in line for a potential call up,” Doyle said.

As part of Saturday’s double header, Doyle, along with five of her Mariners’ teammates will be among a group of current an former Westfield Matildas to be presented with their national caps as part of a special presentation at half time of the Hyundai A-League match.

The Central Coast Mariners Westfield W-League team takes on Canberra United next Saturday, 31 October at Canberra Stadium, as part of a double header which also sees the Mariners Hyundai A-League side clash with Adelaide United. Kick-off in the Westfield W-League game is at 4:15pm, while the Hyundai A-League sides do battle at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now on sale by clicking here