Mariners Women’s Academy League One squad prepared for massive trip to UNSW

It’s been an incredible season to date for the Mariners League One Women’s squad in the hunt for the title and promotion into the NPL NSW competition. 

After 19 rounds the first-grade side sit first on 52 points, defeating Hills United convincingly 3-0 last weekend to extend their lead to eight points.

The under 20’s have also been extremely strong, with a nil-all draw last weekend keeping them in second. The squads overall lead at the top of the club championship table extending to 30 points. 

First Grade head coach Dan Barrett was very pleased with the performance last weekend from his side, with the team on top almost from kick off. 

A 4th minute goal from Junior Matilda Ava Carlson handing the Mariners the early lead before a stunning strike from Annalise Rasmussen and an 80th minute sealer from Iona Snape secured the 3-0 victory. 

“I was very happy about last weekend’s performance. We had done a lot of work on Hills in the lead up and to have the girls come out and execute like they did, I was very proud of that performance. That was just another example of how our squad has just gone to the next level,” he said. 

“I feel like we are a lot fitter, a lot stronger, we understand how we want to play a lot more, and we’re able to execute a lot better. I think last week’s result against Hills, three nil compared to a one nil win from a penalty the first time we played them shows how far we have come.”

The evolution and growth of the side since kicking off the season in March has particularly impressed Barrett, watching his team slowly extend their lead at the top of the first-grade table. 

Every player contributing to the common goal of gaining promotion, putting in the hard work not only on game days but also on the training pitch. 

“We have just been so focused on our performances. We feel like we have progressively gotten better and better, while we feel like other teams haven’t. Every single player is contributing to what we are looking to do week in and week out and that includes our under 20’s squad as well. We need both teams to do well for promotion,” he said. 

“We have got girls coming off the bench and we lose nothing. We keep the consistency, and we keep the intensity and we don’t dip in performance at all. Every member in the squad is doing the work during the week.

We have a saying within the team that we win the game from Monday through Friday at training, before we show up on Sunday to execute and get the job done. Every single player is contributing to that.

This weekend is arguably the biggest match of the season for the two team’s, coming up against the UNSW. The previous matchup between the pair ending in first grade’s only loss to date this season, with Barrett confident that they can reverse that result. 

“We are focusing on it as just another game, but we all know the importance of the result. We know that the result can set us up for possible promotion, and it can set us up for possibly the minor premiership,” he said. 

“I see a team that is going to be desperate to win. I see a team that has beaten us once before and will probably go into the game confident. However, we know how to nullify Uni, we just need to keep the football and make sure we are in charge from start to finish. If we can do that, like we did against Hills, I’m confident that we will come out winners.”

Under 20’s kicks-off on Sunday at 3:05pm on The Village Green field one, before first grade begins at 5pm.