Redemption is on the cards for the the Tasmanian State Women’s team as they prepare to fly out to Melbourne to take on Victoria in the 2017 edition of the Bass Strait Cup. After being humbled 5-0 on home turf in the 2016 edition, the Tasmanian side is looking to bounce back and reclaim the trophy they last won in 2013, having fallen to the Victorians in the past two editions of the Cup in 2015 and 2016.
Speaking at a Friday morning press conference, Tasmanian defender Holly-Lace Ayton said last year was a motivating factor for the side as they prepared to depart.
“There is absolutely an element of looking for redemption after last year for us. These are the opportunities for us to go out and show what we can do at a higher level and earn respect.”
She backed in the strength of the squad to push the Victorians all the way.
“It’s going to be a tough match, but i believe that the squad we’ve got this year is strong. The Super League this year was at a higher level so I think the players that are involved will be able to go out and give Victoria a good run for their money.”
A strong Tasmanian side has been selected in a bid to reclaim the cup with the side set to be bolstered by the likes of Aimee Medwin, Olivia Edwards and Isabella Gee who have been plying their trade in the WNPL Victoria competition that their Victorian opponents play in. In addition to providing a boost to the overall strength of the squad, it should also ensure the squad is familiar with the opposition they are set to meet and Tasmania will hope their inside knowledge can provide a boost. Also included is Jessie Williams who has been playing in the ACT for Belconnen United.
“I think every year we put together a good state squad, the girls that we have put together in the squad have done well this year and we’ve got 4 from interstate. I’m very pleased with what we’ve put together but this is a level we’re not exposed to enough so it will be a challenge for us.”
The rest of the side has been selected from the local Women’s Super League with the treble winning Hobart Zebras well represented with four players in the selected squad of 16 (Bowden, Burt, Mason, Kannegiesser). Olympia Warriors are the next most represented with 3 players selected (Johnson, Roberts & Michael) with Taroona (A.Ayton, H.Ayton) and Launceston City (Bygrave, Storay) also providing 2 players for the squad. Kingborough’s Olivia Gardner has been selected in goals by Edwards to complete the squad.
Settling on his starting defence appears to be Edwards biggest selection question he needs to solve in picking the side, whilst the plethora of quality midfield options available, means squeezing them all into the starting XI also looms as a big challenge. This is the area of the side that appears to be the Tasmanian sides greatest strength and where they will look to win the game from.
Edwards said whilst he was pleased with the development he was seeing in the local game, adapting to the speed of the game at the higher level would be his sides biggest challenge.
“We see a progression level every year with the girls and the way they play and it’s been good this season. The biggest difference I’ve found when you watch interstate is the speed at which they play and the pressure that they’re under throughout the game and that’s what we will have to adjust to quickly, that pressure that we’re put under.
Edwards added that whilst the past couple of seasons hadn’t gone the way they wanted, conditions had been tough and he was anticipating a
“This certainly won’t be an easy game for Victoria, we’re going out there to show what we can do, we will give them a good fight.”
Holly Ayton (Taroona FC)
Adelyn Ayton (Taroona FC)
Alyssa Bowden (Hobart Zebras FC)
Georgia Burt (Hobart Zebras FC)
Bethany Bygrave (Launceston City FC)
Olivia Edwards (FC Bulleen Lions)
Olivia Gardner (Kingborough Lions United FC)
Isabella Gee (FC Bulleen Lions)
Lucy Johnson (Olympia FC Warriors)
Danielle Kannegiesser (Hobart Zebras FC)
Kayla Mason (Hobart Zebras FC)
Aimee Medwin (South Melbourne FC)
Inocent Michael (Olympia FC Warriors)
Caitlin Roberts (Olympia FC Warriors)
Caitlin Storay (Launceston City FC )
Jessie Williams (Belconnen United Blue Devils)