Derby delight in W-League season opener

Sydney Derby

The Western Sydney Wanderers will kick off their 2020/21 Westfield W-League campaign by hosting arch rivals Sydney FC in an exciting derby double header at Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday.

The Western Sydney Wanderers will kick off their 2020/21 Westfield W-League campaign  by hosting arch rivals Sydney FC in an exciting derby double header at Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday.

Get your tickets here. 

While A-League side host newcomers Macarthur Bulls, the Wander Women will host the original Sydney derby against a team many consider a title contender.

The Wander Women will be looking to build on their record-breaking last season where they finished fourth and qualified for the Finals series. 

Young goalkeeper Courtney Newbon will be back to build on her impressive debut campaign where she was understudy to American star Abby Smith.

This season, Newbon will be challenging former Adelaide United veteran keeper Sarah Willacy for a starting spot. 

Newbon featured in four Westfield W-League games in 2019/20 and admits she is keen to take her game to the next level.

“I will continue to work hard at training, build my confidence with the team and hopefully I am able to get some game time throughout the season,” said the 20-year-old Newbon.

“Sarah is a great keeper and has many attributes that I am looking forward to learning from her.”


Newbon kept nine clean sheets in 13 National Premier League Women’s (NPL W) competition this year for Sydney University, as the side won the League and made the Grand Final. 

“With Covid reducing the length of the NPLW season, it more closely replicated W-League in terms of a small amount of games which emphasised the need to win,” she said.

“It will hold me and the other girls in good stead for what is to come.”

For the Red & Black, reigning Wanderers Medal winner Courtney Nevin will be back to build on her excellent 2019/20 campaign, while former Matilda Caitlin Cooper will be one of the leaders this season.

Nevin and Cooper will also have plenty of support from veterans Leena Khamis, Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Olivia Price and Nikola Orgill, who have all returned to Wanderland this season.


Newbon said the pressure was on for everyone to play their role in making sure the Wanderers have another successful season.

“These girls who have been at the club for several seasons will have an integral role this season, especially as there are no internationals at the club this year. But I believe everyone is ready for that challenge including the new players that have joined us,” said Newbon.

“Everyone will have a crucial role to play if we are to make finals again. We all need to push each other to be better.”

The experienced Libby Copus-Brown is a new face at Rooty Hill, but has proven herself as an elite W-League player after seven years at the Newcastle Jets.

Copus-Brown will be joined in the middle of the park by Teigan Collister, who also makes the trip down the M7 to join Copus-Brown in the Red & Black.

The likes of Chloe Middleton and Rosie Galea, who made their debuts last season, will also be looking to step up ahead of a new campaign.

Libby Copus-Brown

Bryleeh Henry, Margaux Chauvet, Aideen Keane, Isabel Gomez and Sarah Hunter are part of the exciting new brigade who will call Western Sydney home this season. All four join after impressive apprenticeships in the NPLW system.

Newbon admits it’s exciting to see fresh blood injected into the camp.

“The young ones are doing really well. They are fitting into the environment and are all committed to learning and working on their games, which will make our club better,” said Newbon.

Sydney FC were Grand Finalists last year after finishing third on the home and away ladder.

There will be plenty of feeling in the game with a few familiar faces to Wanderers’ fans now playing for the old enemy. 

Young Matilda’s goalkeeper Jada Whyman, striker Cortnee Vine and former Matilda Rachel Lowe all made the trip across town during the off-season.

The Sky Blues also have plenty of experience in their team with club legend Teresa Polias and reigning Golden Boot winner Remy Siemsen both returning.

There are also a number of youngsters such as such as Princess Ibini, Angelique Hristodoulou and Natalie Tobin who will be looking to take their game to the next level.

Newbon believes the key to beating Sydney FC is to keep things simple.

“I think the main thing will just be working hard for each other. We need to have faith that each player will do their job and we have to trust each other out there,” said Newbon.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020
Kick-off: 4.35pm AEDT
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
Get your tickets here.