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Dec 10, 2021   |  9:46AM AET

Wander Women mentally and physically prepared for Derby Day

Wander Women mentally and physically prepared for Derby Day

Head coach Catherine Cannuli on the Wanderers Liberty A-League team’s preparations for Saturday night’s Sydney Derby.

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The Red & Black head into the match after sharing the points in a cagey 0-0 against newcomers Wellington Phoenix down in Wollongong.

After kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to thunderstorms surrounding Wollongong’s WIN Stadium, the Phoenix gave a good account of themselves in an end-to-end encounter. 

While the Phoenix, who had eight 18-year-olds in their starting side, failed to score, there were plenty of positives in their maiden outing against a much-fancied Wanderers team.

Things could have been vastly different when Western Sydney’s Bianca Gallic fed Sheridan Gallagher through the middle of the Phoenix defence in the 12th minute.

The forward turned and bore down on goal but was only able to hit the crossbar from the edge of the box.

That was to be the sole flashpoint in the first half as the Wanderers enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but were unable to turn their dominance into goals.

“It was the first round, the girls were quite nervous leading into that game,” said Cannuli.

“I didn’t think they really settled in at all across the 90 minutes.

“The positives that we can take out from the game is that we came home with one point and a clean sheet which is fantastic for us.”

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 03: Isabel Gomez of the Phoenix tackles Bianca Galic of the Wanderers during the round one A-League Women match between Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers at WIN Stadium, on December 03, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Wanderers have now turned their attention to Saturday night’s blockbuster Sydney Derby at CommBank Stadium with Cannuli and her side embracing the challenge.

“What a game to go into in Round 2, playing out in CommBank Stadium,” said Cannuli.

“We’re back at home and playing in the Derby, the girls are definitely up for it.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”

The match will mark the Wanderers first Liberty A-League home match of the season, forming part of a double header filled with action on Saturday night.

“Coming home is always great, we always want to be playing in front of our fans and it’s fantastic to be out at CommBank Stadium this weekend.

“I think the girls are super prepared and are mentally and physically ready for this weekend.”

Liberty A-League Sydney Derby
11 December 2021, 5:05pm
CommBank Stadium
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