Sport

W-League players to miss Capital Football's women's premier league grand final

Canberra United assistant coach Raeanne Dower has dismissed suggestions the absence of W-League players has unfairly affected the women's premier league grand final.

League champions Belconnen United will be aiming for the double when it takes on the young guns from the ACT Academy of Sport at McKellar Park on Sunday.

Belconnen United’s captain Michaela Day and ACTAS’ captain Caitlin Cantrill.
Belconnen United’s captain Michaela Day and ACTAS’ captain Caitlin Cantrill. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The game has been brought forward to 1pm to avoid a clash with United's round one W-League match with the Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium, starting at 3pm and televised live on ABC 1.

United players haven't been allowed to play for their Premier League clubs since training for the W-League season began in August.

The Blue Devils have been without Caitlin Munoz, Grace Field, Catherine Brown and Sally Rojahn, while Julia De Angelis and Grace Maher will miss the grand final for ACTAS.

Dower - who is also the coach of the ACTAS program - attributed the clash to the W-League draw being released after Capital Football had finalised its schedule.

Advertisement

The W-League has been brought forward this year to accommodate the Asian Cup starting in January.

"That situation isn't unique just for Canberra, that situation has been replicated across the country with the W-League starting early," Dower said.

"All of the clubs knew that back in February and were preparing for life without their CU players before the season even started.

"For the two ACTAS girls who miss out this weekend, it's a testament to the rest of the team to put them in that position by playing so well throughout the year."

Despite missing their United quartet, the Blue Devils go into the final as favourites having powered through the season with 18 wins, one draw and one loss and a goal difference of +81.

Defender Michaela Day, who has been with Belconnen United since 2007, doesn't expect the absence of United players to be an issue.

"It hasn't been too much of a problem for us," Day said.

"We've got some pretty good depth and we had a lot of young girls come up and play during the season.

"I don't think anyone is too concerned about that."

ACTAS captain Caitlin Cantrill said her side would play a quick game to make up for their lack of size.

"We feel like the underdogs, we're all pretty little and don't have much height," Cantrill said.

"There's been some games where it's been a learning experience, but there's been games where we've delivered.

"Belconnen are really experienced, but hopefully it might be a bit different this weekend."

SUNDAY: Women's Premier League grand final: Belconnen United v ACTAS at McKellar Park, 1pm.