US import helps fire up Woden Valley

WODEN VALLEY has a number of players who've developed with the club since its inception six years ago, but it was a new player who scored the winning goal in last week's inspired come-from-behind victory over Canberra FC.

At the start of this year, Peter Marlette was representing the Cincinnati Kings in the Professional Arena Soccer League, playing a game he described as closer to futsal than soccer.

''It's a totally different sport,'' Marlette said. ''It's actually played on an ice hockey rink, but instead of ice there's turf - so there's boards like a hockey rink, and it's five a side with a keeper.''

It was a far cry from the soccer he grew up playing, and which he played at Trinity College in Connecticut, the state where Woden Valley coach, Pat McCann, also played college soccer. It was that connection which led to the offer to come to Canberra.

The 23-year-old from Buffalo, New York, is one of two ''imports'' playing for Woden Valley this season, along with fellow American Nick Hamilton.

It's been a smooth transition for the pair, who've been welcomed by the club - and supporters judging from last week's performance. Marlette said his match-winning goal was ''an easy play'' but one of his career highlights.


''I think it was the first goal since I got here that I really kind of celebrated,'' he said.

''To be honest it was a big relief because I didn't think I had been playing particularly well that game.''

The victory sent confidence levels flying high at the club, a situation which should result in a tight contest against the undefeated Belconnen United at McKellar Park this afternoon.

''We've won four games in a row now, and obviously beating Canberra FC last week was a big confidence boost, especially the way we did it,'' Marlette said. ''We showed that no matter what a game's looking like, we can always be in it.''

Woden has come as close as anyone to the league leaders, registering a 1-1 draw against them in round three.

In yesterday's game, Cooma continued its strong start to the season with a 9-2 rout of strugglers Tuggeranong at Nijong Oval.

Tuggeranong coach Jeremy Butler was ordered from the field after a verbal stoush with referee Ben Williams midway through the first half.

Alex Oloriegbe and Stephen Domenici both scored hat-tricks for the victors.