W-League: Canberra United not taking Adelaide United lightly despite finals place secured

It shapes as a glorified training run, but Canberra United midfielder Julia De Angelis says the defending W-League champions can't afford to switch off in their final game of the season.

With second spot and a home semi-final already secured, United will use Friday night's clash away to Adelaide United as a chance to ensure their entire squad is in peak condition.

Canberra United midfielder Julia De Angelis is eager to make the most of her opportunity.
Canberra United midfielder Julia De Angelis is eager to make the most of her opportunity. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Matildas representatives Lydia Williams and Michelle Heyman return to bolster the team after both sat out last weekend's 3-0 win against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

De Angelis said it was important Canberra didn't drop off in intensity despite having their home semi-final with Sydney FC on January 24 locked in. 

"It's important we switch on against Adelaide because it is about building momentum coming into the semi-final and keeping the quality that we've had so far," De Angelis said.

With seven straight wins and five clean sheets in a row, Canberra appears to be the only team capable of stopping Melbourne City from claiming the title.


City is one game away from going through the season undefeated, a remarkable effort in their first season in the competition.

The competition for spots in the midfield has meant De Angelis has played five of her nine games this season as a substitute.

In her second season in the W-League, the 18-year-old Young Matildas international is learning as much as she can from the likes of Mexican star Veronica Perez, American Kendall Fletcher and Caitlin Munoz.

"With the talent we've got in the midfield, I understand it's a really great learning environment for myself," De Angelis said.

"If I get a chance to step in I'll be ready to go, but I'm quite happy waiting for my opportunity.

"I didn't know a lot of the girls personally either last year, so I it was a bit daunting as a young girl coming in, but this year I'm a lot more confident."

Canberra coach Rae Dower said having a player the calibre of De Angelis in the squad was proof to the amount of depth they had.

"Julia finds herself as a really unlucky player in a lot of respects that she would be starting at most teams playing 90 minutes week in, week out," Dower said.

"I think she's got a pretty good nursery learning off players like Caitlin and Veronica and Kendall.

"We know that herself and Grace Gill showed they can step in, Grace Maher's in and around the frame and she'll come away with us this weekend."

Williams and Heyman were rested last weekend after spending the week in camp with the Matildas.

"Absolutely 100 per cent available this weekend, so you can expect to see them on the plane and on the field tomorrow night," Dower said.

"It's good for us all, we've had a pretty standard squad throughout the season. 

"It's a short season so you don't get a lot of time to get those combinations working and that continuity."

Friday: W-League: Adelaide United v Canberra United at Adelaide Shores Football Centre, 7.30pm (AEDT).

Canberra United squad: 1. Lydia Williams (gk), 2. Catherine Brown, 3. Julia De Angelis, 4. Kendall Fletcher, 5. Jenna McCormick, 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 10. Grace Maher, 11. Michelle Heyman, 13. Nicole Begg (c), 14. Ashleigh Sykes, 16. Tegan Riding, 17. Veronica Perez, 18. Rebecca Kiting, 19. Nickoletta Flannery, 20. Melissa Maizels (gk)

Ins: Grace Maher, Nickoletta Flannery, Michelle Heyman, Lydia Williams (all promoted)

Outs: Meg McLaughlin, Grace Gill (both omitted), Emma Kete (New Zealand international duty).

Adelaide United squad: 1. Kaitlyn Savage (gk), 2. Lauren Steer, 3. Alexandra Gummer, 4. Sarah Killion, 5. Allira Toby, 6. Chantelle Ryder, 8. Emily Condon, 10. Georgia Campagnale, 11. Rosie Sutton, 12. Elizabeth Milne (c), 13. Abbigail Dahlkemper, 15. Matilda McNamara, 17. Tiarn Powell, 18. Lorena Maggio, 20. Claudia Jenkins (gk), 21. Isabel Hodgson

Ins: Tiarn Powell (returns from injury)

Outs: None