Ambitious Wanderers aim high

Some impressive off-season recruiting has Western Sydney Wanderers looking to match the achievements of their male counterparts in the coming campaign.

Some impressive off-season recruiting has Western Sydney Wanderers looking to match the achievements of their male counterparts in the coming Westfield W-League campaign.

Tony Popovic-s charges reached unimaginable heights in their debut Hyundai A-League season, and while Steve Roche-s side finished with a more modest outcome, a solid platform for future growth was built.

In the hunt for finals football until last season-s penultimate round, Wanderers this term will have much greater ambitions having significantly bolstered their squad.

Through the arrivals door have come long-serving Westfield Matildas utility Heather Garriock, plus highly-rated young national team colleagues Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy.

Tori Huster has also been lured from the Hunter to bolster the Wanderers midfield and will be joined by fellow American midfielder Shawna Gordon, who featured in this year-s inaugural US National Women-s Soccer League for Boston Breakers.

The presence of Caitlin Cooper will help shore up the defence while also arriving from Canberra United is impressive young goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, although she is set to miss the opening weeks of the season.

Injury, however, has also cruelled the hopes of arguably the biggest recruit of the season with former Westfield W-League Golden Boot winner Kyah Simon to miss the season with a torn knee ligament suffered on recent national team duty.

The experienced heads of Catherine Cannuli, Servet Uzunlar and Teigan Allen return from last campaign, along with Sam Spackman, Linda O-Neill, Jessica Seaman, Rachael Soutar, Georgia Rowntree and Jenna Kingsley - the latter making a return from long-term injury.

“The ultimate goal is to win the Premiership; that-s everyone-s goal,” said recently anointed captain Garriock.

“Our first step is the game on the weekend. If we achieve our short term goals, the confidence will build and with the side we have we-ll kick-on from there.

“Our pre-season has been excellent with the support staff at the Wanderers and I-m just looking forward to going out there and playing after all this hard work so far.”

Western Sydney Wanderers kick-off their Westfield W-League season against Adelaide United on Sunday at Marconi Stadium.

Western Sydney Wanderers (Coach Steve Roach)

Ins:

Mackenzie Arnold (Canberra United) Michelle Carney (Illawarra Stingrays) Caitlin Cooper (Canberra United) Heather Garriock (season off) Shawna Gordon (Boston Breakers, USA) Tori Huster (Newcastle Jets) Alanna Kennedy (Sydney FC) Emily van Egmond (Newcastle Jets)

Outs: Elizabeth Durack (Everton, England) Alexander Huynh (Colorado Buffs, USA) Alesha Clifford (Sydney FC) Vanessa Hart Sarah Walsh (retired) Louise Fors (Liverpool, England) Trudy Camilleri (Sydney FC) Candace Sciberras (University of Wyoming, USA)