Hamilton says O’Sullivan loss is ‘irreplaceable’ for Wanderers ahead of final match
Kristen Hamilton believes Denise O’Sullivan’s loss is irreplaceable for Western Sydney Wanderers, but the forward is confident the Irish star’s departure will not derail their Westfield W-League Premiership assault.
Irish international midfielder O’Sullivan, who was recently voted December Player of the Month by fans, will play the final game of her seven-match guest stint against Brisbane Roar on Sunday afternoon.
Wanderers boss Dean Heffernan admitted last month he was “exploring all avenues” to keep O’Sullivan at the club for the remainder of the season but has since conceded that the midfielder will be jetting off to Ireland to visit family following Sunday’s Round 9 with Brisbane.
“She’s irreplaceable as a player. She really is,” Hamilton told w-league.com.au.
“She’s the motor of a midfield. She just runs it all, she seems to never get tired. It’s just crazy.
“She’s constantly everywhere, winning every tackle… she might be the smallest on the field but she’s winning everything.
“We have a lot of depth on the bench here and I think we’ll be fine for someone else to step into that role in fill her shoes, but they are big shoes to fill.”
Despite O’Sullivan’s departure, Hamilton is confident the Wanderers have enough momentum, quality and belief to keep what has so far been record-breaking season hurtling toward the club’s first piece of silverware.
The Wanderers are still yet to lose this season, beat Sydney FC and Canberra United by an aggregate score of 9-0 in their last two matches, and during their Round 8 bye last weekend, the club beat the Chinese national team 1-0.
“Dean has instilled so much confidence in all of us,” said Hamilton.
“The young players are playing like you would not think they are 17 years old which is incredible.
“We’re just willing to work for each other every minute of every single game. Even just having that, even if you might not have the greatest skill on a team, that alone will get you places. And I think we have a combination of talent and work ethic.”
Hamilton’s stint with the Wanderers is her first ever venture outside of America and she currently feels in career best form with the Red and Black, following an NWSL campaign that produced nine goals and five assists, her best return to date.
The striker is enjoying Sydney coffee, and is appreciative of the fact that Western Sydney offers a space outside of the business of the city centre.
The only cultural challenge Hamilton has faced so far has been driving, and tackling Australian slang language.
“I honestly had no clue what an ‘arvo’ meant,” she said.
“It was just one of the most foreign things. Obviously, there’s a slew of different sayings and what not but definitely in the team it’s helped out in this regard.
“We always laugh back and forward at some the things they say and they things I say, so it’s been fun.”
The Wanderers host fifth-placed Brisbane Roar at Marconi Stadium on Sunday afternoon, kick off 4.00pm AEDT.
You can watch the match live and free on ABC - or click HERE to secure your spot at the fixture.