Ubogagu praises Westfield W-League's international and homegrown talent
Ahead of her side’s must-win clash against Adelaide United on Friday night, Brisbane Roar forward Chioma Ubogagu has credited the quality of the Westfield W-League’s international and homegrown players for creating such a tight competition.
A win for Brisbane Roar would put them temporarily on top of the ladder, forcing them to watch on nervously as Melbourne Victory play Perth Glory immediately after, before travelling to Canberra for a catch-up game on Tuesday, February 5.
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Ubogagu noted how international players have improved the competitiveness of the Westfield W-League, as well as the standards of homegrown players.
“It’s been extremely close, I think I’ve checked the standings every other day because teams are flipping on the ladder,” said Ubogagu.
“Even these last few games, it can change a whole lot so I think it speaks volumes of the league, how it’s getting better.
“International players are coming in, homegrown players are growing (by) playing with international players, it’s a good experience.
“We have a blend of young players who are attacking-minded…and we have people like Yuki (Nagasato) who’s won a World Cup.”
Ubogagu hit the ground running with Brisbane Roar, helping them climb up the ladder and chase their second consecutive Westfield W-League Premiership.
The England international, who has played for Arsenal, Houston Dash and now Orlando Pride, has featured in nine games for the Roar, grabbing two goals and two assists along the way.
This Westfield W-League form earned Ubogagu her first ever cap for England where she scored on debut in a 3-0 win over Austria in November.
Ubogagu credited Brisbane Roar’s culture as a major factor in her transition to the Westfield W-League, singling out her coach Mel Andreatta as a driving force.
“It speaks volumes to the culture,” said Ubogagu.
“Right off the bat, I’ve felt truly welcome, I felt I could give my opinion even if it’d been one or two weeks.
“Everyone was extremely receptive and that just speaks volumes of what Mel’s done and what the staff’s done and the girls, too.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s really cool when you do all those things off the field right and then on the field you’re rewarded.”
Andreatta and her side not looking too far ahead
Brisbane travel to Adelaide United’s Marden Sports Complex on Friday night AEDT, with Andreatta’s side knowing they must win to keep their Premiership hopes alive.
The Westfield W-League is poised ever so delicately in the final round of the campaign: A win for Roar would put them three points ahead of Melbourne, though Victory can grab a maximum six points in their remaining two games.
For these reasons, Andreatta admitted her side were taking things one game at a time.
“It’s a cliche but it’s a good one, and that’s what I’m going with, especially with the catch-up game on the Tuesday between Melbourne and Canberra,” said Andreatta.
“We can’t look too far ahead and we’ve been agile all season with things we’ve had to adapt to, so we’ll stick to that mantra and be ready for whichever day we play and whoever we play in the semi-final.”