Last season was a good one for Seaforth FC with their Women’s Premier League team running third and their reserve grade winning the league. The WPL team had the best defence (with Manly-Allambie), a continuation of the club’s strength over the years. But now, in potentially ominous signs for competitors, Seaforth’s scoring goals. Lots of goals.
In two Challenge Cup games they beat Pittwater RSL FC 6-1 and followed it up with an 8-0 rout of last year’s league champions Mosman. For Seaforth coach Chris Wood it doesn’t mean his team is favourite for this year’s title. But it doesn’t hurt, either.
“You don’t know this time of year how teams are going to fare, who they’ve gained, who they’ve lost,” Wood said. “It’s an unknown until you’ve faced them. Brookvale [who Seaforth face at Graham’s Reserve on Sunday], they’ve just beaten Wakehurst. We don’t know if they’re stronger or Wakehurst has lost a couple.”
Wood is right. But he’s also playing coy. Because when you beat the champions 8-0 you’ve shown you’re a threat. When asked about that result in the Challenge Cup quarter-final, Wood said it just all clicked on the day. “We were 1-0 at halftime and then our fitness kicked in. Once we got to 3 or 4-0 they [Mosman] completely tired. We broke in behind them with some of our quick girls. It doesn’t mean Mosman were that poor. It just happens sometimes; they began chasing and we beat them on the break.”
Wood said the club has signed several good players and others have come back from injury. “The whole squad, firsts and reserves, is progressing and getting better each year. Our goal, and it would be the same for most teams, is to win everything we’re faced with.
“One thing we have done well is learn and get better. From round one to round two we adjusted against each team. We looked at their strengths and weaknesses and how to exploit them. We’d lose to a team in round one and beat them second time around. We adjusted to the information received and prepared. It wasn’t just a training session, it was focused on the team we were up against.”
The players bought in, realised they couldn’t win the same way each week. There was also freshness from changing up, from different formations.
Another string to Seaforth’s bow is fitness, according to Wood, who said his team has going hard since January. “They’re set challenges by coaching staff. They’re doing extras. The Women’s Premier League is extremely competitive. Every team is capable of beating every other one. There were games last year the girls came off shattered. You have to work very hard for a result.”
By Matt Cleary
Women’s Premier League – 11th April – 3:00pm
Wakehurst FC vs BTH Raiders at Lionel Watts Field 4
Brookvale FC vs Seaforth FC at Grahams Reserve
Pittwater RSL FC vs Manly Allambie FC at Kitchener Field 1
Manly Vale FC vs Mosman FC at David Thomas Reserve Field 2
Beacon Hill – BYE