Women’s football in Tasmania is back for another year but this year’s instalment of the Statewide Cup will be a little different than previous years. Instead of a Round of 16 we only have 13 clubs nominated this year and three teams automatically go through the quarter-finals. It is a shame we didn’t get the full sixteen so you’ll have to forgive me for calling the fixtures match-day one. One has to wonder what went on there.
Clarence Zebras will be out to defend their title with the first test being Launceston’s Riverside Olympic. Zebras have said goodbye to their co-captain Danielle Kannegiesser ( Lions), Bronte Gadon (Lions) along with Striker Allie Berry, Georgia Burt and remaining skipper Zara Dixon.
Kayla Mason comes back to the Zebs after a year off while Shelley Cook (GK), Mady O’Brien, Zoe Nichols and Caitlyn Maundrill all return for another year.
Zebras will also welcome their new WSL coach in co-president Ronnie Bolton. Bolton has some experience working in Women’s football and was previously a past coach of the then Clarence United.
South Hobart will host Launceston’s Northern Rangers to D’Arcy St. South finished with a top four position in the WSL and will hope for a better season ahead. With Misty Olsen and Bridie Cooling still in the XI anything is possible.
Rangers finished a respectable 3rd spot last season in the Northern Championship only 7 points of eventual title winners Launceston United who will feature in the WSL for the first time. They also will debut a new coach, Stephen Pearce. Pearce last year was the U18s assistant coach and also lended his craft with the juniors setup. With Rod Fluton as his assistant coach, Pearce has already been involved with the side for a decade being a coach and player.
Runners up in 2020, Olympia FC Warriors have received a bye through to the quarters along with Southern Championship’s New Town White Eagles and one of the newest clubs in the WSL Devonport Strikers.
Where do you start with the Warriors? It’s been a real off-season of change with Maddi Black (WA) , Olivia Bomford (NSW) , Madi Chambers (Alabama State University), Caitlin Stalker (VIC) and Sophie Leszczynski (SA) all departing.
Leszczynski was fantastic at the back with Stalker making sure her side were all in line ready for the attackers. Sophie has carried her last name heritage in style with in former striker Richard Leszczynski (Eagles) and uncle Mark ‘Spider’ Leszczynski both having renowned careers in Tasmanian football.
Throw in Sam Leszczynski who just won the SC Golden Boot with New Town and the family’s history continues to grow.
Sophie will be sorely missed at Warrior Park and we wish her the very best in South Australia. Olympia can be very proud that all five above have developed so well they can now test themselves on the mainland at a higher level.
New Town in their first women’s season since 2013 have been busy in the market with coach/technical director Shane Revell bringing in a range of talent. Eagles have raided Beachside with Nina Daniels, Elke Peterson, Ellen Curtis all signing on. Kate Le Roux from Perth Joondalup Dachshunds has also put pen to paper. It’s great to see how serious Eagles are taking their first season back after 8 years so success could be on the horizon.
University was one of the teams to drop out for WSL 2021 in favour of the Southern Championship and will have the unfortunate task of handling Kingborough Lions at Olinda Grove. Nil wins and 2 draws in the league was not a pretty welcome back to the top tier from the students.
No news has came of out the Bees as of coaching staff or players but we will keep you posted if anything changes. Kingborough have already been documented of their changes and fans could say it’s an easy draw. Is anything a sure thing in cup football though?
Finally another side that won’t feature in the WSL Ulverstone will host one of their season replacements Taroona FC at the show-grounds. Taroona will go up North as favourites after their unbeaten SC title win last year.
It’s a real shame that Ulvie will not feature in the WSL again. They will now drop down to the Northern Championship. Seven teams in the WSL setup with one bye still isn’t really ideal. If Ulverstone was in the mix again we would of had eight teams.
Guess we will have to wait till next year to see what’s next for Ulverstone in the WSL, We’ll leave that one to the governing board.
Women’s Statewide Cup to be played April 3rd