Sydney derby to highlight opening night of A-League women’s season

Cortnee Vine’s World Cup experience is set to prove invaluable to a Sydney FC side intent on securing back-to-back A-League’s women’s championships.

Fresh from the Matildas’ memorable World Cup campaign on home soil, arguably the most anticipated women’s A-League season starts on Saturday with matches in Gosford, Sydney and Perth.

The highlight of the opening night of the season is the derby between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium.

The Sky Blues side includes midfielder Vine, who was among the many heroes of the Matildas’ run to the World Cup semi-finals.

Vine’s Sydney teammate Kirsty Fenton said the Matildas star helped “keep together” the Sky Blues.

“Coming off the back of the World Cup, there’s just so much hype around women’s football,” Fenton said.

“It’s good to see, and especially for `Cort’. She brings so much excitement for young girls, and to all the fans, and we really bring in a crowd.

“She definitely brings a lot of confidence to us, brings so much experience and talent, and we really learn a lot from her, on and off the field.

“She really helps us keep together, We’re definitely going to work hard for each other, for the team and for the fans.”

The Wanderers’ hopes of beating Sydney were this week boosted by the re-signing of goalkeeper Sham Khamis.

“I’ve got a couple more years in me as long as I stay nice and fit and healthy,” the 28-year-old keeper said.

“Being one of the senior players in the squad, I see it as an opportunity to pass on all my experience and be somewhat of a mentor to the younger players coming through to show that there is a path for female footballers here.”

Women’s A-League round 1 (all times AEDT): Saturday: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets, Industree Group Stadium, 5pm; Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers, Allianz Stadium 7:45pm; Perth Glory v Western United, Macedonia Park, 10pm. Sunday: Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City, Sky Stadium, 1pm; Adelaide United v Canberra United, Coopers Stadium, 3pm; Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar, La Trobe University, 4pm.

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