Western Sydney Wanderers Young Matildas Ellie Carpenter and Jada Mathyssen-Whyman are looking forward to their first W-League game of season 2016/17.
Two other Wanderers Young Matildas also return this weekend in Georgia Plessas and Rachel Lowe.
The 16-year-old was involved with the senior national team in the 2016 Rio Olympics and just returned from 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Qualifiers where they progressed to next year’s Asian Cup.
Carpenter played all 12 games last season where the Wanderers finished seventh on the W-League table and now looks forward to beginning the season in her favourite game in the W-League – the Sydney derby against the Sky Blues.
The derby will be played in a double header before the A-League game involving Sydney FC and Perth Glory.
“It’s exciting and the hype all around it especially before the men, it’s really good to get the crowds there just to recognise women’s football,” Carpenter said.
“It’s always a rivalry between the two Sydney teams and I’m sure it’ll be a good fight this weekend.
“My goals are just to play my own game, not let anything else get to me and top four is my goal this season, I think if we play our own game then we can definitely achieve that.”
The Wanderers lost their first game of the season in an entertaining 4-2 loss away to Perth Glory last week at nib Stadium.
Carpenter saw the game and believed lapses of lost concentration would need to be culled against Sydney.
She said the four Americans in the team – Alex Arlitt, Paige Nielsen, Katie Stengel and Kendall Fletcher were settling in well.
“I just met them (the Americans) the other day, they’re really nice, great footballers so it’s a great asset to our team,” she said.
“This year is different to last year because we’ve got new coaching staff, new players but I think the feel around the group is really good and we’re excited to play the derby.
“I look back on the game with the girls, we watched it as a group and we take a lot of positives out of the game, just some individual mistakes let us down, but the team is really excited for this upcoming derby.
“I think it’s just making sure everyone is up to our game and just making sure we don’t make individual and silly mistakes and I think as a group, we’re really looking forward to this weekend.”
Goalkeeper and Young Matilda Whyman believed the W-League Sydney derby almost upstaged the men's version.
She will be in goals this weekend in place of Matilda Casey Dumont who is out for three weeks with a leg injury.
“It’s (W-League Sydney Derby) probably even a bit more… fierce, nah, I think we have a good chance and to play our game,” Whyman joked.
“From the highlights I saw against Perth, I think we played really well, the goals were unfortunate, but we’ve got a good chance for the next game.
“The double header lifts the energy with us, it’s great to have a crowd like that come along so looking forward to it.”