Canberra look to improve

Winning the competition last season is not enough for a hungry Canberra United side.

What better way to start the Westfield W-League 2012/13 Season than with a rematch between the two grand finalists from last season: Canberra United versus Brisbane Roar.

They may be the reigning champions, but Canberra United have it all to do if they want to be the first club to win consecutive titles. Can they continue where they left off and take down two-time champions Brisbane Roar when the season kicks off on October 20?

When asked whether her team would be looking to go back to back, Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova simply replied, "Inside the team we are talking about how we want to be better, how we want to show great football like last season, even better football, and that's our goal for the season."

Klimkova will be hopeful that last season's top scorer, Michelle Heyman, will be a source of goals when they take on their Grand Final opponents Brisbane Roar in round one, while also welcoming back the artistry of Sally Shipard, fresh from a stint in Germany with giants Bayer Leverkusen. United fans will also have a new face to enjoy in Ariane Hingst, one of the most decorated players in women's football. Boasting an incredible 174 caps for Germany, Hingst has moved from Newcastle Jets, and the defender will be looking to cement her position in a squad that isn't exactly short on talent.

Their round one opponents, Brisbane Roar, have had a host of changes in the off-season, not least of which is a new head coach in the form of Belinda Wilson. The former AFC Director of Women's Football has been plying her trade in Norway for the past three seasons and takes over the management post after Jeff Hopkins was called up to be Rado Vidosic's new Brisbane Roar assistant coach in the Hyundai A-League. Since the departure of Vicki Linton from Melbourne Victory in September, Wilson becomes one of only two female coaches in the league, alongside Kilmkova at Canberra United.

Brisbane Roar are looking a very strong side as they search for their fifth consecutive Grand Final appearance in 2012/13. Westfield W-League heavyweights Tameka Butt and Emily Gielnik, who both scored in last season's Grand Final, have returned from stints with the Boston Breakers and Liverpool Ladies, respectively. And captain Clare Polkinghorne remains a stalwart in defence as the recharged Roar attempt to avenge last season's Grand Final loss.

Whatever the result, things are sure to kick off with a bang this Saturday when Canberra United host Brisbane Roar at McKellar Park. In other matches, Adelaide United host Wanderers FC, Melbourne Victory head west to tackle Perth Glory and Sydney FC are at home against the Newcastle Jets.

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