Oxtoby looking forward

It was perhaps fitting that this interview with Tanya Oxtoby took place on the stormiest day of the year in Perth.

It was perhaps fitting that this interview with Tanya Oxtoby took place on the stormiest day of the year in Perth.

As thunder rumbled in the air and rain pelted down on one of the wettest summer days in memory, the leaden skies outside probably matched the mood in the inner sanctum of the Glory's Westfield W-League side.

Already reeling from an 11-0 humbling by Sydney FC last weekend, the heaviest loss in the league's short history, worse was to come as the club released New Zealand import Emma Kete and fellow international, Norwegian Lisa-Marie Woods from their contracts.

Although Football West, the body that manages the side, cited "undisciplined acts" in a statement released shortly after, it's been reported that a training ground punch-up led to their departures.

Either way, they're gone and an already undermanned Glory, missing internationals like Katie Gill (knee), Sam Kerr (knee) and Collette McCallum (year off) will now have to face Melbourne Victory this weekend with less players on deck.

It's no wonder then that Glory women's captain Oxtoby readily agrees it's been the toughest week of her captaincy, although she remains hopeful that this darkest hour is just before the dawn.

"The most important thing for us is to learn from it," said Oxtoby.

"It's obviously not the greatest result, we're pretty embarrassed by it and we know that we're better than that but to take some positives from it is to basically learn a little bit about ourselves and learn what we need to do better."

"We just need to really focus this week on improving on those areas and making sure that we sort ourselves out a little bit really."

Honesty is often a rare commodity in any type of sport, but a forthcoming Oxtoby wasn't about to sugarcoat things, readily admitting that while the side's looking forward to playing again this Saturday, there could be some mental demons lingering when they take to the pitch.

"We'll be going out there to try and put that performance behind us but it does take a toll on you," she admitted.

"It does take a toll on your confidence and we need to go back to the basics that we know we do well."

"For me, I took that loss especially hard and everybody can learn from their individual performance and our performance as a team."

"It's been very, very difficult but I need to put aside all of those things for the group and what's best for the group is strong leadership right now."

"(But) this will bring the group closer together," Oxtoby added.

"If you fall you can just pick yourselves up and go out and prove a few people wrong and I'm hoping that that's going to be the way for us this week if we all pull together."

Along with leading the Glory, Oxtoby is also a development officer for Football West, specialising in women's and indigenous football.

Hailing from the remote community of Wickham in WA's Pilbara area, 50 kilometres from the mining town of Karratha, Oxtoby is one of the trailblazers for indigenous women in football in this country, along with the likes of Sydney FC's Kyah Simon and Canberra United's Lydia Williams.

Going out into remote communities to help develop the game, 29-year-old Oxtoby believes football, and especially the Westfield W-League, is something of a shining beacon for young indigenous children.

"A lot of us have come from small communities and regional areas but if you want something badly enough you work hard enough, your dreams come true and that's the kind of the message that I try and spell out to some of the communities that I visit," Oxtoby said.

"Just because you're in a little bit of a restricted place in terms of your geography, it doesn't mean that you're not going to achieve your dreams."

"The W-League's a huge part of it, just completing that pathway," she added.

"(Children start with) participation level and your grassroots stuff and then you're looking to move forward through that into your development programs, into the Glory, into the W-League-type sides and then into the Matildas."

"And now the W-League's been established for a few years, it's been fantastic, so when we go out and speak (to them) we can highlight what the pathway is and they can really visualise and see that it works."