Sermanni hails Westfield W-League success

National coach Tom Sermanni has paid tribute to the Westfield W-League for boosting the next generation of playing talent for the Westfield Matildas.





National coach Tom Sermanni has paid tribute to the Westfield W-League for boosting the next generation of playing talent for the Westfield Matildas.

Speaking at Monday-s launch of season two of the Westfield W-League, Sermanni said the league was invaluable in providing a platform for players on home soil.

“The critical thing is it gives players opportunities they haven-t had before. It gives them chances to play against their competitors in the national team."

“And it gives me an opportunity to see how players improve from year to year because we have quite a few younger players in the competition."

“So for fringe players, it gives them an opportunity. For established players, it gives them the chance to say, ‘well, if you want my spot, you have to earn it-,” he said.

Sermanni, who took Australia to a quarter final spot at the last FIFA Women-s World Cup in 2007, added that importing international players will boost not only the Westfield W-League but the national team of Australia.

And there-ll be plenty of Aussie national team players to watch when the league kicks off this Saturday.

“We-ll have the full complement of Westfield Matildas, Westfield Young Matildas and U/17s playing in the league this year. Obviously we-ve lost some key players in the national team in recent times which is sad but it regenerates the game as we-ll see new stars coming through in the Westfield W-League, which makes it an exciting season.”

The legendary skipper Cheryl Salisbury announced her retirement from the Westfield Matildas earlier this year as did defender Di Alagich and midfielder Joey Peters.

As Sermanni looks ahead to the next FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2011, Westfield W-League stars such as Casey Dumont, Kyah Simon and Tameka Butt will be looking to impress after being named in last weekend-s Westfield Matildas training squad.

Sermanni also has his eye on some other up-and-coming stars of the Westfield W-League.

“Last season, we saw glimpses of Sam Kerr at Perth Glory who plays with a very carefree approach. I-m hoping to see her further develop and become more potent. Kyah Simon at Sydney FC is another one who-s a potential match-winner."

“And I-d be interested in seeing Laura Alleway and how she steps up this year in Melbourne. And there-s Aivi Luik at Brisbane Roar, a Queensland girl who-s played in the American league the last few years and has more experience."

“And there-ll be others who-ll surprise me, I-m sure.”