Top five talking points from five rounds
Melbourne Victory's slow start to the season was understandable given their disrupted pre-season.
Approaching the halfway point of the regular season, the Westfield W-League has thrown up its share of big scores, come-from-behind victories and stunning debuts. Here are the top five talking points from five rounds:
1. It's anybody's game
Season 2012/13 is proving to be one of the most open and evenly contested yet. With Perth Glory heading a bunched field after five rounds, there's still plenty to play for - even last-placed Adelaide are only four points off the top four. Crucially, every team is beatable with each of the eight teams registering at least one loss and one win already.
2. The kids are alright
With a combination of injury, pregnancy and Westfield Matildas commitments keeping a host of big names out of action, this season was always going to prove a test of the league's young talent. So far they've passed with flying colours. Sydney FC's Sam Kerr and Alanna Kennedy, Perth Glory's Marianna Tabain and Newcastle Jets' Emily van Egmond have been some of the young standouts, but strong performances right across the board have set a high standard and signalled a bright future for Australian women's football.
3. Not just bigger, but better
The addition of Western Sydney Wanderers FC, two more rounds and 13 more games meant the league was always going to be bigger, but the quality of the competition also continues to rise. The league is now attracting increasing numbers of talented players from all around the world, contributing to a more even, exciting and unpredictable competition. Improvements in technology for match officials this season have also boosted refereeing standards.
4. Glory days ahead for Perth
Perth struggled to second last in the 2011/12 Westfield W-League season, so it would be a surprise to many to see them leading this year's competition by three points after five rounds. But the off-season returns of Westfield Matildas Collette McCallum, Lisa De Vanna and Katie Gill has provided a huge boost and the Glory are proving a force to be reckoned with. No result illustrated their resurgence better than last week's 3-1 win over an understrength Sydney FC - they lost the corresponding fixture 11-0 last season.
5. Victory a team to watch
Melbourne Victory's slow start to the season was understandable given their disrupted pre-season. The departure of former coach Vicki Linton and the loss of several key players certainly rocked the boat. But after two opening losses the Victory have really started hitting their straps under coach Mike Mulvey. A 3-0 win over reigning champions Canberra last week made it three on the trot and they look capable of playing a big role in the title race.
Though we have to wait a couple of weeks for the top-of-the-table clash between Canberra United and Perth Glory, it should be a cracker of a weekend for round six. We look forward to bringing you the top five talking points from the next five rounds.