I love a bit of hype, it builds interest and has me hooked like the promise of chocolate. Adelaide United signed both the Fowler sisters, the hype is real. It’s no joke, Mary Fowler has proved she can play. The forward possesses an irresistible ability to hold the ball, beat a defender and looks to be the archetypal centre forward every side seeks.
Mary’s older sister, Ciara hasn’t faced the spotlight in the same way. However, can I just tell you, the hype should be real for her too.
Watching Ciara sitting at defensive midfield against North Korea for the Young Matildas has me hooked. She looked comfortable sitting deep, protecting her centre backs that forced North Korea to hit to the flanks. Not only was she strong on the defensive side, with blocking and reading play well to put in a tough challenge, her passing was spot on.
The difficulty of picking out the correct pass against a side who are as well structured as North Korea cannot be underestimated. Ciara looked more than happy to provide that wall for her defenders to pass the ball to and receive back again when searching for a route forward. There was one instance where the pass she received was short, stretching to put in the one touch pass, she hit the wing, in behind the defender, nearly releasing her winger into space. Simple passes are underrated, Ciara’s game brings them by the bagful.
I don’t have the numbers, but Ciara’s percentage of complete passes would’ve been very high in the first half. There’s room for improvement. Being able to execute her game over the full 90 minutes under high pressure, being a bit more ambitious and aware to cover her fullbacks are areas from her Young Matildas performance that could improve. But the promise is there.
Playing at number six is a position that rarely receives the glory. But in the way the Matildas feel the sting when Kellond-Knight isn’t sitting as defensive midfield, this is an important area to win on the field. It’s a position that requires a deep knowledge of the match, while experience is often essential to really flourish.
The early signs all point to Ciara being excellent. So while the headlines may be full of hype for Mary, let’s not forget Ciara will be a game changer at Adelaide United this season.