The season is nearly upon us! Absolutely crazy. Teams have been chopped and changed, with some questions still flying over squads despite the start of the season baring down on us. This season is shaping up to be absolutely massive. The chaos is sure to return, along with the stunning moments of dazzling football.
So, to warm us all up for the impending season, let’s compare each side with a Simpsons character. The only catch? The comparison cannot be a member of the Simpsons family.
I hope you enjoy.
Melbourne Victory – Groundskeeper Willie
It’s the simple things at Victory that seem to work, much like Groundskeeper Willie enjoys the simple pleasures of the bagpipes, kilts and grease trap fat. Victory won’t look to reinvent the wheel following a season topping one last year. They’ve got Natasha Dowie still igniting sparks up front, while they’ll be looking super solid in the back with Laura Alleway, Emily Menges and Jenna McCormick all vying for spots at the back. The hopes will be the international recruits of Annalie Longo, Darian Jenkins and Haley Hanson can live up to the lofty standards set by Christine Nairn, Dani Weatherholt and the void left by Emily Gielnik. If Victory can make magic happen once again in the midfield, they will be firing. Otherwise the losses of last season’s members in midfield could dampen their chances of back to back trophies.
Brisbane – Nelson Muntz
The gang’s back together with Tameka Yallop and Elise Kellond-Knight arriving back home, much like Nelson whenever he has his gang back. They’re ready to bully the competition with their style and experience, all the while yelling “HAHA” as they continue their dominating ways. A change at the coaching helm leaves us wondering whether they will continue in the vein of the last few seasons of defensive solidarity, while encouraging delightful creativity on bursts forward. However they wind up playing, it’s going to be celebrations with the long awaited homecoming for Brisbane with their returning players reuniting with Gorry to create a midfield opponents will baulk at. Add in Polkinghorne leading the defence and Raso flying on the wings, it wouldn’t be wise to underestimate this Queenslander outfit.
Sydney FC – Apu
It’s the same every season so far. Top four finish and in the finals series, the club continually says “thank you, come again” to anyone who doubts it won’t be more of the same. Much like the Kwik E Mart, you know what to expect at Sydney, with the shelves lined with Matildas, internationals and experienced locals. The side will look to hold the ball in possession, all the while patiently waiting to find a chink in the oppositions armour to expose with deadly speed in the final third. With a large amount of players re-signed and a sneaky snatch and grab of ex-Adelaide United international Veronica Latsko and the signature of dual-coder Ellie Brush, this is an impressive side who will look to go one better than last season, in search of the double. If Sydney manage to charge out of the gates early it will be difficult for anyone to catch up.
Perth Glory – Krusty the Clown
Perth Glory have relied heavily on the same act for a while, in the attacking duo of Sam Kerr and Rachell Hill, much like how Krusty the Clown relies on Itchy and Scratchy. However these parts of the show in all likelihood won’t be returning to screens this season. The question has to be whether they can rise above and the other dimensions of the show can put on an impressive run. The long ball game was successful last season, this season it may be needed to give their defence a breather. Without any returning internationals, the new comers will need to adjust quickly, including the reality of travel that the Western Australian outfit. For the large part, this team is looking for their local talent to rise to the challenge. Hopefully the pool of talent is deep in Western Australia, otherwise it might turn out to be trouble in the vain of running the Krusty show without Itchy and Scratchy. There’s just not much joy in it.
Melbourne City – Mr Burns
City are set to do anything, including a whisper of “release the hounds”, for an opportunity to get back into that top four. They’re dropping the money and the club seriously wouldn’t be at all phased if they witnessed pigs flying. City set the standard for a while there and are now left as the teams holding their hands together saying “excellent” as they build a team of dreams once again. Major coups of Emily Van Egmond and Scotish forward Claire Emslie show their intention early. This is a club who want to be one of the big boys again and they’re going to do whatever it takes to be there. One thing that you can guarantee, City will always play the possession-based ‘City’ style. Always. This may make them predictable for other clubs who have discovered how to combat this method, however the strong changes in personal may be enough to bring different ideas to reach new levels.
Adelaide United – Milhouse
Always in the shadow of the other inaugural clubs who have all had a crack at the top four, much like Milhouse struggling to gain the limelight from Bart. However, there was this one time Milhouse earned the role in “Radioactive Man” so was the lead ‘boy’. So there’s hope. Adelaide could easily become the dark horse team this season if they continue to embrace their philosophy of smart, counter attacking football. They’re returning with tried and tested local talent, while the return of Amber Brooks will sure things up in defence. The continually in this squad place them in poll position to earn good results early, while the experience of last year will provide the confidence they can beat anyone. Hopefully by the end of the season Adelaide can shake the monkey off their back, book a top four finish and yell out “everything’s turning out Milhouse”.
Newcastle Jets – Principal Skinner
There might be a bad boy type feel somewhere deep inside the club, but in reality, they’re just like Principal Skinner. On paper this team looks young, reality is they’re stacked with players who have all played in the W-League for multiple season, with a core moving to the club who have played together before outside of the league. Much like Principal Skinner, the side will find the joys in structure, whether that’s playing a 3 centre backs again or a traditional 4-3-3 line up. Either way they’re going to be structured off the ball and difficult to break down. If someone can step into the creative boots left by Emily Van Egmond, the Jets could be a surprise package.
Canberra United – Helen Lovejoy
Heather Garriock has demonstrated one clear philosophy, “will somebody please think of the children,” in that she loves her side to be stacked with youth. Much like any good church group lead by Helen Lovejoy, you have a couple old heads to keep everything in check. Otherwise, it’s all about the kids. Let’s see if they’ve grown up this season in the tradition of Canberra United and can live up to the calibre of sides the club’s history deserves. Garriock has had enough time at the helm now, her style of play is well known and this should hopefully translate onto the park this season. They’ve signed up some serious experience up top, with proven goal scorers. But the kids? If they’re able to create the opportunities to feed their forwards, they will hold the key to the side swimming or sinking this year.
Western Sydney Wanderers – Ned Flanders
The Wanderers have struggled to be much more than the team everyone sees as an easy beat, with the same attitude of Homer Simpson continually duping Ned Flanders. It’s time to see the Wanderers shred the shirt and pull out those Flanders like six pack abs to leave their mark on the competition. The Wanderers are going to be the complete surprise package this time round. In years past they’ve not had too much star power to catch the eye, this season is in stark contrast. They’ve dug deep, signed some stunning internationals including NWSL Champion trio Denise O’Sullivan, Lynn Williams and Kristen Hamilton. These players will be looking to show off those Ned Flanders six pack abs. They will be waking up the competition with a Hi-diddly-ho, all the while maintaining the Wanderers tradition of grunt and guts across the park.
Loved reading this!
(admittedly very belatedly)