Manly United Women: Season Review
Manly United’s first grade women’s squad are just one win away from a spot in the grand final – and the architect has been coach Chris Williams.
The man himself was quick to deflect praise on to the playing group – but make no mistake, Williams, who took over from Gwynne Berry, is a huge reason why they finished runners-up in the league behind Macarthur.
After being knocked out in the elimination semi-final last year, Williams identified what areas he needed to recruit in.
Attacking dynamo Sophie Nenadovic arrived from Newcastle, as did keeper Claire Coelho.
Sunny Franco, who has represented Brisbane Roar, also arrived at Cromer Park.
A strong nucleus was already present, headed by teenage striker Remy Siemsen, Australian Schoolgirls representative Ally Green as well as experienced defenders Chloe O’Brien, Maddy Neville, Bella Walker and Alice Wilson.
Signs were not promising early on.
A 3-0 opening day defeat versus Macarthur and a 2-0 defeat against the Stringrays in round three eventually jolted the playing group into action.
A series of impressive wins followed leading into August, namely the 12-0 hammering of Blacktown Spartans in round 17.
When reflecting on the 2017 campaign to date, Williams was fairly content.
“It has been a great season, we’ve continued to build on the success of the last few years,” he said.
“To show continual improvement in such a competitive and tough league is a testament to the hard work and quality of the players.
“The girls bought into our coaching philosophy built on a strong defensive structure.
“We are looking forward to the finals and no matter what happens, the players can be proud of what they have achieved this year already.”