For the first time in their eight-year history the Western Sydney Wanderers will play their first ever W-League Finals game when they take on Melbourne City this Sunday for a place in the Grand Final.
After winning just one game throughout their entire 2018/19 campaign, the Wanderers bounced back in a huge way this year by qualifying for their maiden post-season.
A record of seven wins and one draw was what it took for Western Sydney to reach this Sunday afternoon’s do-or-die semi-final against Premiers Melbourne City.
After joining the club from Perth Glory in the off-season, experienced midfielder Ella Mastrantonio said it was her mission to help guide her new side to a Finals berth.
“This was one of the goals I set when I moved to the club. We ticked a lot of boxes and made a lot of history, it’s very special to be here,” she said.
“It really is a huge achievement for all the staff members, coaches and girls involved this season. The club backed the women’s program and you can see the results that have come through because of it – it’s amazing.”
Knocking off City for a place in the all-important decider won’t be an easy task though, with Western Sydney’s opponents going undefeated during the regular season.
Mastrantonio, who won a W-League title with Melbourne Victory back in 2012, said you must treat every Finals game with care.
“You have to be careful with how you go into this week, there will be some nerves, but you also have to try and treat it like any other week,” she said.
“You can tell there’s excitement around and we are all buzzing individually and as a club, but we just need to treat it like any other game.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.