Adelaide United Women defender, Katie Naughton, expressed the excitement within the squad as they kick-off the double header against Sydney FC Women at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.
Katie Naughton has played an instrumental role in the United Women’s defensive back-line, but has praised the entire squad on their recent switch and undeniable form, courtesy of the build-up of momentum and confidence in the last five matches.
“It is really exciting, as it will be our second double-header at Coopers Stadium, and I know all the girls are really looking forward to it and to play on that beautiful pitch once again,” Naughton said.
“We have gained quite a bit more of momentum following our win last week, and being undefeated in the last five games has definitely given us more confidence in ourselves and the ability to get a good result this weekend against Sydney FC Women.”
Naughton believes that the start to their Westfield W-League campaign was disappointing, due to the plague of injuries sustained, but recognised it has all started to manifest and the United Women will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
“I think, in the beginning, as a team, we didn’t really get the results that we desired, but I think it has been good to see the growth not only individually, but as a team.
“I believe that has definitely come into fruition within the last half of this season, and it has been really exciting to see everyone grow and develop moving forward.
“At the start of the season, we had setbacks, and injuries and some players were out who really made an impact once they were fit enough to get back into the squad, so now that we have a full, healthy team, it has really made a difference, which I think has been proven,” Naughton said.
“With the pivotal win against Western Sydney Wanderers, it was really good to finally finish the chances that we have been creating, and it was definitely the icing on the cake, to score ten goals.”
The United States international acknowledged the quality of the Westfield W-League, and is adamant that her side can continue to compete with its best teams, especially the league leaders this weekend.
“The games here are really competitive, and have so many similarities to that of back in the United States, with the physicality and it has been really exciting to see the women’s game grow in Australia and start to compete with the rest of the World.
“We have to stay compact against Sydney and stick together as a unit, also making sure we finish our chances and also not allow our opponents to get very many either.
“We really want to end the season on a high note, and prove to ourselves, and everybody else that we are a good team and are more than capable of competing with the best in the W-League.”