NPLW Team of the Week: Round 8

by Jordan Lim 0

GK: Emily Kenshole (Galaxy United)
Young Kenshole enjoyed a breakout season in the NPLW after breaking through for a senior debut last season. She continues to show signs of her progression, which culminated in a short-term contract with Melbourne Victory last W-League campaign. Maintained a clean sheet as Galaxy beat Bulleen 3-0.

CB: Mikhaila Bowden (Southern United)
The American is no stranger to the Team of the Week in her first season Down Under, making another appearance after a goal and clean sheet in Southern’s 2-0 win over strugglers Heidelberg United. Her goal was the result of a beautiful run which started from deep within her own half.

CB: Rachel Binning (Calder United)
As always, Binning’s presence in the heart of defence proved telling in nullifying Bayside’s attacking threat. While the headlines were for Calder’s exploits at the other end, it was yet another collected performance from the league’s most stringent defence.

CB: Jaimee Williams (Alamein FC)
Although the young defender gave away the first-half penalty to see opponents Box Hill United equalise at HA Smith Reserve, Williams was otherwise outstanding once again against her former side. The centre-half is slowly blossoming into a highly-competent defender, but will have her work cut out after the injury to Amy Jackson on the weekend.

DM: Natasha Dakic (Southern United)
The Senior NTC graduate is enjoying a new lease of life under the stewardship of Bill Mihaloudis and Rob Giabardo. Dakic and fellow teenager Elisabeth Robers toiled hard in the engine room against a more experienced Bergers midfield and won their mini-battle, which went a long way towards the three points her side collected.

DM: Jamie Pollock (South Melbourne)
While it was a good all-round display from all of South Melbourne’s starting midfield trio – including Julia Nicolaci and Natalie Martineau – it is Pollock who gets the nod for a starting berth after her anchoring performance allowed the other two to play a more prominent attacking role. Won her fare share of possession, with some tough tackling and smart intercepting.

CM: Emma Robers (Calder United)
A brace from midfield against her former side helped Calder put Bayside to the sword with seven unanswered goals. The maestro has been one of the form players in what is one of the form sides of the competition.

AM: Mari Pastor (Alamein FC)
The catalyst for Alamein’s sparkling comeback victory over Box Hill United, Pastor nabbed a casual two goals for herself while also laying off assists for Cristina Cardaci and Kelsey Minton. What proved to be a match-winner was a contender for goal of the season as the American struck true from 30 yards to give her side the lead in the second half.

RF: Cindy Lay (Calder United)
Joining Binning and Robers in the starting XI is hat-trick hero Cindy Lay, who found the back of the net three times in the first half of the rout against Bayside. The versatile attacker netted her first goals of the season with some deft finishing on display at Kingston Heath.

ST: Leigh Gray (Galaxy United)
A first brace of the season secures Gray’s spot in the Team of the Week for Round 8, with the American twice capitalising on some good attacking link-up play. She also provided the assist for Laura Spiranovic’s goal, with her cross finding her skipper inside the penalty area.

LF: Lisa De Vanna (South Melbourne)
While her reputation may have preceded her upon her entry into the NPLW, De Vanna produced a performance worthy of her lofty standards. The Matildas captain opened the scoring with a delightfully casual chipped effort from outside the box, before later laying off two assists for her teammates.


Katie Neville (Heidelberg United)
While there were few positives to come from Heidelberg’s sixth loss in eight games, the form of Katie Neville was one. The goalkeeper was required late to keep the scoreline respectable against a Southern outfit that came to play.

Melina Ayres (South Melbourne)
It was the customary brace from Ayres that we’ve become used to seeing this season. It was a sixth double struck by the teenaged forward in the last seven weeks as she takes her season tally to a whopping 13.

Natalie Martineau (South Melbourne)
The final South player to appear is Natalie Martineau, as the Canadian midfielder wound back the clock with a vintage performance, akin to the free-roaming midfield role she once held in the WPL era. Provided an assist and plenty of energy from the centre of the park.

Laura Spiranovic (Galaxy United)
The Galaxy United captain netted her sixth goal of the campaign and has largely flown under the radar despite stringing together a strong and consistent start to the season. Lead the line well and provided a focal point for attacks.

Melanie Camilleri (Box Hill United)
Camilleri was the pick of the Box Hill players after her brace set her side up for victory over Alamein. Unfortunately for her, Pythagoras let themselves down with a disappointing second half, although the striker could’ve had a hat-trick, although her bullet header crashed safely into the upright.

Candela Ferreyra Bas (Southern United)
It was a good captains performance from the former Casey Comets and Sandringham SC player who makes her first ever appearance in the Team of the Week. Ferreyra Bas netted the opener to set the tone for the visitors as they went on to defeat Heidelberg United.

Janna Lawson (Alamein FC)
The crafty winger enjoyed freedom to operate on the left side, where a lot of Alamein’s best attacking work came from. She combined well with the rest of the attacking unit to help stir a come-from-behind victory against Box Hill.