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Oct 24, 2011   |  8:31PM AET

W-League up for grabs

W-League up for grabs

The Westfield W-League Season Four got off to a flying start at the weekend with goals, lots of action and some dodgy weather thrown into the mix, from where else but Melbourne.

The Westfield W-League Season Four got off to a flying start at the weekend with goals, lots of action and some dodgy weather thrown into the mix, from where else but Melbourne.

Canberra Utd and Melbourne Victory seem to have made their intentions clear from the start that they intend to challenge the “Big Two”- of Sydney and Brisbane.

With the ambitious Newcastle waiting on the sidelines and new regimes in place at Perth and Adelaide it is shaping up to be an intriguing and competitive season ahead

A tense encounter between Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar ensued at Leichhardt Oval in the live ABC televised game. With both teams missing several key players (Garriock, Simon, Kharmis from Sydney and Kellond-Knight, Luik and Carroll from Brisbane) it was perhaps expected that a less intense rivalry would prevail.

However nothing could be further from the truth, with several uncompromising challenges on display, in this competitive wholehearted encounter.

Another highlight was the appearance and performance of Megan Rapinoe, one of the stars of the US national team at the recent World Cup.

It is a great experience, especially for our younger players, to play with and against a player of such quality and class. It-s also a huge boost for the Westfield W-League to have players of this calibre in our competition.

Canberra have jumped out of the blocks under new coach Jitka Klimkova, who, along with Dave Edmondson, are our first ever foreign coaches in the competition.

However, as Dave is a New Zealander I-m not sure if he counts as a foreigner, as more of them live here than across the Tasman!

Canberra have a very settled side, re-signing the bulk of players from season three and having a good blend of experienced internationals and talented youngsters.

Their decisive victory in Adelaide will give them the confidence to have ambitious aims for the season. The strike force of Heyman, Munoz and Sykes is likely to cause problems for most teams.

Melbourne welcomed in the season with a typical spring day of high winds and torrential rain. It doesn-t get any better than that, well certainly not in Melbourne.

Retaining their two talented overseas players Kendall Fletcher and Jodie Taylor will be a big boost for the team. Their experience and leadership will again greatly assist the talented youngsters that Melbourne possess in abundance.

They will have high expectations to repeat last year-s efforts of reaching the semi-finals and their solid start against Perth at the weekend will further enhance these expectations.

Despite starting the first round with losses the signs for Perth and Adelaide are very positive. It was to be expected they would make slow starts given the lateness of their coaching appointments, resulting in limited preparation and recruitment challenges.

As the season develops both teams will get into their stride and prove formidable opposition and I expect them to upset some of their more fancied opponents.