They just missed out on winning the four-nation Tournament of Nations, and they are not deterred. They're “primed and ready” for the 2019 World Cup which is 11 months away. The positives, says goalkeeper Lydia Williams, include that they conceded only two goals and finished the tournament with the best defensive record. 

Alen Stajcic says the defensive effort was the strongest he's seen in 18 months and singled out 18-year-old Ellie Carpenter, for her “energetic display” against Japan and in marking Marta (Brazil) and Megan Rapinoe (USA). 

Steve Corica

Ray Gatt profiles Steve Corica, Sydney FC's coach, starting with how, other than the grey hair, he really hasn't changed that much since they first met when Corica was a 16-year-old in Aberdeen (Gatty wasn't 16). “The boyish smile that rarely leaves his face, the politeness and a genuine, gentle nature are still ever present.” Agree with that Mr Gatt. 

'Aussie Pat Ziegler'

Well, well, well. It seems that Western Sydney Wanderers' new German recruit, Patrick Ziegler (pictured), is an Aussie! His father, Francis, was born in Adelaide and lived here for 18 years, after which his grandparents moved the family back to Germany when Francis' grandmother was taken ill. It gets better. Dad Francis played Aussie Rules (ok, that bit we can leave out) AND when Australia and Germany meet one another on the sporting field, his dad barracks for Australia! Oi, oi, oi. 

OS Aussies

A wrap of the Australians in action this weekend as the English Championship (and other lower divisions) kicks-off. 

Canberra football

Sssshhhh. It seems the Canberra A-League bid had a day off yesterday as there's no story from them today! But, wait, there are two other Canberra stories.

First, Heather Garriock is starting to rebuild her Canberra United squad 'her way' recruiting Nikola Orgill and Natasha Prior, both from Newcastle Jets. Garriock said there were too many players who resisted change last season. “You either jump on the bus or you don't, players that want to buy in will be on my team and the others that don’t will not.”

Local NPL clubs are questioning the decision to introduce an NPL2 in the ACT, saying that the teeny federation needs to “learn to crawl before it walks”. Australian Sports Commission data shows that 12,700 males aged 15+ play football in the ACT. 

TV rights

The World Cup was a massive flop for Optus - remember 'floptus?' - but they're not taking a step back from broadcasting of live sport. They have now acquired the rights to the European Champions League, the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup for three years to add to their football stable which includes the Premier League (till 2022), the Women's World Cup next year, European qualifiers for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup and selected international friendlies played in Europe by European teams. 

Keisuke Honda

Waiting, waiting, waiting ... 

The delay could well be something as simple as the man is on holiday in the Bahamas and doesn't want to be annoyed by media about his intentions. Honda has intimated the deal is close. 

matildas, steve corica, patrick ziegler, keisuke honda, canberra united, tv rights, os aussies, a-league

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