This weekend, it’s time for the 2019 National Premier Leagues Women’s (NPLW) Queensland to get underway.
There was been a lot of movement in the off season with many players deciding to re-sign with their previous clubs whilst some deciding to make the switch.
Here are three key players who will be beginning their 2019 season in different colours.
Zoe Lambi – Eastern Suburbs Football Club
After one season with Western Pride Football Club in 2018, Zoe Lambi put pen to paper, signing with the Eastern Suburbs Football Club.
“I was very impressed by their playing style when I played against them last season,” Lambi said.
“One of my best friends also joined the team last year and enjoyed it thoroughly.
“I knew Karyn’s [Longbottom] coaching would suit my style of play as they play attractive, possession-based football.”
Lambi had a successful 2018 campaign, named the NPLW Young Player of the Year after scoring 11 goals in 26 games and providing numerous assists throughout the season.
“The camaraderie we developed as a team contributed greatly towards my success,” Lambi said.
“My confidence as a player grew each week and the fact that I was enjoying myself showed in my performance.
“I am also a very competitive person by nature so I will always try my best when I’m on the field.”
The former Colleges United, Central Brisbane, Queensland Academy of Sports (QAS) and Olympic FC footballer is hoping to add to the Easts side of last season as well as her own personal development.
“We have a talented group of players and I think we’ll do very well,” she said.
“I am hoping to just continue to enjoy myself and play to the best of my ability.
“One specific aspect of my game I want to improve is my shooting and I continue to work towards that.”
Lambi’s zigzagging runs and attacking plays is sure to bring some excitement to the NPLW Queensland 2019 season.
Jess Dillon – Moreton Bay United Football Club
Former Australian youth international Jess Dillon has left The Gap FC after five years to sign for NPLW rivals Morton Bay United FC.
The 24-year-old midfielder played 90 NPLW games for The Gap in the last four seasons scoring 20 goals and helping her team to finish top of the ladder last season.
Dillon started playing soccer early in life after joining the Queensland Academy of Sport in 2011 and at the age of 16, she was selected for Westfield Young Matildas Under 17s squad and competed in the 2011 AFC Under 16 Women’s Championships held in China.
Dillon joined the Perth Glory in the Westfield W-League for the 2013/14 season before playing with Toronto Lady Lynx in the Canadian W-League.
Moreton Bay United’s fifth ladder finish last season meant the club missed on the finals by one place but with Dillon’s finals experience, good distribution of the ball and strong communication, it could help them go one better and see them playing finals football in 2019.
Tiarne Petterwood – Logan Lightning Football Club
Having been at Logan Lightning for the past four seasons prior to last, Tiarne Petterwood has returned to her home club for the 2019 season.
Petterwood spent the 2018 season at The Gap Football Club, where she proved she can to be vital in attack as she scored a massive 47 goals from just 28 games, seven of those coming from her first game for the club.
She is coming into 2019 highly focused and determined to not only play her part but to also help her club to achieve ultimate success, a big factor in her return.
“After having conversations with the coach [Nick Croydon] about the professional environment he wanted to create at Logan, the standards of the players he wanted and the confidence that he could get from players playing together, I put my trust in him and his ability,” she said.
“He has already signed some really good players and just from the pre-season we are doing well on the attacking sides of things as well as the defensive side of things, so it should be a good season.”
Petterwood also has the opportunity to train with the Brisbane Roar Westfield W-League squad last year which showed her where her football skills need to be.
“Being surrounding by players that are in the W-League is clearly going to help your game and seeing where you need to be in order to take that next step up to W-League was good,” she said.
Logan Lightning start their 2019 campaign with a Round 1 clash against Petterwood’s old club The Gap, which is sure to be an exciting match.
Other NPLW Club Key Movements:
There have been plenty of other clubs making signings over the off season – here are some key movements for each NPLW club for the 2019 season.
The 2018 Champions will be without Bronti Hodgkinson, who has made the move to Gold Coast United, Claire Farrington who has signed with Logan Lighting FC and Wini Heatley who has moved to Lions FC for 2019.
Capalaba Football Club have signed both Sarah Noverraz and Angela Maher from the Eastern Suburbs Football Club. Noverraz has played in the NPLW for the last two years and Maher has great movement off the ball and great game awareness, making them both great additions to the team.
Gold Coast United:
International duo Rie Kitano and Momo Hayashi have joined Gold Coast United after signing for 2019. Having played together in one of the top female leagues in the world, they will bring great experience to the club in their campaign for finals football.
The Lions will have a boost in defense with accomplished central defender Catherine O’Neill signing for 2019. At the Gap FC in 2017, Catherine played a vital role in a backline that conceded only eight goals all season.
Adding to the international signings for 2019, Mitchelton have announced Philippines national team midfielder Tahnai Annis will join them in 2019. Annis has had appearances in the UEFA Champions League, 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and has played over 60 professional games in Europe.
While Souths United are yet to formally announce any signings for the 2019 season, if they have leading goal scorer Amy Chapman on their side they are set for another successful season, having scored 34 goals in just 23 games last season.
Sunshine Coast Wanderers:
Hoping to improve on their 12th position ladder finish last year, the Wanderers have re-signed Raelle Avery who played three games in the NPLW last season and Melissa Taft, joining the team from rivals Brisbane Roar FC. Former Adelaide United Westfield W-League player Jayah Brown has also signed for 2019.
Also returning after a year away from the club is Jordie Franke, who spent last year with Lions FC. She will have a busy 2019 as she will be assisting with the coaching of the juniors in addition to playing for the senior women.
The Gap FC:
Sarah Millar, Tiffany Dibley, Lauren Buttler, Charli McLennan, Charlotte Bohl and Laine Sutherland add youth to the Gap’s 2019 squad. All have NPLW experience with the club and after making the Grand Final last year, will be looking at going one better this season.
Western Pride FC:
Previously at Sunshine Coast FC for three years, Danielle White brings experience and knowledge to Western Pride FC in 2019. She will be joined by another experienced footballer in Georgia Buchanan, a former Mitchelton player who also featured in the South East Queensland Futsal Premier League with Arana United in the off season.
Words: Zoe Nilsen