The National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland Women’s competition will kick off this weekend, with an updated logo and naming conventions for 2020.
Fans of the NPL Women’s will be able to catch every minute of action this season as all first grade matches are live streamed on Football Queensland (FQ)’s YouTube channel.
After an entertaining season of football in 2019 which saw a number of players earn professional contracts in the Westfield W-League, the 2020 edition of the NPL Women’s is shaping up to be just as thrilling as a host of international talent sign for Queensland clubs.
Let’s take a look at the 12 teams who will compete for Premiership glory ahead of Round 1 this weekend.
The Brisbane Roar/QAS side recorded some mixed results last year, and will look to regain the form that saw them claim the 2018 Championship.
Some key players will return for the 2020 season as the QAS side open their 2020 campaign against Capalaba FC, in what is shaping up to be a challenging start to the season for the young team.
Key players: Mia Bailey, Jamilla Rankin, Georgia Beaumont
After finishing last season in sixth spot in the league, Capalaba FC have made significant changes to their squad in preparation for the 2020 season.
Perhaps the biggest change has come in the form of former Moreton Bay United Coach Skie (Hano) Hanifin, who joins Capalaba after guiding the Jets to second spot on the ladder and a Grand Final appearance in 2019.
Hanifin looks determined to go one better in 2020 and has bolstered his Capalaba squad with the addition of some strong players in Souths United’s Amy Chapman, Billie Murphy and Teani Karalouka, as well as Brisbane Roar W-League keeper Georgina Worth and American signing Annie Walker who will be one to keep an eye on in 2020.
The side has also retained the services of the majority of their players from last season, including 2019 Team of the Season players Stephanie Latham, Katy Couperus and former W-League player Abbey Lloyd, and seem certain to be title contenders in 2020.
Stay tuned for a couple more Brisbane Roar players to be announced for the side next week.
Key players: Stephanie Latham, Katy Couperus, Abbey Lloyd
The departure of 2019 NPLW Coach of the Year Karyn Longbottom has paved the way for former Premiership-winning Peninsula Power and Gold Coast United coach Michael Cook to join Eastern Suburbs for the 2020 season.
Easts finished in sixth last year after going on an impressive nine-match winning streak at the back end of the season.
While the side have retained most of their squad from the 2019 season including Young Player of the Year winner Zoe Lambi and leading goalscorer Georgina Amos, Easts have also lost talent in the form of 2019 Goalkeeper of the Year Kaytlyn Dale.
Three international players will join Easts for their 2020 NPL Women’s campaign; Janessa Fowler from Montana University in the USA, and Konomiya Speranza Osaka-Takatsuki FC duo Tessa Andujar and Kaho Oshima, so keep an eye on Easts to watch the impact that these new signings will have for the coming season.
Key players: Zoe Lambi, Georgina Amos, Harkana Dixon
Gap FC look to be title contenders again in 2020 after a top three finish and appearance in the Semi Finals last season.
In Gary Ward’s second season in charge at the club, Gap have made some solid signings for the season ahead, with Scottie Walker and Matalena Daniells both joining from Moreton Bay United and Christina Amajouyo from Roar/QAS.
Retaining a number of their key players for 2020, Gap will be without midfielder Liz Doherty after her departure to Olympic FC and Tierney Sunderland (Mitchelton FC) for the season ahead, but perhaps most crucial will be the loss of captain Ruth Blackburn.
Gap FC will open their 2020 NPL Women’s campaign against SWQ Thunder on Sunday evening.
Key players: Sharn Freier, Laini Freier, Hayley Riccardi
Gold Coast United
Gold Coast United will be led by a new coach in 2020, with former assistant Alex Bundalo moving into the top job.
After finishing the 2019 season in fourth, Gold Coast look contenders for the Premiership with the retention of a number of key players including 2019 Team of the Season’s Momo Hayashi and Eloise Fryer, who form one of the strongest backlines in the league.
Despite the loss of the dynamic goal scorer Mackenzie Akins, the Gold Coast side have made some key signings in the form of Souths United defender Tayler Stevens, Roar/QAS’ Charlie Farmer and international signing Bella Habuda from Austria’s SK Sturm Graz.
Gold Coast United will open their 2020 campaign on Saturday afternoon against Eastern Suburbs.
Key players: Momo Hayashi, Eloise Fryer, Rie Kitano
A prolific 2019 season saw Lions FC secure the NPL Women’s Premiership-Championship double in coach Rob Askew’s first season with the club.
While a number of key players have departed since last season, it will be hard to look past this side as one of the favourites to claim the title in 2020.
Some significant losses include Sofie Persson to Mitchelton FC, keeper Cassandra Zaffina to Gold Coast United and Rebekah Horsey to W-League side Canberra United, however new talent will add depth to the side in the form of Moreton Bay United’s Jess Dillon, Sunshine Coast Wanderers’ Samara Christmas and Teonie Rushton from Souths United.
The retention of some of the competition’s best in 2019 will help Lions in their pursuit of a second straight Premiership as Team of the Season players Mariel Hecher, Cannon Clough and Lions’ leading goalscorer Tegan Riding again line up for the side this season.
Key players: Tegan Riding, Mariel Hecher, Cannon Clough
Logan Lightning finished the 2019 season in 8th, but look a strong team this season after the acquisition of some quality players from rival squads.
Four Moreton Bay United players will join Logan in 2020, including former Jets captain Kristi New, Teleya Reynolds, Lauren Spreadborough and 2018 Golden Boot winner Meaghan McElligott.
American defender Michaela Kovacs meanwhile will join Logan from Michigan State University for the 2020 season.
Despite signing for Brisbane Roar for the remainder of the W-League season, Shea Connors will return to Logan for the majority of the 2020 NPL Women’s competition to boost a fearsome attack featuring new recruit McElligott alongside Tiarne Petterwood and Natalia Pinkney.
Key players: Natalia Pinkney, Shea Connors, Meaghan McElligott
After recruiting well over the summer, Mitchelton FC will be hopeful of a higher finish in 2020 than last season’s ninth spot.
While a number of players have departed, including dynamic attacker Tahnai Annis, Mitchelton will welcome a host of influential players for the season ahead including Lions FC’s Sofie Persson, Brisbane Roar W-League keeper Kezia Pritchard, and Rebekah Horsey on her return from the current W-League season.
Jamie Ayala from USA side San Diego WFC Sea Lions will provide a further boost to their side in 2020, as will former player Emilie Rebelo who returns to Mitchelton FC after helping The Lakes FC to the Brisbane Women’s Premier League Premiership in 2019.
Mitchelton will open their NPL Women’s campaign against Western Pride this Saturday night in a Round 1 clash.
Key players: Emilie Rebelo, Sofie Persson, Rebekah Horsey
Moreton Bay United
Finishing the season as runners up last year and falling just short of securing the Championship with a loss to Lions in the 2019 Grand Final, Moreton Bay United were one of the most consistent sides in last year’s competition.
Moreton Bay will boast an almost completely new side in 2020 though following the departure of coach Skie Hanifin and a large number of players.
The team will welcome a new coach in Ben Fuhrmann and a host of new players including Mitchelton FC’s Zozia Sen, Brooklyn Williamson and Zoe Ryan, and Gold Coast United’s Kyra Millis.
The new-look side will face their first challenge of the 2020 season against Logan Lightning on Saturday afternoon.
Key players: Jemima Head, Zozia Sen, Teyan Bielby
Following a 7th place finish in the 2019 season, a significant number of players have departed Souths United this season.
Three players meanwhile will join the club from the USA for the season ahead to boost the squad after the string of departures, with Kiri Dale signing from University of Hawaii alongside Murray State University duo Cori Cain and Harriet Withers.
Former Lions FC keeper Ellen Hepburn will be a strong addition to the Souths squad for 2020 while Lauren Kirkby also joins the team for their upcoming campaign.
Round 1 of the NPL Women’s will see Souths take on 2019 Premiers Lions FC.
Key players: Bronte Rose, Amy Morland, Ellen Hepburn
SWQ Thunder have retained the majority of their squad from their 2019 NPL Women’s campaign.
The addition of a number of players will boost the side for the season ahead though after the acquisition of new signings Siti Rosnani Azman from Singapore side Home United and ACT NPL Women’s recruit Woden Weston FC.
SWQ Thunder will open their 2020 campaign in a Round 1 clash against Gap FC on Sunday evening.
Key players: Louise Rolfe, Jordie Franke, Melanie Lloyd
Western Pride will kick off their 2020 season with a new coach in George Kalogeridis from Victorian State League side Avondale FC at the helm.
Some key players have departed the club in the off season, including captain Sophie Weatherby to Brisbane Women’s Premier League side Ipswich City FC and Lions FC recruits Victoria Merrick, Tara O’Keeffe and Georgia Rink.
Pride have recruited well though, securing the services of Moreton Bay United keeper and Team of the Season player Coco Majstorovic and Kelsey Minton from the NPL Women’s Victoria.
Three international players will also join Pride for 2020; Italian import Valentina Vismara from Caprera Calcio, Bronwyn Boswell from the USA and Lauren Prott from KFF Vllaznia Shkodër in Albania.
Western Pride will open their NPL Women’s campaign against Mitchelton on Saturday night.
Key players: Kelsey Minton, Valentina Vismara, Lauren Prott
Images: Chris Simpson/Western Pride, Ian Judd/Lions FC, Albert Perez