W-League coaches pitch own for best player

By Emma Kemp, Emma Kemp is a Roar Guru

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    Tonight’s W-League grand final will be stacked with Matildas but two imports could prove the difference between Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

    So say the coaches, who’ve each singled out one of their own squad as the best player in the competition.

    For Sky Blues mentor Ante Juric, it’s Emily Sonnett, the fringe US international centre-back acting not only as the team’s defensive rock but also its outlet in transition.

    For City coach Patrick Kisnorbo, it’s his assistant and captain Jess Fishlock, the Wales midfield veteran with a penchant for the big stage and persistence under pressure.

    “If you look at Jess Fishlock, she’s been fantastic for a long time and is a big-time player,” Kisnorbo said.

    “For me, she’s world class.

    “Football is about opinions and Sonnett is a great player.

    “But in my opinion, Jess Fishlock is one of the best going around.”

    Juric disagrees, taken by Sonnett’s remarkable versatility so aptly demonstrated in last weekend’s semi-final when in extra-time, she cut a swathe through Newcastle’s midfield and put Lisa De Vanna through to score the winner.

    “She does such a good job,” Juric siad.

    “She does everything for me – defends, attacks, can play balls from anywhere, can be a midfielder, probably a striker.

    “Nothing gets past her, she’s super quick, wins everything in the air, is a leader, vocal.

    “It’s an all-round best player in the league.”

    The quality hardly stops there – between the two sides, nine Matildas will play.

    Steph Catley, Larissa Crummer, Alanna Kennedy, Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams will turn out for City while Sydney boast De Vanna, Caitlin Cooper, Chloe Logarzo and Georgia Yeoman-Dale, with Caitlin Foord out injured.

    On a run of ten unbeaten games, the Sky Blues will have all the momentum at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

    But City are backing themselves for a third straight title despite placing fourth in the regular season.

    “Consistency is what you look for as a football team but we’ve earned where we are today and we’ve hit good form coming into today,” Kisnorbo said.

    “We’re confident what we want to achieve.”

    © AAP 2018

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