PERFECT START: Western Pride's Sophie Weatherby scored in her debut as team captain
PERFECT START: Western Pride's Sophie Weatherby scored in her debut as team captain Chris Simpson

Pride hit Thunder for six

THE Western Pride women's team may still be "a work in progress” according to coach Belinda Kitching, but if Saturday's 6-3 result over SWQ Thunder is any indication, that progress is coming on in leaps and bounds.

"It was a great start to the season for us,” Kitching said of the round one win.

"We still have a lot of work to do, we need to be quicker and tighter with our actions. But the girls have shown they've hit another mark, and now it's about maintaining that and then raising (the bar) again.”

Pride dominated possession and scoring opportunities against their hosts, controlling the ball for 60% of the contest and firing a staggering 20 shots on target.

Three Pride debutants found the back of the net - Kate Muscat bagged a brace, while Danica Drieberg and Zoe Lambo also added their names to the scoresheet.

Sophie Weatherby celebrated her first NPL match as captain with a goal, while Emma Barnes became the first Pride women's player to score a goal in three consecutive seasons when she made it 5-3 in the 85th minute.

But the Pride did not have it all their own way in the "Western Derby”; twice having to come from a goal behind before stringing three late goals together to overrun the hosts.

"I'm developing the squad this year to play 90 minutes of football. To understand that yes, we will make mistakes, but the game goes for 90 minutes and there will always be opportunities to create, so there is no use worrying about any one error we might make,” Kitching said.

The former Matildas goalkeeper said the most pleasing aspect of Saturday's performance was the evenness of contributions across the park.

"The workload shown by every individual that played shows where our improvement has come from,” Kitching said.

"The goals were shared across five players. For our girls, it's about understanding their teammates and getting to know each other.

"We're a lot clearer in that, and I think it showed in our football.”

The next step is to be more clinical with their opportunities, and maintain that level against the stronger sides in the competition.

"We created a lot of chances, but now we need to see the bigger picture,” Kitching said.

"Can we do that against the better teams?

"It is still a work in progress for us - building each week to become a team where other teams have to work hard to beat us.”

The Pride women next welcome NPL newcomers Mudgeeraba to Briggs Rd on Saturday.

The two sides recently drew 1-1in a pre-season friendly.

"We're looking forward to that challenge,” Kitching said.



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