PREVIEW: Coach Temple confident ‘keeper mistakes are ‘a bump in the road’

posted in: A-League (Women), News

Head coach Paul Temple is backing goalkeeper Rylee Foster despite making a couple of costly mistakes in two of her last three women’s A-League appearances.

Foster will be the starting ‘keeper for Friday’s Liberty A-League fixture against Central Coast Mariners, while back up Brianna Edwards has been given time off.

“It’s high stakes for goalkeepers and you need to be mentally tough and mentally strong in that situation,” Temple said.

“I think Rylee’s mentality is fantastic. We talked a lot about her character earlier on in the season and what she’s been through and how tough mentally she is, so these mistakes aren’t going to affect Rylee.

“She’s been through a lot worse than making mistakes on a football pitch.

“Hopefully, it’s just a little bit of a bump in the road for her as she strives towards getting back her best form.”

Main photo: Rylee Foster … ‘these mistakes aren’t going to affect Rylee.’

Reserves ‘keeper Aimee Danieli travelled to Sydney on Thursday to join the team.

Temple will be forced to make at least one change to his starting XI, with American forward Isabel Cox granted leave to attend her sister’s wedding.

Emma Main … returns to matchday squad after illness.

Defensive midfielder Kate Taylor and forward Emma Main are available for selection after missing Sunday’s defeat to Brisbane Roar due to injury and illness, respectively.

Edwards and teenage forward Manaia Elliott won’t be part of the matchday squad as they, like Cox, have also been given some time off.

The Wellington Phoenix women are treating their Unite Round match in Sydney “like a home game” as they look to end their recent road woes.

The Phoenix have lost their last four Liberty A-League matches in Australia after starting the season with a 3-0 win at Western Sydney Wanderers.

The team have been training on the Gold Coast this week in the lead-up to Friday night’s match against Central Coast Mariners at Leichhardt Oval.

Temple hopes the time spent at Royal Pines Resort and removing the trans-Tasman travel will help the team snap their winless run away from home.

“It’s been like having a mini training camp mid-season, which has been great,” Temple told media on Thursday.

“Staying in Australia was really important to us after a run of results that have not been what we wanted.

“We’ve managed to spend some time together, regroup, have plenty of conversations and then get back on the training pitch so we’re feeling good and ready to go for the game tomorrow.

“Reducing the travel this week is part of making it feel more like a home game.

“We’ll treat it like a home game, like we’re the home team and approach it like it’s our home game. Hopefully we can keep winning at home.”

Paul Temple … ‘we’re learning to be winners.’

Temple says while the trans-Tasman travel is hard and has contributed to their three recent road defeats, it’s not the sole reason why they’re not winning games in Australia.

“There are lots of things on the pitch that we could be doing better.

“If we had been putting away the chances we created and maybe not making a few errors that we’ve made, it’s probably a completely different story in terms of results.

“You’ve got to remember we’re learning to be winners and we’re learning what it takes to win week-in, week-out.

“This season is about…us trying to be a team that can compete at the top end of the table and it’s difficult to do that in a short space of time.

“So, when we have these experiences like we’ve been having away from home, we’ve got to learn about the state of the game, management of the game and how we can control things better.

“There are some things we can tidy up in that game management side of things that I think are going to help us a lot.

“I think the culmination of all of those things together will help us get better results on the road.”

Friday night’s match was originally scheduled to be played at Porirua Park, but was moved to Sydney when the A-Leagues announced the Unite Round, featuring all 13 clubs playing 12 men’s and women’s matches in one city.

“There’s been a lot made of the Unite Round as a concept and I think generally speaking it is a great concept.

“I think it’s good we can highlight the A-Leagues in a round like this, but the reality is it sucks for us because we’ve had to give up a home game and play in Sydney.

“But we can’t affect those things. As a team we have to play what’s in front of us.”

Past meetings

Most recent meeting: 18 November 2023 – Central Coast Mariners 1 Wellington Phoenix 0

All-time A-League head-to-head: Phoenix 0W, Mariners 1W & 0D.

How to watch

The game will be broadcast LIVE on Sky Sport 2 in New Zealand and on Paramount+ and 10 Play in Australia.


Game to be played on Friday January 12, 2024

Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney, 9.45pm NZT)


Table at 8am (NZT) Friday January 12.


Wellington Phoenix (two to be omitted)

1. Rylee FOSTER (gk), 2. Zoe MCMEEKEN, 3. Kate TAYLOR, 4. Mackenzie BARRY, 6. Macey FRASER, 9. Kelli BROWN, 10. Alyssa WHINHAM, 11. Hope BRESLIN, 13. Michaela FOSTER, 14. Michaela ROBERTSON, 15. Daisy BRAZENDALE, 16. Annalie LONGO (c), 17. Mariana SPECKMAIER, 18. Hailey DAVIDSON, 20. Emma MAIN, 22. Aimee DANIELI (gk), 23. Rebecca LAKE, 26. Tiana JABER.

Unavailable: 5. Marisa VAN DER MEER (injured), 7. Isabel COX (on leave), 8. Grace WISNEWSKI (injured), 12. Brianna EDWARDS (gk) (on leave), 19. Liv INGHAM (injured), 21. Manaia ELLIOTT (on leave).

Central Coast Mariners (four to be omitted)

1. Sarah LANGMAN (gk), 2. Faye BRYSON, 3. Ashley IRWIN, 4. Paige HAYWARD, 5. Annabel MARTIN, 6. Isabel GOMEZ, 8. Bianca GALIC, 9. WURIGUMULA, 10. Rola BADAWIYA, 11. Annalise RASMUSSEN, 12. Jazmin WARDLOW, 13. Alexia KARRYS-STAHL, 14. Sophie NENADOVIC, 17. Kyah SIMON, 18. Taren KING, 19. Tiarna KARAMBASIS, 22. Peta TRIMIS, 24. Shadeene EVANS, 27. Maya LOBO, 92. Casey DUMONT (gk).


This story is published with the help of the Wellington Phoenix.

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