There’s plenty to suggest that North West Sydney Koalas FC have had a tough time on the field this NPL NSW Women’s season.
However makeshift striker Rachael Soutar believes a change in fortune is due following a string of positive results prior to lockdown taking place.
Sitting third last never paints a pretty picture.
Conclusions come quickly and for an opposing team you might be marked down as easy three points.
If, however, you were willing to dig a little deeper into the North West Sydney Koalas’ campaign in this year’s competition, you’d find they’ve copped the short end of the stick so to speak on more than one occasion.
For Soutar, an attacker with vast experience playing at this level and beyond in the Westfield W-League, she firmly believes a bounce of the ball here and there for her side this season could have seen them sitting in a completely different predicament.
“The table doesn’t suggest how well we’ve played.
“There’s been a handful of games that we’ve lost narrowly.
“In these games we’ve been competitive throughout against some of the top teams and if one or two things went the other way we’d be sitting higher up the ladder.”
For the Koalas, a stand out performance this season was their 2-1 victory over ladder leaders Sydney Olympic FC proving that they have what it takes to mix it with the very best. In a performance that saw Soutar knock home the winner, she admits she is relishing a positional swap after spending nearly fifteen years at the back.
“I think I was twelve the last time I called myself a forward!
“I feel that the new position alongside taking on more of a leadership role this season has helped me to become a more versatile player.”
For a footballer who spent many years plying her trade in the Westfield W-League, Soutar believes that the competitiveness of the league has helped both her teammates and women throughout the league flourish.
“You can see now how many players in this league are also playing professionally. It’s been such a bonus to see so many current Matildas playing overseas as it has given players in this league a chance to progress.
“The NPL NSW Women’s competition will only get stronger, so hopefully we see more girls get their chance.”
With this in mind, it has been a tough transition back into lockdown, however Soutar credited weekly check ins and training programs as key to ensure the Koalas will be ready to go if the season resumes.
“We’ve been partaking in weekly zoom chats as a team which has been awesome.
The club has helped us out as much as they can with programs and making sure we’re coping so hopefully we can get back out there soon.
“Personally, being an Occupational Therapist in the hospital, I haven’t stopped much at all and I’m meant to be getting married this year! But no, I can’t wait for the season to kickstart again, fingers crossed.
“We know it will eventually come together.
We’ve set the goal of winning as many games as we can. If the results can turn and match our performances I’m confident we can make a late finals charge.”
-By Joseph Esposito