Longest ALW season set to test survival of the fittest


Sydney FC defender Tori Tumeth is expecting the race for the A-League Women premiership to be thrown wide open as players adapt to the competition's first full home-and-away season.

The Sky Blues sit in second spot - six points adrift of Melbourne City - heading into their round-15 clash with Perth at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

Just four points separate Sydney from eight-placed Melbourne Victory heading into this week's round and Tumeth believes the tight field is about to widen.

This year's campaign marks the first time the A-League Women has enjoyed a full home-and-away season in its history.

"I think with the season extension we'll see which teams have depth," Tumeth said.

"Teams will find their form into the back end of the season.

"We're happy with where we are at the moment.

"We're still building, we're not where we want to be at the end of the season that's for sure.

"But I think we're putting some really strong performances in at the moment."

Sydney have lost just once in their last 10 games and are unbeaten in their last five head-to-heads with Perth.

The Glory are one of the sides breathing down their neck but have hit a four-game winless run over the last month after starting the season in impressive fashion.

"I think we're all disappointed but obviously this season is much longer," said midfielder Sofia Sakalis.

"Other seasons we would've been finishing and we would have been second.

"The message has been to make sure we stay focused and we've regrouped and reaffirmed our goals.

"I'm really confident that we have all the answers within our squad.

"We had such a strong start to the season … we've got to go into every game like the team that we've been playing in those games during the first half of the season.

"There's no belief lost in the team."

In the weekend's other games, Central Coast travel to face Western United while Adelaide and Brisbane host Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory respectively.

Ladder-leaders Melbourne City are away to Canberra on Sunday when Newcastle will host Wellington.