Roar confident despite key pair's exits

·3-min read

They've lost the league's leading scorer and a talismanic captain but Brisbane Roar are adamant their W-League championship push is still on track.

Matildas pair Emily Gielnik and Clare Polkinghorne have both exited the Roar to move to Sweden, giving Brisbane huge gaps to fill heading into Sunday's semi-final against Melbourne Victory.

Gielnik finished as top scorer with 13 goals in 12 matches this season but the Roar's 3-0 win over Newcastle to secure second place last Sunday was her and Polkinghorne's final appearance before heading to Europe.

Defender Kim Carroll knows there's no doubt both are huge losses but is talking tough ahead of the finals kicking off this weekend.

"It's obviously disappointing to lose Polks and Em. They're great leaders on and off the field," the experienced 33-year-old said.

"Unfortunately, they have to think a little bit bigger in their careers so, the move for them was to go overseas.

"It will be a loss for our team but we've got some great young players and a good squad depth."

Wednesday night's 2-1 win by Sydney FC over Victory not only secured the Sky Blues their first Premiers' Plate in a decade but ensured they will face fourth-placed Canberra United in their semi-final on Monday.

Young forward Remy Siemsen says the goal is obvious for her team.

"We've had a bit of pressure on ourselves obviously being top of the table for pretty much the whole season," Siemsen said.

"We don't want to focus on that. We just want to focus on our play and our standards and that's what Ante's (Juric, coach) really instilled in us, is that the job's not done and there's still so much to improve on and grow from.

"We're not going to go into these finals lightly ... we're going to be going all guns blazing on Monday."

Victory head to Queensland eager to bounce back from Wednesday's loss and also to earn revenge after the Roar thumped Jeff Hopkins' team 6-0 earlier this season.

Kyra Cooney-Cross scored a stunning goal in the 2-1 defeat to Sydney and the 19-year-old looms as an X-factor for Victory in the finals.

"It's great to see people stepping up and Australia showing that they have the talent coming through the ranks, and that when we support them and develop them and put more time into them, that they can turn out to be players that we need in the league," teammate Angie Beard said.

Canberra meanwhile will be hoping the red-hot form of the W-League's all-time goalscorer Michelle Heyman can force an upset against Sydney in United's first finals campaign for four years.

W-LEAGUE FINALS FIXTURES (AEST)

SEMI-FINALS

Sunday, April 4: Brisbane v Melbourne Victory at Lions Park, 4pm

Monday, April 5: Sydney FC v Canberra United at Netstrata Jubilee Park, 3pm

GRAND FINAL

Sunday, April 11: Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2, venue TBC, 4pm