Cortnee Vine one of the stars of the A-League Women’s show as competition comes to a head

Jamie Dunkin
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Cortnee Vine has been on fire for Sydney FC.
Cortnee Vine has been on fire for Sydney FC. Credit: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

It may not feature Sam Kerr or our best Matildas stars but there is an enthralling race to the top set to play out in the A-League Women’s final round this weekend.

Top of the table are Sydney FC, who are buoyed by Matildas World Cup penalty shoot-out hero Cortnee Vine.

The Sky Blues have been the minor premiers for the last three seasons, and thanks to a postponed match against bottom of the league Canberra, are in a strong position to claim an unprecedented fourth consecutive minor premiership title.

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Vine has been a livewire for Sydney this season, and her impact is as much off the pitch as on it – anywhere she goes people queue up to get selfies and autographs from her – even in New Zealand.

In second and third are Western United and Melbourne City, both of whom have spent considerable time atop the table during the season and are now both just a point behind Sydney.

Western United are playing just their second season and finished as last year’s runners-up in both the regular season and in the finals series – something rarely achieved in a club’s first season, and a testament to the expansion side’s attitude towards the women’s game.

Western’s charge has been dealt a blow by co-captain and Matildas midfielder Chloe Logarzo’s hip injury but still have enough depth to win the Plate.

Melbourne City still have plenty of firepower with New Zealand’s World Cup hero Hannah Wilkinson leading the side but lost two international players to overseas clubs during February in Kaitlin Torpey and Lysianne Proulx.

Central Coast Mariners, following in the footsteps of Western United’s debut season, are also in with a chance to impress in the finals. The Gosford-based side had been out in the wilderness for over a decade but returned to the competition this season with 111-time capped Matildas forward Kyah Simon. They too could snatch the plate on the final day, being just two points behind the current leaders.

Then there’s the perennial finals series veterans Melbourne Victory, who’ve had a quieter season than many expected, but still have the quality of several fringe players from the national team and a coach who has guided the side to two grand final victories and one premiership in five years.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 01: Chloe Logarzo of Western United reacts at a missed shot on goal during the A-League Women round 18 match between Western United and Canberra United at City Vista Recreation Park on March 01, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)
Chloe Logarzo is out injured for Western United. Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Victory’s Emily Gielnik is another Matildas player tearing it up, with seven goals from six starts. They’re just three points behind Sydney.

The most eye-catching fixture of the final day of the regular season is the match between traditional rivals Sydney and Melbourne Victory, arguably the league’s biggest match-up, and it could decide the Premier’s Plate.

The best part of all of this? You don’t need to spend a fortune on streaming or tickets. Most matches are less than $20 per ticket in great suburban grounds, with late afternoon kick-offs, with local up-and-coming stars who will more than likely be the Matildas of tomorrow, in one of the most delightfully unpredictable leagues.

Australia got massively behind the women’s football during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup showing the interest in women’s soccer is at an all-time high. The next Sam Kerr doesn’t just pop out of nowhere, they come from somewhere – Australia’s A-Leagues.

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