Matildas in focus: Yallop to build on Roar form in second Olympic outing

Experienced Matildas midfielder Tameka Yallop prepares to make her mark at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after earning her spot in the PFA Team of the Season in a brilliant Westfield W-League campaign at Brisbane Roar.

Yallop featured 11 times for the Roar throughout 2020/21, chipping in three goals and one assist to help to seal a second-place finish for the Queenslanders. 

A dream move to FA Women’s Super League side West Ham was to follow at the conclusion of the campaign for Yallop, while the impending Olympic campaign offers the midfielder the chance to carry her superb Westfield W-League form onto the national stage in pursuit of medals in Tokyo.

Read on for a recap of Yallop’s memorable shifts in Orange throughout the 2020/21 Westfield W-League season!

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Tameka Yallop Westfield W-League 2020/21 stats

  • Games played: 11
  • Goals: 3
  • Assists: 1
  • Chances created: 15
  • Duels: 89

Round 5: Off the mark in 2020/21

Like many of her Brisbane teammates, Yallop found form in a 6-0 win over Melbourne Victory in Round 5.

The Roar had put four draws on the board from four games to open the campaign, but came to life in a terrific performance against the Victorian outfit. 

Yallop scored the second goal of Brisbane’s 6-0 domination, creating something out of nothing as she plucked the ball from the sky outside the box, chopped around a Victory marker to open up space on her left side before firing the ball off the foot of the post and into the back of the net.

Round 8: Yallop shows versatility in deeper role against Sky Blues

After playing in a forward role against Western Sydney Wanderers in Brisbane’s first game of Round 8, Roar boss Jake Goodship utilised the Matildas gun in a deeper role in Brisbane’s second game of the Round: a 4-1 triumph over Sydney FC.

Yallop opened the scoring with a clinical header from an Emily Gielnik deliver before sitting back to orchestrate Brisbane’s play from the middle of the park, winning five duels, making three interceptions and enjoying a 100% tackle success rate as the Roar ended Sydney’s six-game winning streak to start the season.

Round 11: Yallop on form in big win over Reds

A 4-2 triumph over Adelaide United in Round 11 saw the Roar rebound quickly from a 4-1 defeat to Canberra United – the club’s only loss of the regular season.

Gielnik scored a hat-trick on that night at Lions FC Stadium to inspire the Roar to an impressive victory. And although not notching a goal or assist for herself, Yallop put up season-best numbers in a number of categories, including passing accuracy (89.2%) and accuracy of balls played in the final third (92.3%). 

Yallop created three chances, won 100% of her four duels and made seven ball recoveries as she got all over the park to help inspire her side to a big win.

Yallop was the unsung hero in a brilliant Roar performance against the Reds

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Semi Finals: Yallop stands tall in defeat 

At the conclusion of the regular season, Brisbane lost the services of two key players and fellow Matildas bound for Tokyo 2020 in star striker Gielnik and defensive rock Clare Polkinghorne.

The pair departed together to join Swedish side Vittsjö GIK, ramping up their individual preparation for the Olympic Games. But Yallop stayed on for the Finals Series, taking the armband for what was to be Brisbane’s final game of the campaign.

The understrength Roar fell 6-2 to Victory on that day, but not before putting up a strong fight. Yallop scored the fifth goal of the game to bring the score back to 4-2 in Victory’s favour, giving the Roar a sniff of a brave comeback before a late collapse saw the eventual Champions notch a 6-2 win.

Captain Yallop persevered through a challenging Semi Final loss