Major A-Leagues transfer hint as star reacts to three big moves abroad: ‘No spoilers!’

Each night at the Women’s World Cup, tune in to KEEPUP’s Dub at the Cup podcast. On Monday, A-Leagues commentators Taryn Heddo and Teo Pellizzeri were joined by Sydney FC defender Kirsty Fenton. Listen below or wherever you consume your podcasts.

Sydney FC’s Liberty A-League Championship-winning side has lost three of its key contributors – and there could be more moves on the way.

That is the latest mail from A-Leagues commentator Teo Pellizzeri, who quizzed Sky Blues full-back Kirsty Fenton on what has been an off-season of upheaval at the club in the latest episode of Dub at the Cup.

Fenton, 19, was the special guest on Monday night’s episode of KEEPUP’s daily World Cup podcast.

In the past few weeks, rising Sydney star Sarah Hunter has secured a move to Paris FC, while Mackenzie Hawkesby and Madison Haley have both signed for FA Women’s Super League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion.

“Your teammates, they’re fleeing!” said Pellizzeri to Fenton.

“Sarah Hunter has made a career-defining move to Paris FC, she’s going to be playing in France. Madison Haley and Mackenzie Hawkesby are both going to the Women’s Super League.

“And, no spoilers, but it’s not totally done just yet, the exodus of players!”

“When you win a championship, you get a lot of attention and a lot of focus,” Pellizzeri continued. “So how different is that first day of pre-season training going to be at Sydney FC when you walk in and some of your best players and biggest personalities are no longer there and the group is totally new?”

“I always think about this,” replied Fenton, who last year was a new signing at the club herself, joining from Newcastle Jets.

“I think you can’t really judge it as soon as you come in for pre-season.

“Whenever (head coach Ante Juric) brings in girls, he really thinks about it on and off the field, the personality and how they play and come into the team.

“But Sarah (Hunter) and Macca (Hawkesby), I’m so proud of them, like they really deserve it and, they really rocked the midfield, and Maddie (Haley) scored bombs every single time she came in.

“They definitely deserve it, I’m proud of them.”

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The ‘strange thing to say’ about Sam Kerr’s Matildas absence – and the ‘crucial’ gap left… in defence

This might just be the most understated fact about Sam Kerr’s Matildas absence: the void she leaves behind when defending set plays.

Australia’s captain is arguably the Matildas’ best header of the ball – and that makes her a valuable asset in both 18-yard boxes. Her position at the front post defending corners and free-kicks will be filled by her teammates until the Chelsea superstar overcomes the calf injury that ruled her out of contention for Australia’s World Cup opener against Ireland.

Football Australia has confirmed Kerr will miss Australia’s second group stage game against Nigeria; she is yet to begin training with the main group again since suffering the injury on the eve of the World Cup.

On Monday night’s episode of KEEPUP’s podcast Dub at the Cup, A-Leagues commentator Taryn Heddo identified the Matildas’ defending of set pieces as an area that could be exposed by Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on Thursday night in the absence of Kerr.

“This is a strange thing to say because obviously she’s an attacker, but Sam Kerr is actually very important in defensive set piece situations,” Heddo said.

“And she’s been used in that role, Tony Gustavsson is known as a bit of a set piece specialist and she’s a crucial part of Australia’s set piece defending. You don’t have to necessarily be the tallest player.”

Brazil turn up the heat at Women’s World Cup

If you didn’t have World Cup fever yet, you almost certainly would now. That is, if you tuned in to Brazil’s Adelaide masterclass on Monday night.

The South American powerhouse lit up Hindmarsh Stadium in their introduction to the tournament, defeating Panama 4-0 in a glittering performance highlighted by a simply stunning team move that produced what will be one of the goals of the tournament.

Ary Borges scored a scintillating hat-trick as Brazilian legend Marta emerged off the bench in her first appearance at what is her sixth World Cup.


Liberty A-League’s incredible contribution to Matildas’ World Cup campaign


That’s the magic number behind this Matildas squad.

All 23 players selected by Tony Gustavsson to represent the nation at the World Cup came through the Liberty A-League to make their professional debuts; there is 1,954 games of A-League Women experience among the Matildas ranks – a figure that shows just how vital Australia’s top domestic league has been in developing the best players in the nation and sending them on the path to international stardom.


Slip of the tongue leads to Sam Kerr injury panic

There’s never a dull moment in a World Cup campaign – and the events at Australia’s training base in Brisbane on Monday afternoon were testament to that fact.

In one word, Kyra Cooney-Cross sent the rumour mill spinning when asked by reporters for an update on Sam Kerr’s calf injury.

The 21-year-old replied: “it’s unfortunate that Sam tore her calf before the game”.

A Football Australia spokesperson quickly sought to clarify the injury was not as serious as a tear, but did not specify the extent of the injury.

It was a storm in a teacup that was dissected by KEEPUP’s team on the ground in the aftermath of a chaotic afternoon at the Matildas’ training camp.