Women’s Federation Cup
Who: Monaro Panthers v ANU
Where: Hawker Football Centre
When: Tuesday, March 19. 8pm kick-off.
WHEN 24-year-old Angelo Maralit took on the coaching reins at the new-look Monaro Panthers women’s Premier League side, his biggest challenge looked to be simply assembling a competitive squad this season.
In its first year of Women’s Premier League competition, the Queanbeyan club never expected to be a force this season.
But just five months after winning acceptance into the league, the Panthers are already pressing for their first piece of silverware after a storming start to Capital Football’s Federation Cup.
Monaro will take on strugglers ANU next Tuesday, needing only a draw to secure passage through to the Fed Cup grand final.
The Panthers have already accounted for Tuggeranong (4-0) and the ACT Academy of Sport (2-0) in their opening two games of the pre-season competition.
The strong results have raised hopes the fledgling outfit could prove a genuine contender in its first Premier League campaign.
“The amount of quality players we’ve got in this squad, I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to get results and to keep winning,” Maralit said. “We’ve got the quality to push any side this season so I’ve got to deliver on that.
“We’ve got so much striking talent in the squad that we shouldn’t have any trouble scoring goals. We’re also yet to concede a goal at the other end so that’s been a real positive.”
Monaro has been the major beneficiary of a mass exodus of players from Woden Valley over the offseason.
More than half a dozen Woden players parted ways with the South Canberra club over the Christmas break before linking up with the Panthers.
“Obviously I can’t comment on what’s been happening at other clubs but with these girls coming over to us from Woden, I was very happy to have them,” Maralit said. “They’ve added a lot of quality to the squad.
“These girls have been winning things consistently with Woden as a group over the past few years and they’re all quite young so they’ve been a great addition.”
Correction: The original newspaper version of this article stated Angelo Maralit's age as 23. He is in fact, 24. This was a reporter's error.