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WA captain Elisa D'Ovidio with coach Ben Anderton.

WA star chasing glory against former side

Football West News

Midfielder Elisa D’Ovidio will captain the Bankwest Women’s State team against her former side, Perth Glory, in the Bankwest Women’s Challenge Cup on October 3.

The game will be held at Hartfield Park, Forrestfield, with all proceeds from the $2 entry fee donated to Telethon in the children’s charity’s 50th year.

Northern Redbacks midfielder D’Ovidio is looking forward to leading the State team, which is made up of players from six Bankwest Women’s State Premier League teams.

“It’s definitely a great honour for me,” she said.

“(Coach) Ben (Anderton) has picked a really great squad and the girls have done really well in the last two training sessions.

“I’m looking forward to working with them all and I can’t wait for the match against some of my former teammates.”

The match will be D’Ovidio’s first against her former club since announcing her retirement from the W-League and Glory in 2015.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I got called up to play,” she said.

“We have a lot of respect for each other and we know when we’re on the pitch it’s business and then there are laughs and smiles at the end of it.”D’Ovidio hoped the recent spike in interest in the Matildas would increase support for female football at local level.

“I think with how well the Matildas are performing at the moment has turned heads around the country and no matter where you go everyone is talking about it,” she said.

“The game is also for a great cause with all proceeds going to Telethon, so I hope many people come down to show their support for both teams and of course watch what will be a great game of football.”

Anderton, who also coached Queens Park to the Bankwest Women’s Premier League title this season, will take charge of WA for the first time.

He said the opportunity for State League players to take on Glory was important for the development of local talent.

 “I think it’s crucial, especially for the older players in WA,” he said.

“There are a lot of pathways for young girls, which is fantastic. But at the more senior level there’s not many places for girls to get noticed.

“It’s great for the girls that play in the State League to then have a chance to go up against high-calibre competition and possibly get seen and show their talent.”

Anderton will be assisted by former Matildas and Perth Glory midfielder Collette McCallum, Stacey Learmont and Dave Whalley.

FIFA-Listed W-League referee Kate Jacewicz will travel from Sydney to Perth to officiate the match.