Perth Glory is ready to take on reigning champions Canberra United in front of their home fans on Saturday afternoon.
Their December 5 encounter resulted in a 2-1 victory for the champions in controversial circumstances, after Glory captain Collette McCallum-s late equaliser was disallowed by the referee.
The Glory is coming off the highest scoring match in Westfield W-League history after defeating Sydney FC 7-5 at Allianz Stadium in front of over 4,000 fans.
Westfield Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna was the star of the show, scoring three goals and assisting in three others as the Glory extended their stay on top of the W-League table.
The win was soured with the season-ending hand injury to England goalkeeper Carly Telford, but coach Jamie Harnwell has called in a replacement just in time for this weekend-s crunch match, and she knows the Canberra team well.
22-year-old Maja Blasch has been called in to take control between the sticks for Saturday, and the former Canberra United shot-stopper says she is over the moon with her call-up.
“It-s so exciting, I-m just looking forward to playing some football,” said Blasch.
“This will be my first W-League game and I-m ready to help Perth get the three points this weekend.”
Blasch spent the 2008/09 season as Canberra-s second goalkeeper and has since played locally with Belconnen United in Canberra, trained under Matildas goalkeeper coach Paul Jones and spent time as a goalkeeper coach with United.
“It-s good and bad (playing against her old side) as I think I know their strengths and weaknesses,” said Blasch.
“I know they are going to come out firing after losing to Melbourne Victory so late in the game last week, but I-ll be ready for them.
“I already know a few of the Glory girls from Canberra with Bron (Bronwyn Studman) and Kirri (Bolton), so I just can-t wait to get out on the pitch.”
Blasch will fly into Perth today and have two training sessions with the team before Saturday-s match.
Perth Glory Women will announce a full-time replacement for Telford in the coming weeks.
Kick-off against Canberra United is at 4pm.
Perth Glory v Canberra United Saturday 22 December, 2012 Intiga Stadium, Inglewood Kick-off: 4.00pm local time
Perth Glory: 2. Sarah CARROLL, 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Sasha ANDREWS, 7. Aivi LUIK, 8. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 9. Rosie SUTTON, 10. Jaymee GIBBONS, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Kate GILL, 13. Elisa D-OVIDIO, 14. Collette MCCALLUM (c), 15. Liz MILNE, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 19. Shawn BILLAM, 20. Zoe PALANDRI (gk), 30. Maja BLASCH. Four to be omitted
Ins: 2. Sarah CARROLL, 14. Collette MCCALLUM (both returned from personal commitment), 16. Thia EASTMAN, 19. Shawn BILLAM (both promoted), 30. Maja BLASCH (new signing).
Outs: 1. Carly TELFORD (hand injury).
Unavailable: Carly Telford - Hand - season, Kirri Bolton - Hip - indefinite.