Mark Torcaso hails ‘credit to women’s football’ after inaugural season

Mark Torcaso Western United

Western United Head Coach Mark Torcaso couldn’t hide his pride after the Green and Black’s first ever taste of a Liberty A-League Women Grand Final on Sunday.

Despite a 4-0 defeat to Sydney FC, Torcaso was brimming with satisfaction and declared his team a “credit to women’s football” for the amount that had been achieved this season.

“The one message I’ve given to our girls from the start being a foundation, inaugural team, was set the tone for the next player that wants to play the game or wants to wear a Western United top, and I think we’ve done that,” he said.

“Being located out in the West – it’s a growing area with a lot of young people, and for us it’s about that, just creating the next young girl that wants to put on a Western United shirt or a Matildas shirt.

A number of Torcaso’s star players this season have been playing in just their first ever professional campaign, just as Torcaso himself has been coaching in his.

Having overseen the development of a number of squad members from a young age, Torcaso said he took great satisfaction in seeing them arrive on the big stage.

“It’s been unbelievable, it’s been a brilliant ride. I take a huge amount of enthusiasm going into next season because some of these girls have outshone what I believed they could do,” he said.

“It’s quite emotional for me because I’ve got an attachment with a lot of these girls for many, many years, since some of them were 14.

“To be able to put them on a big stage in front of cameras and a big crowd, I’m just proud of that and I can’t wait to do it again for them next year.”

There were mixed emotions at the final whistle, with the disappointment of defeat quickly turning into overarching pride and joy from the season as a whole.

In the Club’s inaugural season, United went on a spectacular journey in the Liberty A-League with players shining and fans getting behind the team on the way to a second-placed finish and a Grand Final appearance.

With that positivity in mind, Torcaso told media immediately after the game that the players maintained a positive outlook and was already looking to bounce back next season.

“They’re ok to be honest. I spoke to them straight after and I just said to them, ‘this has been a remarkable season, you should be extremely proud to be out there, your family should be proud and our whole Club should be proud’. Their spirits are quite high and they’ve said we’ll be back and we’ll be back even better,” he said.

“To be quite honest, they’ve got enough belief in each other to come back out next year and have a really good year. I don’t want to be a team that comes out in the following season after having a good year and not perform. That’s my expectation and my players will also feel that way as well.”

Torcaso and his players will now be able to celebrate and reflect on a magical debut season before gearing up for an equally competitive second campaign in 2023/24.