Western United defender Sydney Cummings is eager to face Wellington Phoenix again to show how the team can learn and develop between games.
Wellington will be the first side that United plays twice in the Liberty A-League Women this season, and Cummings believes it gives the team an opportunity to learn from the first meeting between the two.
“I think it’ll be an interesting test for us to see how we do against a team that we have played already,” she said.
“I think this will be really good for us in understanding how we learn from people that we’ve played before and how we can capitalise on things maybe we didn’t the first time.”
Despite winning the reverse fixture 4-1 in New Zealand, Cummings said there is plenty of improvement to be made and there will be no complacency from the Green and Black.
“Wellington are good, I think their record does not do them any justice. They’re a team that at any moment, if you’re not paying attention and you drop off, they will punish you,” she said.
“We didn’t like our first half against them, we thought we should’ve played a bit better. We’re excited to take the things from that game that we did well and hopefully repeat them, but also learn from it.”
Cummings enters this game having been nominated for the Liberty Player of the Month for December after two key displays in wins over Adelaide United and Melbourne City.
While the Guyanese international admitted it was “really nice” to be recognised, she insisted the praise should be going to the entire team.
“I do think it’s a bit reflection of the team – I’m not getting nominated for that if the team’s not doing well,” she said.
“But it just goes to show that even though we’re the new kids on the block, we’re here to play and it goes to show how we’ve been performing this month and so far this season. I think there’s a lot more nominations to come for a lot of girls in this team and I’m really looking forward to that.”
The team is preparing to return home to City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field for the first time since Round 1, bringing back with it a perfect 5-0 record to begin the campaign.
Cummings noted that the mood at training has been high and the whole team is looking forward to playing in front of the Green and Black army again.
“Everyone’s really excited, I don’t think we realised how many games we had away, so it’s really nice to be home,” she said.
“We’re really excited to have a packed stadium and I’m really looking forward to that. Training has been fun, we have a lot of games coming up so it’s just been about keeping energy high.”
Cummings’ performances so far have done anything but show that these five matches have been her first at professional club level.
Although Cummings has been around the San Diego Wave in the NWSL and played senior internationals for Guyana, this is her first experience at club level and she feels she is in the perfect place.
“Obviously I do feel like there’s a lot of my game that I want to improve, and a lot that I feel like by the end of the season I will have accomplished, but that doesn’t happen without a great team and a great staff, and I feel like this is the right place for me to do those things,” she said.
Cummings and her teammates will be out to make it six from six with a win on Saturday to begin a busy week where United will play three times in seven days.