Western Sydney Wanderers from shire beaches will be at home in west

IT'S a long way from the shire's beaches to the outer west.

But that's where these Sutherland Shire girls have been given their chance at playing top-level football.

Western Sydney Wanderers start their W-League campaign on Saturday afternoon with Jordan Baker, Demi Koulizakis and Liz Grey all set to wear the red and black this season.

The Wanderers travel interstate for their season opener against Adelaide United at the Adelaide Shores Football Centre looking to improve on last season's eighth-placed finish.

Young Matildas forward Baker, 18, will again lead the line for the Wanderers in her third season with the club.

Koulizakis, also a forward, returns to the club for the 2015-16 campaign having made a memorable debut last season, scoring against Canberra United after coming off the bench.

Grey, from Gymea, is excited to be in her first season with the Wanderers.

The 21-year-old forward said she looked forward to round one and hailed the atmosphere in the playing group.

"At the beginning of the year I didn't know anyone but the girls have taken me in," she said.

"Adelaide are going to be strong.

"I think they've lost a couple of players but you still can't underestimate anyone in the W-League.

"It's hard to say in a new season but we've got a new squad and I think we'll be strong."

Baker, Koulizakis and Grey have all represented Sutherland Shire in Football NSW competitions after playing with their junior clubs, including Gymea United, Carss Park FC and Loftus Yarrawarrah Rovers. respectively.

Baker, from Gymea, said it had been a tough pre-season but it had put them in a good position to improve on last season's results.

"We started about six weeks ago and it's been intense but really good," she said.

"I think this season will be much better than last, 100 per cent.

"We want to win it but I definitely think [we can make] top four.

"We feel like a family this year."

It has been a busy time for Koulizakis, who has spent as much time hitting the books as she has hitting the training pitch due to her HSC commitments.

"I've been at the library a lot," she said.

"It's been good though. Football has been a nice distraction."

In other opening round fixtures, Sydney FC host Melbourne City, Brisbane Roar take on 2014-15 champions Canberra United and Melbourne Victory clash with Perth Glory.

Newcastle Jets have the bye.

The Wanderers first home game will be in round two when they host Brisbane at Marconi Stadium.

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