Capitals, Meteors, United set sights on titles and big crowds

They'll go head to head for crowds on a blockbuster weekend, but the Canberra Capitals and ACT Meteors say they can drive each other to greater heights on and off the field this season.

The Capitals and Meteors will start their respective WNBL and WNCL seasons in the capital this weekend as both strive for history-making titles.

The only problem is a scheduling clash will see them play at the same time time on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

"But we've got three strong female sporting teams in Canberra and we need to stick together, we need to work together," said Capitals skipper Nat Hurst.

"We can grow together. We support them. If they get crowds one time and we get them the next, that's great. It will showcase both sports."

The Capitals, Meteors and Canberra United joined forces on Wednesday for a three-way launch for the women's sport season.

All three teams have set their sights on championship success, with the Capitals chasing a drought-breaking titles, the Meteors targeting a breakthrough triumph and Canberra United aiming for its third W-League crown.

Women's sport is riding a wave of momentum after the AFL launched a female competition last year and the Matildas played in front of sell-out crowds last month.

It is hoped the success will filter through to domestic competitions. The Capitals have shifted home games to the National Convention Centre to reinvigorate game-day experience while the Meteors will play under lights at Manuka Oval.

"When I first started playing it was just boys cricket," said Meteors fast-bowler Maitlan Brown.

"Now I'm pretty sure they're developing a women's league on the mid-north coast, which is awesome. I never thought I'd see that happen.

"It's unreal for women's sport. And [in Canberra] we have other athletes we can chat with and make friends with."

Canberra United will be the last team to start its season, with its W-League campaign to start with a clash against Melbourne Victory on October 28.

New coach Heather Garriock has almost filled her roster spots, with just two contracts up for grabs.

"We're trialling some local players at the moment, there are a few who are standing up," Garriock said.

"We've filled our international spots ... my priority is to produce as many Canberrans as possible. When you play for a club and you're passionate about it, it's because it's where you're from and brought up."

The Meteors have recruited some of the world's best players to bolster their bid for a breakthrough WNCL title.

South African duo Dan van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp landed in Canberra on Monday after visa problems delayed their arrival.

They will team up with Meteors skipper Erin Osborne to lead a young side in its first clash against Victoria in a day-night fixture on Friday.

"We're very excited, we're prepared and ready to on Friday night," said all-rounder Nicola Hancock.

"I believe our culture at the Meteors is incredibly strong and that's what makes us such a great team. The girls have slipped straight in.

"Most of us have played with [van Niekerk and Kapp] before so we know them and their incredible skills. It's just about letting them ease into the game."

WNBL ROUND ONE

Friday: Canberra Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

Sunday: Canberra Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

WNCL ROUND ONE

Friday: ACT Meteors v Victoria Spirit at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.

Sunday: ACT Meteors v Queensland Fire at Manuka Oval, 10am.

W-LEAGUE ROUND ONE

October 28: Melbourne Victory v Canberra United at Epping Stadium, 4.30pm.

This story Capitals, Meteors, United set sights on titles and big crowds first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.