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Nov 26, 2013

Sydney FC chase women's world championship

Reigning W-League champions Sydney FC are hoping to turn domestic success into international triumph when they contend the Women's Club Championship in Japan this week.

The Sky Blues flew out on Wednesday ahead of their first-round clash in Okayama on Saturday.

The current ladder-leaders are one of five teams vying to become world champions, their grand final victory last season earning them a spot alongside England's Chelsea Ladies, CSD Colo Colo of Chile, and Japanese sides NTV Beleza and Inac Kobe Leonessa.

Sydney FC go into the tournament on the back of a roaring start to their 2013/2014 W-League campaign.

They have scored nine goals and conceded just one in their opening two matches.

"We wanted to get a good start under our belt for W-League because we knew this tournament was just around the corner," midfielder Nicola Bolger told AAP.

"It's nice that the team has gelled and we've had two good results.

"But in saying that, we know there's a lot more we can work on and hopefully we can kickstart that in Japan in this tournament."

Bolger and her teammates have resorted to watching clips on YouTube of their opponents, with Nadeshiko League champions Inac Kobe Leonessa looming as the biggest threat.

"We're expecting really tough games," she said.

"Japanese teams, just from playing them in international games, they're always so good - technically brilliant, tactically excellent as well.

"But we're just really taking it in our stride and going to make the most of this opportunity, to play in such an awesome tournament and hopefully get good results and do well."

Coach Alen Stajcic said the tournament will be a big step up for his squad, who will need to be playing at their best to have a crack at winning.

"Either way, it will be a great experience for everyone in the squad to be representing Australia, and hopefully we can do our club and country proud," he said.

Sydney FC face NTV Beleza first up at 2.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday, with the winner to play Chelsea in the semi-final on December 4.

The final will be played four days later in Tokyo against either Colo Colo or Inac Kobe Leonessa.


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