Melbourne Victory Women are attempting to break a 17-year hoodoo when they take on Newcastle Jets this Sunday.
Melbourne Victory Women are attempting to make history and break a 17-year hoodoo when they take on Newcastle Jets this Sunday with a chance of walking away with the Westfield W-League Premiership.
If Brisbane Roar lose or draw with Canberra United on Saturday, a win for Melbourne against the bottom of the table Novocastrians will be enough to win the club-s first piece of W-League silverware and in doing so also confirm a maiden home semi-final.
In that case, not only would club history be made but Australian football history as Melbourne Victory would becoming the first female Victorian team to host a semi-final since the formation of the national domestic competition in 1996.
The significance of achieving the milestone is not lost on co-captain Steph Catley, who is excited at the prospect of being part of the record books.
“It would be huge being a part of the first Melbourne Victory team to win a title, and the prospect of finally earning a home final for Victoria is just as exciting as it gives us a great platform to challenge for the Grand Final.” Catley said.
“This is my fourth season with Melbourne Victory and despite playing in the previous two finals campaigns we-ve been unfortunate enough to have come away empty handed each time.
“A home ground advantage would be massive and to know that we-ve finally got a chance on our turf after seventeen years could make all the difference.”
It hasn-t all been smooth sailing this year with the team having no less than four coaches in the past four months, but Catley insists that disruption has been kept to a minimum.
“While we-ve had a lot going on with our coaches we-ve managed to keep the core group of players so have been able to build a lot of momentum going into the finals.
“A coach is there to guide us and each of the four coaches has done that in their own way – but ultimately it-s about the players, what we do on the field, the intensity we bring and how we approach training.
“There is a lot of trust among the girls; everyone in the squad is playing their part and we-re feeling confident about what-s coming up.”
With the fate of the Premiership not in their own hands, Catley admits that she will be keeping an eye on the Brisbane versus Canberra match but that the result will not be the defining moment of the season.
“Of course we want to win the Premiership but if Brisbane does come out on top we will remain focused on the Newcastle match as clinching the home final is critical to our hopes of winning the Grand Final.
“The Jets had a great result against Perth last week, especially after such a long flight, so it-s obvious their position on the ladder is not representative of their current performance levels.
“We-re looking forward to the challenge as they will be dangerous and that always makes for a good game, but we-re going into the match full of confidence and with the desire to leave with all three points.”