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Dec 02, 2010   |  9:59PM AET

Who’s who in the W? Melissa Barbieri, Melbourne Victory.

Who’s who in the W? Melissa Barbieri, Melbourne Victory.

This week we look at the national team and Melbourne Victory W-League shot stopper

Sally Shipard talks pizza with Melissa Barbieri!

Firstly I would like to paint you a picture, ‘Bubsy- inspired game day insight…

We are standing in the huddle just before we break out in to our starting positions – Bub-s sprints over from the bench having given them the banner of the opposing team. Our hands placed and supported by her goal keeping glove.

Just before the ‘ONE, TWO, THREE AUSSIE!- Bub-s provides the starting 11 players with inspiring words. Instantly the level of adrenaline inside my body increases tenfold, goose bumps appear on every out-stretched arm almost to the extent of hurting. That feeling, that natural high she creates.

She is a powerful, well spoken, highly respected footballer and over the past year has proved herself as a great Australian captain.

During the week Girls FC caught up with Westfield Matildas head Goal Keeping coach Paul Jones, “Melissa has a great presence on the field, she possesses a unique level confidence and belief within herself…. She is a great communicator, a great organiser. As well as being a very good international Goal Keeper she is also a fantastic person.”

Since making her Westfield Matildas debut in 2002 Bubs, as she is affectionately known, has won 73 caps for her country. Bubs took over the captaincy in 2010 and was the first Australian ever to raise the AFC Women-s Asian Cup in May 2010.

Having played in front of Bubsy for the majority of my international career- it is reassuring to know she is your final line. When I looked back to her, no matter the situation her head is always held high. I believe this is a unique quality.

We had a chat with Bubs over her favourite meal, pizza! We even managed to squeeze the Italian dough recipe out of her (noted below). After reading our Q&A with Bubs, why not give her recipe a try with an adult present and let us know how you go?

How did you get into football? How old were you?
I was 8 when I tried to play originally in an all boy-s team but I was told I wasn-t allowed to play any more due to being female – I was 14 when I picked the game up again after I was looking for a new sport to play and my mum reminded me that I was a good soccer player when I was younger. So Mum found me a team.

What-s the best thing about being in the Westfield W-League?
Playing quality football week after week and bonding with teammates. The rivalry between teams is great as well.

What are the most important skills to possess to be good in your position on the field?
Communication, loud voice, knowledge of the game and leadership.

Do you have any match rituals to get rid of nerves and pump yourself up?
I like to listen to music to get my feet moving but to get my mind into the game I like to visualise me playing and making good decisions and performing well.

What does a typical Saturday look like?
On game day I like to make sure I am keeping active to make sure I have my muscles ready. That can mean anything from housework to shopping and then a pre match meal at my favourite restaurant prior to travelling to the game.

If we don-t have a game, my Saturday will probably involve getting to my parents house to visit them and have lunch, then get to the gym or come home and go out with Hubby for a meal at our local restaurant Cocochine.

Favourite Qantas Socceroo and why?
Mark Bresciano because he never made a state team or institute team and didn-t let that deter him from playing overseas and becoming a well respected Qantas Socceroo.

Favourite Westfield Matilda and why?
Sarah Walsh because of her pace and quality finishing skills and she is a prankster off the field.

Who inspires you?
Sally Shipard because she is always respectful and respectable. She is not afraid of making mistakes and learning from them

Who-s your best friend on the field and why?
The goal posts because it means the ball doesn-t go in the net

Favourite recipe and what is it?
I have a woodfire pizza oven so my favourite recipe is homemade pizza dough with toppings like sundried tomatoes, olives and ham.

What-s the most fun thing about playing football?
The Social Aspect and camaraderie.

What advice would you give a 10 year old aspiring footballer?
Have fun and dream big; don-t let people tell you ‘you can-t-.

On a personal / emotional level what has football taught you about being a great person?
It has taught me that everybody has ups and downs and obstacles are only obstacles if you see them as such. If you can-t endure the bad you will not live to see the good.

Favourite thing to wear (off the field)?
My G-Star jeans and a Nike casual top with high top Nikes to match!

What is your favourite training tip?
Train like you play

What is your most memorable football experience?
The Athens Olympics

Basic Pizza Dough

3kg bakers’ flour
1 Tbsp dried yeast
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1.25L – 1.5L water
50ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine flour with salt, sugar and water. Mix until well formed dough is attained.
2. In a separate bowl add a small amount of tepid water to yeast and stir until dissolved.
3. Add the yeast, baking powder and olive oil to the dough and knead until combined.
4. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using.

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