Hopkins excited about AAMI Park home games

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins is excited about playing every A-League Women home game at AAMI Park this season.

Every Victory home game will be played at AAMI Park as a double-header, with the first of those on December 5, when Hopkins’ side face Adelaide United.

Hopkins’ team has played home matches at multiple venues in recent seasons, including on the way to a Championship in 2020/21.

Jeff Hopkins

But the Victory Head Coach is delighted his side will be at AAMI Park in every home game this upcoming season.

“It’s amazing. That’s where we want to play,” Hopkins said.

“It just shows again how the Club are supporting us to be able to play there at that stadium every week. I think it’s a massive motivator for the players.

“It’s a place where we love to play and it means a lot to us as well so it shows a growth in the women’s game as well. AAMI Park is where it should be played and the Club are behind us 100 per cent to back us there.

“We’re really looking forward to playing there because it definitely is a motivator and a factor that will drive us on, playing on a perfect surface and a great stadium.”

Victory enters the season as defending champion and with a largely settled squad, but also goes from being the hunter to the hunted.

Hopkins said his team’s focus was on improvement, with plenty of room for growth.

“There’s definitely an element of that (becoming the hunted), for other people. For us, it’s about growth in a lot of different areas,” he said.

“We experienced something that we loved last season and we want to experience it again and to make that happen again we’ve kind of reset the clock again. We’ve come back to basics, back to number one working hard for each other, working hard for ourselves and really getting back to what we did at the beginning of last year and that was to roll our sleeves up and really work hard.

“(We’re) working hard at getting better so we’ve brought in an extra coach this year and we’re going to work individually with the players a bit more to make our individuals a little bit better and they’ve really brought into that as well and by making the individuals better, we make the units a bit better, we make the team a bit better and we move on from there.

“The Club have been fantastic. The support we’re getting this year has been better than any other Melbourne Victory women’s team have been supported so I think the players can see that, they understand where the Club is and what type of Club this is, that this Club will support us and support us better than any other Club in the country and because of that there’s an expectation that we need to actually produce as well. We understand that and it’s just a good environment to be in at the moment.

“We’ve got players that are motivated, we’ve got players that are coachable, want to listen, want to learn, they’re a very tight group because that was one thing that carried us through last year – the team spirit and the ability not to be fazed by anything that was in front of us.

“On top of all that is we’ve still got players that have got massive areas to improve in and that’s just because they want to get better and they will get better. I’m enjoying things, I’m really excited and it’s getting to that stage now where the season is becoming real, we’re not too far away from it and there’s a real kind of excitement growing within the group.”