Hopkins happy with Brock return as Victory’s defence shines


Jeff Hopkins was pleased with Laura Brock’s return in Melbourne Victory’s 3-0 win over Adelaide United in the Westfield W-League on Saturday.

Natasha Dowie scored a brace and Rosie Sutton also struck in Victory’s convincing win at Marden Sports Complex.

Brock returned from a foot injury and got through 66 minutes alongside Jenna McCormick and Emily Menges in the heart of the Victory defence as the trio impressively contained the Reds.

Hopkins was happy for Brock, who will join McCormick – after arguably her best performance of the season – and Teagan Micah in camp with the Westfield Matildas next week.

“Really pleased. She got 45 minutes under her belt last week against China in the friendly and did really well,” he said.

“She came through the first half really well, played well, influenced the game for us, a real calming influence there.

“I think she came out in the second half, I think she realised, we realised she may only have 20 minutes in her. She’s played 45 minutes in the last seven months so it’s a big ask for her.

“She put in everything she could, she put her hand up after about 65 minutes and we took her off and we were ready to make the change, we knew what we were going to do and Angie Beard jumped back into the back three and we brought on Lia Privitelli and it was quite a smooth transition as well.

“But really pleased for Laura and she goes into the Matildas camp for half of next week so that will be a good bonus for her as well.”

Dowie’s double was set up by Amy Jackson and Darian Jenkins, while McCormick teed up Sutton for her first Victory goal.

Hopkins was pleased with his team, which recorded its biggest win of the campaign to move level on points with fourth-placed Brisbane Roar, but having played one less game.

“I’d say good clear-cut chances it was probably our best (of the season) so far and obviously it was good to see Tash on the end of a couple as well today and Rosie Sutton getting her first goal of the season,” he said.

“She (Sutton) has been working really unselfishly over the last three or four weeks, she’s set other players up, she’s been really happy for others to jump in there and to score the goals and take the glory so it was good.

“I think everyone was really pleased for Rosie to get the goal today.”