Hopkins hopes Semi Final pain drives Victory


Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins wants his squad to use the hurt of Semi Final defeat to push onto greater success next season.

Victory claimed its first ever Westfield W-League Premier’s Plate in 2018/19, but fell to Perth Glory in a Semi Final on Sunday.

Hopkins hopes the pain of that defeat can propel Victory onto even greater heights in 2019/20.

“We got very, very close this season,” he said.

“I guess it depends on us, it depends on if we can bring this group back together again, if we can bring this feeling back together again and how hungry we are to go a step further.

“This season has been great, but the feeling I’m getting from the players already is a feeling of disappointment now, that we didn’t go a little bit further, especially to the Grand Final.

“If we can take this feeling now and just keep it until the beginning of next season and take this hurt that we felt on the weekend and just push it into us going one or two steps further next year.”

Hopkins added: “One thing that we can take is that we’ve been to a final together as a group now and we need to learn how to control our feelings, our emotions on the day.

“I think actually being there, there’s no substitute for actually being there and feeling what it feels like and experiencing what it feels like being there in a final with the pressure on.

“Especially for a number of our younger players, it’s definitely something they’re going to benefit from and hopefully when they get into the situation again, we’re used to it and we can handle it a little bit better.”

Victory captain Natasha Dowie, star centre-back Laura Alleway, defender Angela Beard, goalkeeper Casey Dumont and teenage attacker Kyra Cooney-Cross are contracted until at least the end of next season.