Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins hopes his team can learn from its AFC Women’s Club Championship campaign.
Victory finished with one point from its three games in South Korea after suffering a 5-0 loss to eventual champion Nippon TV Beleza on Saturday.
Hopkins wants to see Victory, last season’s Westfield W-League premier, take lessons from the tournament.
“A lot of coming here is about seeing how good opponents are. I’ve seen a lot of their [Beleza’s] players playing at international level,” he told a news conference.
“We realised how good they would be. Again, how we could cope with how good they are most probably was a bit of a surprise to me that we didn’t cope defensively with it very well. We didn’t cope too well with the pressure on the ball. That’s probably the big disappointment for me is our lack of ability to keep possession of the ball.
“But we spoke before and said it’s a learning process for us, we want to get better and look, sometimes you’ve got to take a few hard hits before you can turn things around and get better.”
While falling to Beleza and Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, Victory managed to hold Chinese champion Jiangsu Suning to a draw.
Hopkins said Victory, which is back in Westfield W-League action against the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday, would be better for the experience in Yongin.
“Sometimes you can see things from afar but until you actually experience them, until the players actually experience them, it’s difficult to maybe make changes,” he said.
“I think the players and myself will leave here in no doubt that there’s a gap and we’ll look at the games and we’ll look very, very carefully at them and try and find out in more detail where the gaps are and then we’ll get working on bridging the gap, getting closer and closer.
“It’s definitely disappointing, but that’s what we’re here for, we were here to compete but we were here to learn as well to hopefully help us get better.
“Sometimes you need to take a hard hit. Often in life they’re the best lessons when you really get hurt, it makes you really want to turn things around and start improving things.”