Hopkins: Victory deserved Premier’s Plate


Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins believes his team was a “thoroughly deserved” winner of the Westfield W-League Premier’s Plate.

Victory secured its first ever Premiership after a 2-1 win over Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens on Friday.

Hopkins felt Victory was a worthy Premier after winning seven of its 11 games so far in the regular season.

“It’s a fantastic feeling. The girls are so happy, and I’m really happy for them,” he said.

“They worked so hard, not just tonight to hold on at the end of the game but for the whole of the season.

“We’ve played some great football, they’ve been really close as a group and it’s thoroughly deserved.

“For the players especially and for the staff that have supported them, it’s been excellent.”

Victory had already qualified for the finals for the first time since 2014, but first-half goals from Christine Nairn and Emily Gielnik helped it past Perth to secure top spot.

Hopkins said he was unsurprised by Victory’s success this season, hailing his players.

“I thought we had a squad that was capable of making finals, but the more I work with this group of players and the more I’m around them, it doesn’t really surprise me,” he said.

“There are some great characters in the team, they’re so close, so tight as a group and they were so relaxed going out there (against Perth) it was almost like it was a practice match at Maribyrnong at the training ground.

“The first-half performance was up there with the best all season. Second half, Perth were very good and they put us under a lot of pressure but we had the resilience to stick with it and come through at the end so really pleased for the girls.”

Victory faces Canberra United on Tuesday before taking on Perth in a home Semi Final.