Melbourne Victory can confirm that the Melbourne Victory Afghan Women’s Team (AWT) will be led by Liberty A-League Women’s Championship-winning coach Jeff Hopkins as the side prepares for its first match on Sunday 24 April.
The side will compete in the Football Victoria State League 4 West competition, which kicks off on Sunday 24 April against ETA Buffalo SC. The AWT will then play its first home match of the season on Sunday 1 May at Ron Barassi Snr Park in Docklands, against Melton Phoenix.
Hopkins, who has been working with the squad on the training pitch since February, will provide his expertise to the side for the 2022 season.
Melbourne Victory Director of Football, John Didulica said Hopkins’ appointment reflects the Club’s commitment to providing the team its full football resources for its return to the pitch.
“We’re proud to have our Championship-winning Head Coach and Australia’s most successful domestic women’s coach leading the players this season for what is set to be a landmark moment for this team and football globally,” Didulica said.
“This day is a culmination of almost a year’s work by a range of organisations and individuals from around the world which has led to the group finally being able to return to the pitch, wear their colours with pride and play the game they love with the support of one of Australia’s biggest football Clubs.
“These young women, not least for their courage and their perseverance, deserve the absolute best Australia can provide them. With the most decorated coach in Australian women’s football history supporting them, we are hoping we can play a small role in guiding these players back to the international stage”.
Hopkins is also looking forward to the upcoming season with the AWT and seeing the group develop on and off the pitch.
“I’m incredibly humbled to be working with this inspirational group of players who have showed determination and a willingness to stand up for what they believe in. To play a minor role in getting them ready for the upcoming season is very special,” Hopkins said.
“The power of football has well and truly come full circle and we’re incredibly proud as a Club to be able to support the team in their journey back to the pitch. I’m looking forward to the progress they will make as footballers and on their own personal journeys throughout the season.”
AWT’s first match on Sunday 24 April against ETA Buffalo SC will be played at Delahey Recreational Reserve, kick-off 11am. The Club’s first home match on Sunday 1 May will be played at Ron Barassi Snr Park and will be attended by a range of football and government dignitaries. For their full fixture, click here.