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Oct 02, 2009   |  6:16PM AET

Melbourne Victory Women announces leadership group

Melbourne Victory Women announces leadership group

Melbourne Victory Women is excited to announce its co-captains and leadership group for the upcoming Westfield W-League season.

Melbourne Victory Women is excited to announce its co-captains and leadership group for the upcoming Westfield W-League season.

Last year’s captain, Tal Karp, will be joined by Melissa Barbieri as co-captain for Melbourne Victory Women.

Barbieri brings her excellent on-field leadership skills and experience in the Westfield Matildas to the squad; while Karp’s leadership, on and off the field, is complimented by her knowledge and experience of being Melbourne Victory Women’s inaugural captain.

Both players are excited about the challenge of leading and developing the young team.

“Tal was a great leader last year and I’m looking forward to sharing the role,” Barbieri said.

“It’s a full on season with the 10 rounds and I’m just hoping to help Tal out as much as possible.”

Karp said her and Barbieri’s love for Melbourne Victory Women was the main reason they will work so well together.

“I have known Bubs (Barbieri) for a very long time, and have great respect for her on and off the park.

“We are both very passionate about Melbourne Victory, and we both believe the team has huge potential this year.

“We can-t wait to get underway with the first game.”

The leadership group comprises co-captains Barbieri and Karp; as well as veteran defender, Marlies Oostdam; and two new international recruits, American Julianne Sitch and Canadian Katie Thorlakson.

Elected by the playing group, the leadership group is intended to assist in further developing the young players in the team, and share the load of a hectic Westfield W-League season.

Season two of the Westfield W-League will commence this Saturday, with a double-header between Melbourne Victory Women and Perth Glory Women at Etihad Stadium kicking off at 4.45pm, followed by Melbourne Victory taking on Brisbane Roar at 7.30pm.

Melbourne Victory CEO, Geoff Miles, is excited about the season commencing.

“We are looking forward to an exciting second season for Melbourne Victory Women, kicking off this Saturday.

“The appointment of co-captains Melissa Barbieri and Tal Karp, and the establishment of a leadership group, give our coach Matt Shepherd a wealth of experience to support the team,” Miles said.

After finishing fifth in the inaugural Westfield W-League season, Melbourne Victory Women coach Matt Shepherd has assembled a promising side, which comprises a mix of young and experienced talent, and has the benefit of players with international experience from America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

“We also have a great base of skilful and strong Victorian players, who have been working very hard all year, and who I think will perform very well in the Westfield W-League,” Karp said.

Melbourne Victory Women v Perth Glory Women
Saturday, October 3, 4.45pm
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Melbourne Victory Women: 1.Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2.Vedrana POPOVIC, 3.Marlies OOSTDAM, 4.Tal KARP, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7.Sarah GROENEWALD, 8.Katie THORLAKSON, 9.Stephanie CATLEY, 11.Julianne SITCH, 12.Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 13.Katrina GORRY, 14.Selin KURALAY, 15.Jessica HUMBLE, 19.Enza BARILLA, 20.Nicole PAUL (gk), 21.Kara MOWBRAY
*Two to be omitted