Melbourne Victory midfielder Christine Nairn says she is excited to return to finals football as the club pushes for a second Championship.
Nairn is one of the few remaining players from Victory’s last finals appearance.
She scored a penalty in a tense shootout loss away to Canberra in 2014 and the American international says she is keen to make up for lost time.
“It’s so good to be back, it’s been a while, I think I was 23,” she says.
“We’re so excited to be here. We’ve put in the work for four seasons now and it’s just finally coming to fruition and hopefully it doesn’t stop this weekend.”
Nairn says that as good as having the Premier’s Plate wrapped up is, finals are a completely different ball game and the team must focus to achieve its ultimate goal.
“The premiership is the first piece of the puzzle. We just wanted to make finals and host a final and now we just have to go for the double,” says Nairn.
“It’s a whole new level. When finals are on the line you get the best game from everyone and a bit of a chip on your shoulder.
“It’s going to be a dog fight. It might not be the better team who wins but whoever shows up and puts a performance on and puts their chances away is going to be the winner.”
Victory’s two previous outings against Perth this season have resulted in wins, including the penultimate match of the season in which Nairn scored the opener. The 28-year old is eager to get the win once again.
“I think I surprised everyone that I scored on a header, I came up and Jeff was like ‘was that you out there?’ so if I’m lucky enough to get on the scoresheet I’m fine but I’d rather get the three points and get into the championship game,
“I think they (Perth) are such a good team and they pose a lot of threats from the goalkeeper up to the nine. They’re in finals for a reason and I can’t wait until this weekend.”
Nairn missed the last W-League season but couldn’t be kept from the club, visiting early in the year to explore what coach Jeff Hopkins was building.
“With our off-season in the WNSL I picked up a bit of an injury but I reached out to Jeff. I came down in January last year because I couldn’t stay away,
“I knew this year I wanted to come back and I’m so glad that I did.”