W-League preview: Victory v Canberra

Amy Jackson

Melbourne Victory is eyeing a fourth straight win when it hosts Canberra United as Amy Jackson prepares to make a record-breaking appearance.


Jackson, 33, is set to break the record for most Westfield W-League appearances for Victory with her 67th, surpassing Gulcan Koca (66).

The midfielder, the Victory Medallist in 2014 and the club’s equal second all-time leading goalscorer, will achieve the feat if she plays at Epping Stadium on Sunday.

Jackson has featured in all seven of Victory’s games so far this season, including the 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets last time out.

Victory produced a professional performance as Kayla Morrison and Catherine Zimmerman scored first-half goals, while Newcastle’s Rhianna Pollicina was sent off late.

Morrison netted her first goal in the Westfield W-League with a header from a Kyra Cooney-Cross set-piece.

Zimmerman struck her fourth of the season after a pass from Melina Ayres, who notched her third assist of the campaign, in the win.

The result lifted Victory into third on the table after a fourth win in seven games this season.

Victory sits two points clear of fifth-placed Canberra ahead of the encounter at Epping Stadium.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts

on focuses…
“After watching the game a few times again, my view of the game has changed a fair bit, I actually appreciated how well we played on the weekend. I thought we pressed really well, I think we did well in a number of areas defensively, it came from the pressure. Amy Jackson did a good job in screening and cutting down the balls into Tara Andrews as well, which made life a lot easier for our back four. I thought it was a really good performance and I guess what we’re looking for this weekend is to build on that. I think Canberra will play most probably a similar type of game to Newcastle on the weekend, they set up quite similar and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re on our game as much and as well as we were on the weekend. Canberra have got one or two more attacking threats as well so we’ve got to look at another couple of areas defensively. They’ve got good players in the wide areas, Michelle Heyman through the middle, we’ve got to stop their front three and we all know about Grace Maher and how good she is and how creative she is. The defensive side of that is obviously an important factor for us going into the weekend, but the thing I was really pleased with on the weekend was the way that we kept the ball, the way that we progressed the ball forward a little bit more patiently than we had done in previous games without losing any of the penetration that we’ve had as well. On that side of things, we were really excellent, we picked the right moments to play the short passes, to play through the lines, we had players positioned really well between lines and we got support to those players and then when we got the opportunity to penetrate, we did it, we made really good decisions. Looking for much the same in terms of our possession as well because I thought that was a real strength of our side on the weekend.”

on importance of the result…
“It’s an opportunity to put some daylight between us and them, but again, really, we haven’t been looking at the position on the table. Three games ago we said, right, the next few games are about us accumulating points, we need to just accumulate points and don’t worry about the table, the table from week to week it will fluctuate but in five or six games, the table will actually tell a true story. At the moment it’s a little bit false. We talked about five games, it’s most probably six games – the Adelaide game, the two Newcastle games, now we know that we’re playing Canberra with Western Sydney and Perth – they are games we’re really looking to accumulate as many points as we possibly can and at the end of that we’ve got Sydney FC which will be a really tough game for us and then Perth as our last game. Going into the Sydney game I think we’ll have a realistic impression of where we are and what we need to do over the last couple of games, but at the moment it’s just about dealing with what’s in front of us which is Canberra. They’re a good side with a few key players that we’re going to have to look after, but we need to go about things the way we have done in the last few games and I’m expecting another good performance from the girls, I’m expecting a better performance as well because at the moment that’s what we’re talking about, fix a few things up and take them into the next game and we’ve done that really well over the last few games.”

Last time

Westfield W-League 2019/20 Round 11
Melbourne Victory 3-0 Canberra United
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne

Victory recorded an impressive win over Canberra when the teams met on Australia Day last year.

Ayres scored a first-half brace before Natasha Dowie headed in a Jackson cross for the sealer.

As it stands

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Canberra United
Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT

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