W-LEAGUE: Ready to take on the world


Melbourne Victory W-League coach Joe Montemurro will have his complement of stars available when the Westfield W-League champs tackle the world’s best at the upcoming International Women’s Club Challenge.

Victory depart for Japan on Thursday looking to become the first Australian side to reach the final of the six-team tournament following strong showings from Sydney FC and Canberra United over the past two years.

Melbourne will tackle Japan’s Okayama Yunogo Belle on Sunday, with the potential for a semi-final match-up against English powerhouse Arsenal Ladies three days later.

And despite a run of injuries throughout October and November, the Victory will head to Japan without any concerns in an 18-strong squad. Their key Westfield Matildas stars – captain Steph Catley, forward Lisa De Vanna and goalkeeper Brianna Davey – have all been named, as have American imports Christine Nairn, Lauren Barnes and Elli Reed.

Montemurro is confident his side can replicate their recent impressive Westfield W-League form in Japan.

“Each game has its own little approach and as long as things go well and we click at the right time and all the little particulars are done, I think we are very, very confident we can go all the way,” Montemurro said.

“We’ll get two training sessions in but we’ve done a little bit of preparation already leading up to it, so hopefully it will all be refining some bits and pieces leading up to the game on Sunday.”

Melbourne Victory squad for the 2014 International Women’s Club Championship
1. Brianna DAVEY, 2. Hannah BREWER, 3. Gulcan KOCA, 4. Alexandra NATOLI, 5. Lauren BARNES, 6. Gema SIMON, 7. Stephanie CATLEY (C), 8. Amy JACKSON, 9. Racheal QUIGLEY, 10. Christine NAIRN, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 13. Caitlin FRIEND, 14. Tiffany ELIADIS, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Beattie GOAD, 23. Elli REED, 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI