W-League recap – Victory’s first title


It’s been a few days since Melbourne Victory’s maiden Westfield W-League title and Matthew Naqvi reflects on a Championship win that has a city abuzz.

It’s been a few days since Melbourne Victory’s maiden Westfield W-League title and Matthew Naqvi reflects on a Championship win that has a city abuzz.

Melbourne Victory-s women-s team broke their hoodoo against Brisbane, with a stand-out 2-0 win at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday.

Lisa De Vanna-s one-two with Jess Fishlock that resulted in a great team goal and American Lauren Barnes- absolute cracker from long range was too much for a Brisbane team that never really settled into the game.

Victory were delighted to win their first premiership in front of more than 2,500 spectators, most of them Melbourne supporters.

After the despair of last season-s Grand Final loss to Sydney at home, the team were more determined than ever to clinch their first title.

Melbourne Victory employed a full team press that restricted Brisbane-s run and halted their flow, preventing them from really getting the contest.

Welsh midfielder Jess Fishlock was instrumental in Victory-s success with her constant attack and pressure. Her ability to hold up the play and link with the strikers ensured she caused plenty of headaches for the Roar. She deservedly picked up player of the match award for her efforts.

This is a watershed moment for the Victory team with manager Dave Edmondson leaving the club to join the Bristol City women-s team.

“They-ve put the hard work in and today they got the result,” Edmondson said after winning the title.

“(There-s been) loads of media attention and extra stuff to do but we said that-s the focus. It-s football, it-s the game.”

Captain Steph Catley has capped off an excellent season with her FFA U20 Player of the Year award, a premiership and a contract to join Portland Thorns for their upcoming NWSL season.

“I-m pretty overwhelmed to be honest. It is beyond relief, I-m so excited and every single person in the squad deserves this. We-ve been coming for a couple of years now and to get the win over such a quality side like Brisbane it-s just amazing.

“We were so determined to get there and win a championship and bring something home for Victoria,” Catley said.

Last season-s home Grand Final loss to Sydney was another element to the determination of the Victory women getting their hands on the premiership cup.

“It-s something we try not to speak too much about but its- definitely in the back of your mind. We weren-t going to let that sort of thing happen again. We were there once and let it slip and got a bit overwhelmed but this year we were a lot more experienced and ready for it.”

On the opposite side of the spectrum is teenager Beattie Goad who has gone from train-on player to premiership player in the space of months.

“This season I just thought I would be a train-on and learn from the other girls but then I got a little bit of game time, a little taste of what it was like and didn-t look back. I took every opportunity he gave me,” Goad said.

“Right from the start, Dave said that we wanted to be here and to win the Grand Final. I think if you write a goal and put it on paper then it-s more likely to happen.”

Goad is not going to settle for one premiership, she is ambitious and determined about her own goals for the future.

“I have a lot of dreams and goals. I would like to be picked for the under 20s Australian team and then the Matildas and obviously go to a World Cup or Olympics. That would be the ultimate dream.”

This monumental win to Melbourne Victory has opened their premiership account and in doing so, have expanded the interest in the W-League. Brisbane have been so dominant for so long, it would have been predictable and the usual fare had they won. Victory-s win puts the game out there for the nation and the world to see.

The W-league is only getting bigger and better, so next season will be one to watch for the Melbourne Victory women,