W-League | Fishlock credits City group for back-to-back titles

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Following her side’s W-League Grand Final triumph, Melbourne City player-coach Jess Fishlock has praised City Football Group’s support system as a key reason for winning back-to-back titles.

It was a topsy-turvy league season for Fishlock and her champion side, as a six-game winless run sent shockwaves through the football club.

Fishlock admitted the mid-season turmoil was personally difficult, but credited the surroundings at City as a major help in turning things around.

“When you go through inner turmoil you keep asking questions and sometimes you could easily doubt yourself, doubt the group and doubt everything you’re doing,” she said.

“But thankfully we have a great support system where we are. We have everybody. We see each other every day, both the men and the women’s.

“Sometimes when you’re feeling down, you go to the lounge and you see one of the guys and they’re like, ‘You alright? You alright?’ and that sometimes gives you the belief you are alright.

“When you have that support all around you, it keeps you together and focused on what you’re there to do and what you want to achieve, and that’s what we did this year.”

Glory coach Bobby Despotovski had high praise for his players following the tough 2-0 loss, insisting this season’s achievements were far beyond expectations.

“I am ever so proud of the girls. What they achieved this season is remarkable,” an ecstatic Despotovski said.

“We must not forget where we are heading – that’s the key. Yes this is a grand final loss, and somebody is going to say, ‘It going to derail us’. Nah.

“We are supposed to be out there in two years time – we made it this year. They’ve achieved everything because they worked hard and they are willing to learn.

“Yeah the skill level was better from the Melbourne City side, but we will work extra hard during the pre-season to rectify those mistakes and we will come back and give it another shot.”

However it was Fishlock who had the last word, highlighting the route to the title as the most telling aspect of Melbourne City’s season.

“Going back-to-back is one of the hardest things to do because you can get complacent and sometimes you don’t make changes to your squad which can hurt you,” she expalined.

“So for us to do that, and this year where we’ve gone away from home to beat Canberra the way that we did, and then beating Perth.

“I think it says an awful lot about the City group, about the people we have in working positions and about the girls we have in our team.”

So that’s a wrap on another Westfield W-League season. Melbourne City are the champions for the second year running and will surely be looking to do the unthinkable and win the three-peat.

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