Melbourne City 2019/20 W-League season preview

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Last season Melbourne City fell short of claiming a fourth straight championship, narrowly missing the finals.

Can this powerhouse club bounce back up the table and return to its title-winning ways?

Last season: 

W-League: 5th

They’ll win the league because…

This star-studded squad is littered with Matildas who will be desperate to prove last year’s disappointing fifth-place finish was just a blip on the radar.

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While the squad is yet to be finalised City will enter the season as one of the most talented outfits in the league, having retained the services of sharpshooter Kyah Simon and goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri, both of whom have represented Australia in the past.

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Coach Rado Vidosic’s side has also been bolstered by the addition of fellow Matilda and attacking midfielder Emily van Egmond, who should provide additional scoring power to propel City back towards title contention.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

Although this does seem unlikely, nothing in this competition can be taken for granted.

Last season they were too inconsistent to defend their title and fell off the pace early only winning one of their first five matches.

If they start slowly again this season, another missed finals series looms. Finalising the squad and getting some training in together will be vital in avoiding this.

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information…

Last season’s top scorer Jasmyne Spencer booted three of her four goals for the season in one game against Sydney FC. In doing so she became the first and only City player so far to score a hat-trick in the W-League.

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The off-season brought…

More star quality. Melbourne City achieved an offseason coup when they signed explosive midfielder and Matildas international van Egmond.

The classy and highly skilled midfielder joins City on a one-year deal after stints abroad in Denmark, Germany and the United States.

The 26-year-old will bring a wealth of experience to the side, having earned 90 caps for Australia with 18 goals and playing a large part in side’s campaign at the recent Women’s World Cup in France.

Key player

Emma Checker. Checker crosses from Adelaide United having captained the Reds the past two seasons.

Well-regarded for her leadership attributes and hardworking approach, the central defender will be critical in bolstering the team’s back third.

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As a highly composed, smart decision-maker, Checker can be relied upon to front up every week. This will be crucial for a team that can become complacent at times during the season.

One to watch…

Nia Stamatopoulos. Last season Stamatopoulos became the fourth-youngest player in W-League history to debut at just 15-years-of-age in round one.

The attacking midfielder managed four games during the season, while also representing Australia in the U17 team.

With uncapped potential, the rising star has shown glimpses of greatness and could prove to be a force in the league as she continues to develop.

Hopefully, she will be able to squeeze her way into the starting XI and play on a more regular basis.

Squad list (so far):

Goalkeepers: Melissa Barbieri

Defenders: Chelsea Blissett, Emma Checker

Midfielders: Emily Van Egmond, Sofia Sakalis, Nia Stamatopoulos, Tyla-Jay Vlajnic

Forwards: Rhali Dobson, Kyah Simon 

Feature image credit: Melbourne City

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Michael Patane
Student at Monash University and lover of all things football covering Melbourne City in 2019/20.