Melbourne City 2020/21 W-League season preview

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As a new season approaches many questions are to be asked of Melbourne City, can their new squad live up to the heights of its past?

Last season…
W-League: 1st
Finals: Champions

They’ll win the league because…
It is unlikely City fans will be seeing a back-to-back championship. After a horrid off-season losing the key component of their team, it’s hard to see them recovering and winning the W-League trophy.

The lack of true goal scoring threats will make it hard for them going forward. They may have to settle for 1-0 victories as opposed to 4-0.

However, with a great coach this season may not be a miss. The investment in young players is exciting to see and their development may be the true victory of the season.

Embed from Getty Images

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…
This season may be a little more difficult than others. As a large number of Matildas stars departed the City line-up, they may be a little short on star power and goal scoring threats.

The particular departure of Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams may cause the team to slip in more goals than wanted. However, the influx of new defenders may see them holding off those threats at goal.

A new crop of players brings along with it the greatest challenge Rado Vidošić has ever faced with this side. It may be hard for him to teach his system to the crop of young talent, to take them back to the top.

The off-season brought
City was once the place of Matildas stars, with sheer quality all across the pitch. However, this off-season brought with it a lot of change.

The club saw the departure of all key players, including Lydia Williams, Steph Catley and Kyah Simon. Although the club did manage to bring in a fresh crop of young players and secured Jenna McCormick.

The acquisition of McCormick is sure to bolster their defence after the loss of Williams and they managed to resign winger Tyla-Jay Vlajnić, which is sure to help them in their title challenge.

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information
City’s biggest loss was its Matildas experience. The loss saw the club lose 431 Matildas caps.

The newly structured team now only has 137 Matildas caps.

Embed from Getty Images

Key player
Jenna McCormick. As the most skilled player on the team, there is a lot of pressure on McCormick to produce this season. With a lack of star power going forward, her control of the defence will be critical for City if they want to win the title.

McCormick has said she want to bring a level of professionalism and elite standards to the club. This will be beneficial, not only on the field, but for such a young team to grow.

With a premiership seemingly out of reach this season, growth for the young players may be the ultimate goal.

One to watch…
Chinatsu Kira. After spending her whole professional career in Japan with the Urawa Reds Ladies, Kira has made the transition to the W-league. With years of success on her resume, her winning mentality will be crucial in City 2020-21 campaign.

As an attacking minded midfielder, her creativity going forward will add some much-needed depth. Her technical ability and all-round expertise in the middle of the park will help in restructuring the depleted side.

INS: Hollie Palmer, Teagan Micah, Leah Davidson, Julia Sardo, Samantha Johnson, Teigen Allen, Tori Tumeth, Jenna McCormick, Chinatsu Kira

OUTS: Lydia Williams, Stephanie Catley, Yukari Kinga, Katherine Goff, Aivi Luik, Milicia Mijatović, Nia Stamatopoulos, Maja Markovski, Kyah Simon, Rebekah Stott, Emily van Egmond, Ellie Carpenter, Claire Emslie, Emma Checker.

Full squad list

Goalkeepers: Melissa Barbieri, Teagan Micah

Defenders: Chelsea Blissett, Emma Checker, Tyla- Vlajnić, Jenna McCormick, Tori Tumeth, Teigen Allen, Samantha Johnson, Julia Sardo

Midfielders:  Sofia Sakalis, Leah Davidson, Hollie Palmer

Forwards: Rhali Dobson, Chinatsu Kira

Feature image credit: Melbourne City

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Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.