W-League mid-season report card: Melbourne City

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With nearly half the season gone in the W-League, now is a perfect time to assess the good and bad of each club.

Semester summary: This season for the Melbourne City women has not unfolded anywhere near they way they would have wanted. A stunning and surprising win over cross town rivals Melbourne City in the second derby for the season has been the only positive, and it is far outweighed by quickly accumulating negatives this year.

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Granted, it took time for a new squad to be announced and players to come together and yes, City still had players coming out of quarantine only weeks ago.

But this team are still the reigning premiers and it would be sugar coating it to say this season had been any less than bitterly disappointing.

Areas of excellence: It may only be one area, and it has not led to much on the score sheet, but City’s goalkeeping through Teagan Micah has been sensational.

The Matilda was credited with the player of the match after her incredible performance against Brisbane Roar. She kept a clean sheet under heavy onslaught, and although the score lines since have not been pretty for a City fan, they would have been much worse without Micah in goal.

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She also played a big part in their attacking distribution out of the back with a strong pass percentage.

Areas in need of improvement: City’s defence has not held up this year, conceding the most goals of any club at the halfway mark with 17.

You were well within your rights to think the off season signing of Jenna McCormick would bolster the City defence, and while her individual season has been impressive it ha not translated into a strong City defence.

They have conceded at least two goals every game bar one, their first match.

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Rado Vidosic believes the new team are still learning to play together. Hopefully for City fans their defence develops some chemistry in the second half of the season.

Top Student: Alex Chidiac. After spending a season, and surviving a coronavirus lockdown in Madrid, City supporters could not be happier to see her back doing what she does best: exciting the W-League.

After coming on as a sub in City’s huge 6-0 loss to Victory three weeks ago, Chidiac has starred in the four games since. City scored one goal in the two and a half games without her, and six since she has been in the team.

Her two goals and multiple assists have been a significant reason for the side’s uptake in scoring ability. However, it’s fair to say she will continue to improve – having only played four games this season.

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Needs improvement: Chinatsu Kira. One of many new City recruits, Kira is yet to have the impact coach Vidosic hoped would come from her signing. She has had sparks of great form, but has been unable to find consistency game to game.

Perhaps she is out of position slightly and striker is not her preferred role, but unfortunately Kira has been lacking the touch and creativity in the final third so far.

Hopefully it’s more of a team chemistry issue and Kira can turn it around in the back half of the season.

Grade: D+

Outlook: Vidosic has consistently maintained his stance that this team will get better as the season progresses and City has shown signs of improvement the last few weeks.

Finals are all but off the table, so fans are only hoping to see some chemistry and comradery develop around the team so they can jump back up the ladder next year.

Feature image credit: Melbourne City

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Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.