Adaptable Ekic a bonus to injury riddled Melbourne City attack

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After falling short in the preliminary finals against their cross-town rivals and eventual champions Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City had to go back to the drawing board in the off-season and make a few more signings to get back to the championship-winning pedigree they were once synonymous with. Enter Emina Ekic.

Ekic is coming off her second season in the United States’ female top-flight, the National Women’s Soccer League, where she is mostly used as an option off the bench. However, this season her club, Racing Louisville, have allowed her to come on loan to Melbourne City until February to allow her to build some game time before the next NWSL season.

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The Louisvillian is a dynamic left-sided winger who can also play on the right side which allows her to cut inside and look for shots on target. Ekic prides herself on her adaptability as a player and being able to do a job for her team wherever she is needed.

“I am happy to play wherever I’m needed for our game plan and wherever I fit into that. I have been given lots of freedom by the coaching staff, and they’ve just asked me to be creative and move around while I get used to my new teammates. I am just looking to float around and help the team in any way I can,” she said.

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Ekic’s adaptability will be a valuable asset for Melbourne City considering that last season’s club top scorer, Hannah Wilkinson, who scored 14 goals, picked up a quad injury in training just prior to the season opener against Wellington Phoenix that will keep her sidelined for an extended period. Fellow forward Holly McNamara is also still recovering from an ACL tear.

With Melbourne City looking to build upon their preliminary final appearance last season, Ekic will need to step up to help find those missing goals.

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“I am hoping that she will have a fast recovery and that I will have the opportunity to learn from her. She is an important part of the team so we are all hoping she will be back sometime this season,” she said.

In Melbourne City’s opening game of the season, a 4-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix, Ekic looked promising when she was inches away from scoring in Melbourne City’s first real chance of the game. In the 38th minute, she took a beautiful touch to get herself open, but unfortunately, her shot clattered off the woodwork.

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Not five minutes later, Ekic had another shot on target that for sure looked like her first goal for City until a moment of brilliant goalkeeping from Brianna Edwards foiled the attempt.

City would’ve been happy with Ekic’s debut however they will be upset that they won’t be able to keep her around for the whole season due to her NWSL commitments.

As the 2023 NWSL season will kick off in March, Ekic will be required to attend Racing Louisville preseason training camp meaning that her loan contract will come to a close in Feburary. However, Ekic is hopeful that Melbourne City and Racing Louisville can come to an agreement that will allow her to see the entirety of the A-League Women season.

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“Personally, I would love to stay the whole year, hopefully that could be worked out later if possible… but nonetheless I am going to give the club [Melbourne City] everything I can to set them up for success. But if I can’t stay for the whole season then I will be cheering them on from the States,” she said.

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If Ekic can keep having performances similar to her debut, Melbourne City fans will be hoping that both clubs can come to an agreement that will allow Ekic to remain in City blue for the rest of the ALW season.

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne City FC

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Caydn Foley
Football Fanatic. Journalism student hoping to make this a career. Covering Melbourne City for the 22/23 A-Leagues season.

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