Melbourne City A-League Women Season Preview 2022/23

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Melbourne City successfully began a rebuild last season managing to finish second with a squad filled with exuberant youth and New Zealand star Hannah Wilkinson.

Last season…

A-League Women’s: 2nd

Finals: Preliminary final

They’ll win the league because…

Coach Rado Vidosic has had a busy off-season having made multiple signings to strengthen their squad’s depth for the upcoming season. The club’s recruitment strategy is to still target young prospects that they can develop at their state-of-the-art facilities in Casey, exemplified by their signing of Daniela Galic, who many consider as the future of women’s football in Australia. To complement the youth they have also chosen to sign some more experienced professionals to help bring a sense of stability to the club.

With Melbourne City’s plethora of young players having now had another season of experience under their belt, they will be looking to build upon their promising season last year and to reach the glory that Melbourne City’s Women’s team were once synonymous with.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

With any young squad, there is always the possibility that the pressure of competing to be at the very top can be overwhelming due to a lack of experience. However, with Melbourne City’s choice to bring some experience into the squad, they will be hoping that this possibility will be alleviated.

Melbourne City has had a spanner thrown into the works with both defender Tori Tumeth and young midfielder Holly McNamara currently sidelined due to ACL injuries. Tumeth was a key part of Melbourne City’s defence last season starting 13 out of a possible 14 games. McNamara only played eight matches last year before having her season cut short, but she contributed greatly prior to her injury. She ended her season last year with a total tally of four goals and three assists. Vidosic will be hoping that the signings in the off-season will be able to fill the gap left by both Tumeth and McNamara.

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

Assistant coach and backup goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri will be entering her 25th year as a professional footballer. The 42-year-old made her professional debut as a 16-year-old on the February 7, 1997.

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The off-season brought…

The final pieces of the puzzle.

After failing to make finals football two years ago, head coach Vidosic was tasked with seeing through a rebuilding process to re-establish Melbourne City Women as the powerhouse of the league.

Having made numerous signings in the off-season both young up-and-comers and experienced professionals, Vidosic will be feeling confident about going deep in the finals this season.

Key Player…

Hannah Wilkinson.

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Last season Wilkinson was the main reason that Melbourne City were able to reach the finals in the first year of their rebuild.

The tall centre-forward provided 12 goals last season which was a team-high for Melbourne City and put her in second place in the Golden Boot race falling one goal short of the league’s top scorer, Fiona Worts, from Adelaide United.

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The Melbourne City faithful will be hoping that the New Zealand international can provide more of the same this season whilst also hoping that the clubs’ new signings can further boost Wilkinson’s scoring prowess.

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City and its supporters will be hoping the 2022/23 Golden Boot award will not elude the Kiwi for a second time, and that she is the major factor contributing to a championship.

One to watch…

Katie Bowen.

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Wilkinson’s fellow countrywoman, Bowen has spent the last 10 years playing her football in the United States. Beginning her career through the U.S college route playing for four years at the University of North Carolina, where she won the National Championship for the Tar Heels in her freshman year.

After graduating, she spent the next seven years playing for several clubs in the United States’ top division for women’s football the National Women’s Soccer League. The defensive midfielder has since signed a deal with Melbourne City for the upcoming ALW season in a hope of gaining consistent game time in the lead-up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The 28-year-old has been a stalwart of the New Zealand national team having gained a total of 80 caps. Bowen’s defensive experience will be beneficial in helping Vidosic develop Melbourne City’s squad of young defenders on the road to a championship this season.

Full Squad List

Goalkeepers: Melissa Barbieri, Sally James

Defenders: Chelsea Blissett, Tori Tumeth, Kaitlyn Torpey, Emma Checker, Leah Davidson, Naomi Chinnama, Karly Roestbakken

Midfielders: Leticia Mckenna, Julia Grosso, Rhianna Pollicina, Daniela Galic, Darcey Malone, Katie Bowen

Forwards: Emina Ekic, Caitlin Karic, Hannah Wilkinson, Bryleeh Henry, Holly McNamara

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne City

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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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