Ayres relishing game time ahead of Morwell trip

Melbourne Victory’s Melina Ayres is relishing the opportunity to play her part in a diverse forward line, as the squad prepares for Sunday’s Westfield W-League clash in Morwell. 

Victory will host Newcastle Jets at Latrobe City Stadium in Round 7, continuing the club’s tradition of playing regular games in the Latrobe Valley. 

Ayres, who has started every game this season, is backing herself to continue playing a pivotal role in Melbourne’s attacking threat. 

“I would love to take my game up to the next level and put a few more in the back of the net,” Ayres said.

“I am really enjoying playing at the moment, setting up goals and being a part of this team.”

Ayres opened her account in Victory’s record-breaking 6-0 win over Melbourne City.

“Hopefully in the next few weeks I can be on the end of a few, but I’m not too worried about getting myself up there. I am just happy to be winning games with the team and promoting our younger girls as well,” she said. 

Last week the 21-year-old came up with an assist – providing Catherine Zimmerman with her third goal of the season, which secured a 1-0 win over Adelaide. 

Ayres believes the contrast in playing styles between herself and Zimmerman gives the W-League side another option going forward.

“I feel like Zimmerman is a quick winger and gets up and down the field. I try to run off her a bit more and make those opposite runs,” said Ayres.

“We play her over the top and down the line, whereas I prefer the ball at my feet and getting in the box for her to cross in.”

As well as combining with the in-form Zimmerman, Ayres is grateful for the attacking expertise of Lisa De Vanna. 

“Lisa is so experienced in the W-League and at an international level,” said Ayres.

De Vanna scored the 40th W-League goal of her career in Round 3, running from her own half before converting past the City goalkeeper.

“She just brings that experience and leadership that some of the younger girls haven’t experienced and she is good figure to have around the group,” said Ayres.