Barbieri to captain Victory

Melbourne Victory and Football Federation Victoria have announced that Westfield Matildas captain, Melissa Barbieri, will again captain the Melbourne Victory W-League team for season three of the Westfield W-League.

Melbourne Victory and Football Federation Victoria have announced that Westfield Matildas captain, Melissa Barbieri, will again captain the Melbourne Victory W-League team for season three of the Westfield W-League.

The announcement was made last night as the squad were presented with their playing shirts in a gathering of club and team officials, and family and friends at their home venue, AAMI Park.

Looking forward to leading the group once more, Barbieri spoke of the team-s goals for the year ahead.

“I-m really excited about working with the girls this year, getting to know them better and performing as a team on the pitch. Our main goal will be to go one better than last year and make finals,” Barbieri said.

Attended by Melbourne Victory Chairman Geoff Lord, CEO Geoff Miles and Football Federation Victoria President Tony Dunkerley and CEO Mark Rendell, the function kicked off Victory-s Westfield W-League season, which sees them take on Sydney FC in their first hit out in Morwell this Saturday night.

The young squad gathered at Victory headquarters where they were presented with their playing shirts for the year ahead. Men-s team counterparts Grant Brebner and Archie Thompson, and former Matilda Jane Oakley, on hand to wish the team well.

MVFC Chairman Geoff Lord welcomed guests and acknowledged the women-s team as an integral part of the club.

“We-re delighted that the women-s team will join the men-s team on AAMI Park for a double header during the season, and also their own stand-alone match at the venue. Hopefully it will stand us in good stead to make the finals this season,” Mr Lord said.

Head Coach Vicki Linton gave guests an insight into the make-up of the team, highlighting the wealth of national team experience coming from national captain Melissa Barbieri and young Matildas - Stephanie Catley, Caitlin Friend, Ashley Brown and goal keeper Brianna Davey. The team also comprises international imports Marlies Oostdam, Kendall Fletcher and Jodie Taylor, and interstaters Snez Veljanovska and Ella Mastrantonio. The remainder of the squad is made up of some terrific local talent, a couple of debutants and a number of players that have been with the team since the W-League commenced in 2008.

Although season three commenced last weekend, Victory were first to have a bye, allowing them an extra week of preparation. The team will travel to Morwell on Saturday afternoon where their game against Sydney FC will coincide with the third of the Victorian Champions League Gala Weekends. With thanks to the local VCL zone, the Gippsland Knights, entry to the Westfield W-League fixture will be free, though fans are encouraged to make a gold coin donation to Melbourne Victory-s W-League Charity Partner, the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

2010/2011 Westfield W-League Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Melissa BARBIERI, 2. Rita MANKOWSKA, 3. Marlies OOSTDAM, 5. Louisa BISBY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 8. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 9. Stephanie CATLEY, 10. Jodie TAYLOR, 11. Kendall FLETCHER, 12. Amy JACKSON, 13. Ashley BROWN, 15. Deanna NICESKI, 16. Gulcan KOCA, 17. Caitlin FRIEND, 18. Ursula HUGHSON, 19. Enza BARILLA, 20. Brianna DAVEY.

To view the 2010/2011 Westfield W-League fixture, please click here.