Barbieri selected as Westfield Matildas captain

Melbourne Victory Women co-captain Melissa Barbieri has been announced as the Westfield Matildas captain following the retirement of Westfield Matildas veteran and former captain Cheryl Salisbury in 2009.

Melbourne Victory Women co-captain Melissa Barbieri has been announced as the Westfield Matildas captain following the retirement of Westfield Matildas veteran and former captain Cheryl Salisbury in 2009.

The decision was made last Wednesday evening prior to the Westfield Matildas first match in New Zealand, and midfielder Collette McCallum was elected as vice captain.

Westfield Matildas coach, Tom Sermanni said it was a difficult decision choosing the new leader.

"It's been a difficult process under the circumstances coming to the choice of Melissa and Collette,' Sermanni said.

"A lot of players were very much in the running for the position as we have an excellent group of leaders in this team.

"The players are very supportive of the decision and Bubs (Barbieri) will now lead us into the Asian Cup campaign in May."

Barbieri was humbled by the announcement but looks forward to the challenges ahead.

"It's just the biggest honour to be chosen by your teammates and coach to be captain. Nothings changed between us; it's the same old Bubs doing what she does just with a new tag," Barbieri said.

"Following the announcement I was a bit nervous going into my first game as captain but it-s a real honour.

"You can-t replace a Cheryl Salisbury, but I want to be my own captain and go about things the way I always have.

"I'm hoping to carry that through and keep the squad motivated and united going into the Asian Cup in May."

Barbieri-s first tournament as captain was a success, with the Westfield Matildas just completing a tour of New Zealand, with a second 3 - 0 win over the Football Ferns in the Trans-Tasman Women's International Football Series.

The Westfield Matildas will next meet DPR Korea for two international friendly matches in Brisbane on the March 3 and 6.

The matches mark a significant step in the Westfield Matildas progress to secure a place at the women's World Cup in Germany in 2011.

The two games also mark the first matches in over a year for the Westfield Matildas on Australian soil.