Lisa De Vanna signs with Victory W-League

Football Federation Victoria and Melbourne Victory can today confirm Australian international Lisa De Vanna has signed for the 2014/2015 Westfield W-League season.

The 29-year-old forward was Victory’s top scorer in her debut season with the club last season, scoring eight goals in 14 appearances, including the first in last season’s grand final.

De Vanna featured in the 2014 US National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), starting the season with Boston Breakers before being traded to Washington Spirit.

Melbourne Victory head coach Joe Montemurro was delighted to confirm the signing of De Vanna.

“Lisa De Vanna is one of the greatest footballers Australia has ever produced,” Montemurro said.

“With over 80 caps for the Matildas, two W-League championships and the honour of 2013 Australian female footballer of the year to her name, she is undoubtedly the most experienced and decorated player on our list.

“Her impact at Melbourne Victory last season was clear for everyone to see, and we couldn’t be more delighted to have her lining up in Victory colours again.”

FFV and Melbourne Victory officially launched the women's season at AAMI Park today, ahead of Melbourne Victory's Round 1 fixture away to Newcastle Jets on September 13.

FFV General Manager of Commercial, Marketing and Communications, Anthony Grima, said the squad was poised for another strong season.

“Season six was an unprecedented one, which culminated in Melbourne Victory winning its first W-League championship,” Grima said.

“As reigning Australian champions, the squad will also compete in the International Women’s Club Championship in Tokyo in December for the very first time.

“With a thriving squad consisting of a good blend of local and international players, along with the incredible support of our corporate partners Jetts Fitness, Banking on Football, Physiohealth, Match Attax, Reagan Milstein Foundation and Stambo’s Group, we will no doubt be looking to continue something special again this season and set the benchmark on and off the field.”

MELBOURNE VICTORY 2014/2015 SQUAD

1. Brianna Davey
Age: 19
Nationality: Australian
Position: Goalkeeper 
Melbourne Victory appearances: 37
W-League debut season: 2010-2011 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: N/A

Davey made her debut for Melbourne Victory as a 15-year-old, featuring three times in her first season and later earning her spot as first-choice ‘keeper. Now 19, Davey has represented the Matildas on 13 occasions, debuting with a clean sheet in 2012.

2. Hannah Brewer 
Age: 21
Nationality: Australian
Position: Defender/Midfielder
Melbourne Victory appearances: -
W-League debut season: 2008-2009 for Newcastle Jets
Played off-season for: N/A

Brewer joins Victory having been a foundation player for Newcastle Jets.  She was named as the Jets’ player of the year for 2012/13, and made her Matildas debut at the Cyprus Cup in March.

4. Alexandra Natoli 
Age: 18
Nationality: Australian
Position: Defender
Melbourne Victory appearances: 5 
Goals: -
W-League debut season: 2012-2013 for Adelaide United
Played off-season for:  FC Bulleen Lions (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

Equipped with good distribution, the NTC youth product has gone from strength to strength since joining Victory in 2013. Though limited to game time last season, the defender still has plenty of W-League experience following a full season with Adelaide United in 2012-2013.

5. Lauren Barnes
Age: 25
Nationality: American
Position: Defender/Midfielder
Melbourne Victory appearances: 5
Goals: 2
W-League debut season: 2013-2014 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: Seattle Reign FC (US NWSL)

Barnes scored two crucial goals during her five-game stint as a guest player last season, including her stunning volley in the grand-final win over Brisbane Roar. Barnes joins Victory this season on loan from Seattle Reign FC as the club’s second international signing, described as a “big coup” by coach Joe Montemurro.

6. Gema Simon
Age: 24
Nationality: Australian
Position: Midfielder 
Melbourne Victory appearances: -
W-League debut season: 2008-2009 for Newcastle Jets
Played off-season for: Macarthur Rams (NSW NPL Women’s 1)

Like Brewer, Simon joins Victory as one of Newcastle Jets’ foundation players. She captained the club last season and is a two-time best-and-fairest winner. A versatile midfielder, Simon has played every minute of every game in the past two seasons.

7. Stephanie Catley (c)
Age: 20
Nationality: Australian
Position: Defender 
Melbourne Victory appearances: 52
Goals: 5 
W-League debut season: 2009-2010 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: Portland Thorns (US NWSL)

Melbourne Victory’s premiership captain will lead the side for a second successive season, fresh off a successful stint with NWSL outfit Portland Thorns. Catley has won back-to-back Westfield W-League Young Player of the Year awards and brings home the experience of playing alongside some of the stars of women’s football.

8. Amy Jackson
Age: 26
Nationality: Australian
Position: Midfielder 
Melbourne Victory appearances: 35
Goals: 5
W-League debut season: 2010-2011 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: South Melbourne (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

The hard-working midfielder grabs a spot in Montemurro’s squad after missing last season through a sabbatical. She played a handful of times for South Melbourne in the WPL this season and was a key figure in those games.

9. Racheal Quigley
Age: 23
Nationality: Australian
Position: Forward
Melbourne Victory appearances: -
W-League debut season: 2008-2009 for Adelaide United
Played off-season for: Boroondara Eagles (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

An Adelaide United’s record games holder, Quigley arrives in Melbourne as one of the competition’s most accomplished forwards. The 23-year-old has a few accolades to her name, winning Adelaide United’s most valuable player for season two and goal of the year in season four. Quigley has also been a key part of Boroondara Eagles’ rise to second spot on the Sportsmart WPL ladder.

10. Christine Nairn 
Age: 23
Nationality: American
Position: Midfielder
Melbourne Victory appearances: -
Played off-season for: Washington Spirit (US NWSL)

Melbourne Victory’s third international signing – on loan from Washington Spirit - played alongside Jess Fishlock at Seattle Reign FC before moving to Washington Spirit in 2014. Nairn played in all six matches for the US team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and earned two caps with the national team in 2009.

11. Lisa De Vanna 
Age: 29
Nationality: Australian
Position: Forward
Melbourne Victory appearances: 14
Goals: 8
W-League debut season: 2008-2009 for Perth Glory
Played off-season for: Washington Spirit (US NWSL)

Capped over 80 times by the Matildas, De Vanna finished as Victory’s highest goalscorer in her debut season and scored the opener in the grand final. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever footballers Australia has produced.

12. Ella Mastrantonio 
Age: 22
Nationality: Australian
Position: Midfielder 
Melbourne Victory appearances: 14
Goals: 0
Debut season: 2008-2009 for Perth Glory
Played off-season for: Cockburn City (Women’s State Div. 1, WA)

Mastrantonio joined Victory in the latter part of last season from Perth Glory, in what was her second stint in Victory colours. The holding midfielder had a big impact last season and earned a spot in the starting 11 for the grand final.

14. Tiffany Eliadis
Age: 18
Nationality: Australian
Position: Forward
Melbourne Victory appearances: 10
Goals: 0
Debut season: 2012-2013 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: South Melbourne Women’s FC (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

The 18-year-old couldn’t stop scoring for South Melbourne WFC in Victoria’s top tier, netting 26 times. Eliadis signs for a third consecutive season and is one of Victory’s most promising youngsters.

15. Emma Checker
Age: 18
Nationality: Australian
Position: Defender
Melbourne Victory appearances: 12
Goals: 1
Debut season: 2011-2012 for Adelaide United
Played off-season for: West Torrens Birkalla (NPL SA)

The centre-back was instrumental at the back for Victory last season, missing two games with injury but starting in every other fixture. A strong, versatile defender, she adds a presence to the backline and brings experience on the international stage with the Matildas.

16. Beattie Goad
Age: 17
Nationality: Australian 
Position: Midfielder/Forward 
Melbourne Victory appearances: 10
Goals: 1
Debut season: 2013-2014 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: FFV NTC U17 Girls (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

An emerging talent, the starlet broke into the team last season, accumulating 10 appearances and becoming the youngest Victorian to play in a national football grand final across both men’s and women’s competitions. Goad ‘s eye-catching season saw her take out the Melbourne Victory Young Player of the Year award. 

17. Gulcan Koca 
Age: 23
Nationality: Australian/Turkish
Position: Defender/Midfielder
Melbourne Victory appearances: 31
Goals: 1
Debut season: 2009-2010 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: Bundoora United (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

One of the most versatile players in the squad, Koca has been capped 14 times by Turkey since making her international debut in 2010. Technically gifted and clinical with the ball at her feet, the 23-year-old was a vital component in last season’s championship side.  

18. Elli Reed
Age: 25
Nationality: American
Position: Midfielder/Defender
Melbourne Victory appearances: 0
Played off-season for: Seattle Reign FC (US NWSL)

Reed joins the squad on loan from Seattle Reign FC as Melbourne Victory’s first international signing for season seven. An exciting and versatile player, Reed has plenty of experience on the international scene, representing her country at youth level and winning the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile with the USA.

19. Maika Ruyter-Hooley
Age: 26
Nationality: Australian
Position: Defender
Melbourne Victory appearances: 55
Goals: 2
Debut season: 2008-2009 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: Bundoora United (Sportsmart WPL, VIC)

Ruyter-Hooley has been at the forefront of Victory’s campaigns and is the current squad’s only foundation player. The towering centre-back only had one fleeting appearance last season, but returns to tackle this campaign from the beginning.

20. Cassandra Dimovski 
Age: 20
Nationality: Australian
Position: Goalkeeper
Melbourne Victory appearances: 5
Debut season: 2011-2012 for Melbourne Victory
Played off-season for: N/A

Dimovski has proven herself to be an able back-up to Brianna Davey, ever since she was called up into the starting 11 back in season four. She is refreshed for another season in Victory colours after taking time off during the Victorian winter season.