New Melbourne Victory Women squad unveiled

Melbourne Victory Women has announced its squad for the upcoming Westfield W-League 2009 season ahead of its opening match against Perth Glory Women in a double-header at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 3.

Melbourne Victory Women has announced its squad for the upcoming Westfield W-League 2009 season ahead of its opening match against Perth Glory Women in a double-header at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 3.

After finishing fifth in the inaugural Westfield W-League season, Melbourne Victory Women Coach Matt Shepherd has assembled a promising side, with a mixture of local and international talent complimented by nine new signings.

American Julianne Sitch and Canadian Katie Thorlakson join New Zealander Marlies Oostdam as the team's three international players, while 10 Victorian youngsters from Football Federation Victoria's National Training Centre have also earned a spot in the squad.

"It's quite a new look side, with plenty of young, developing Victorians coming through the ranks and a number of more experienced players providing a healthy balance," Shepherd said.

"We have retained 11 players from last season, including Melissa Barbieri, Tal Karp and Selin Kuralay, who have all represented the Westfield Matildas, both at FIFA Women's World Cups and the Olympics.

"We also have two new international players in Julianne Sitch from 2009 Women's Professional Soccer champions Sky Blue FC, and Katie Thorlakson, who represented Canada at two FIFA Women's Word Cups.

"Marlies Oostdam has returned for another season and is our third international, while we have four Queenslanders who will fly in for matches and key training sessions, in addition to our players from FFV's National Training Centre."

The new Melbourne Victory Women squad came together together for the first time at a recent training camp in Bendigo, allowing Shepherd to combine training with a number of team bonding and leadership sessions.

"The girls spent plenty of time getting to know each other on and off the pitch and are looking forward to our first match of the season in front of what we hope will be a big crowd at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 3."

Former Melbourne Victory Women player Daniela Digiammarco will work alongside Shepherd as Assistant Coach in 2009, which will see a 10-round competition culminating with the Westfield W-League Grand Final on December 19.

Melbourne Victory Women will play its remaining home matches at Epping Soccer Stadium, Deakin Reserve and Bob Jane Stadium.

Goalkeepers

1.Melissa BARBIERI, 20/01/1980, Australian, Richmond SC 20.Nicole PAUL, 14/12/1988, Australian, National Training Centre

Defenders

2.Vedrana POPOVIC, 10/01/1992, Australian, Queensland Academy of Sport 3.Marlies OOSTDAM, 29/07/1977, New Zealander, National Training Centre 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 28/11/1989, Australian, Queensland Academy of Sport 6.Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 4/12/1987, Australian, National Training Centre 15.Jessica HUMBLE, 5/07/1986, Australian, Box Hill Inter WSC 19.Enza BARILLA, 10/04/1991, Australian, National Training Centre

Midfielders

4.Tal KARP, 30/12/1981, Australian, National Training Centre 7.Sarah GROENEWALD, 22/05/1985, Australian, National Training Centre 9.Stephanie CATLEY, 26/01/1994, Australian, Sandringham WSC 11.Julianne SITCH, 18/09/1983, American, Sky Blue FC 12.Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 30/08/1990, Australian, Queensland Academy of Sport 13.Katrina GORRY, 13/08/1992, Australian, Mount Gravatt SC 14.Selin KURALAY, 25/01/1985, Australian, Florida State University 16.Gulcan KOCA, 4/09/1990, Australian, National Training Centre 18.Ursula HUGHSON, 16/04/1992, Australian, National Training Centre

Strikers

8.Katie THORLAKSON, 14/01/1985, Canadian, Vancouver Whitecaps 10.Deanna NICESKI, 22/06/1991, Australian, National Training Centre 17.Caitlin FRIEND, 11/10/1993, Australian, National Training Centre