Victory Women on track for Westfield W-League debut

Melbourne Victory Women stepped up preparations ahead of the inaugural Westfield W-League season on the weekend with a training camp in Canberra.

Melbourne Victory Women stepped up preparations ahead of the inaugural Westfield W-League season on the weekend with a training camp in Canberra.

Victory Women took on Canberra in two friendly matches, winning one of them in sparkling style 5-2.

With the season less than a fortnight away, Victory Women Coach Matt Shepherd said the squad had been showing considerable improvement with each session.

Victory Women will take on Central Coast Mariners Women as part of a double-header before Victory-s Hyundai A-League match against Sydney FC at Telstra Dome on Saturday, October 25.

"The girls are young and enthusiastic," Shepherd said.

"It was good to get away on the road for the first time as a group and return with some good results.

"We really focused the weekend on working on match related structures, while it was also a great opportunity to get the girls away together for the first time.

"It has been hard work trying to settle on a final squad, but we feel we have got it right and are really looking forward to the season.

Shepherd has finalised his squad following the camp, trimming it to 20 with three emergencies.

He will rely on the experience of seasoned performers Melissa Barbieri, Louisa Bisby and Daniela Digiammarco.

Barbieri is still the Westfield Matildas' No.1 goalkeeper, while Digiammarco and Bisby were the star pairing for Box Hill Inter, who took out the 2008 Victorian Women-s Premier League.

"We have quite young squad but the experience will come from a core group of around six players," Shepherd said.

"We-ll look for girls like Barbieri and Bisby to lead the way and help the younger girls coming through.

"It-s going to be a wonderful experience for all involved."

Victory Women squad: Melissa Barbieri, Nicole Paul, Megan Archer, Daniela Digiammarco, Maika Ruyter-Hooley, Marlies Oostdam, Laura Alleway, Bronwyn Nutley, Stephanie Tanti, Tal Karp, Louisa Bisby, Ursula Hughson, Sophie Hogben, Selin Kuralay, Rebecca Tegg, Brittany Timko, Alisha Foote, Deanna Niceski, Sarah Groenewald, Enza Barilla

Emergencies: Ashley Brown, Stephanie Catley, Brianna Davey