W-League: One win from GF

Following their most successful regular season with a third-place finish in the 2012/13 Westfield W-League, Melbourne Victory Women are not going to rest on their laurels as they pursue a maiden Grand Final appearance.

Following their most successful regular season with a third-place finish in the 2012/13 Westfield W-League, Melbourne Victory Women are not going to rest on their laurels as they pursue a maiden Grand Final appearance.

The team takes on Perth Glory this Sunday at nib Stadium for a place in the decider, providing a unique double header as Melbourne Victory play at the same ground on Saturday in the Hyundai A-League.

In what can only be described as a tumultuous season with four coaches in four months, Melbourne-s third straight finals series gives the club the opportunity of a fairytale finish to what has been their most impressive season yet.

Currently on a club-record six match unbeaten streak and with the league-s best defence, Victory flies to Perth with plenty of momentum and revenge on their mind.

In their only previous meeting this season, two late Glory goals gave Perth a 2-0 win over a Melbourne outfit who had only spent a week with their new coach and without any of their recruits. Strengthening significantly since then, Victory went on to only lose a single match after Round Two.

Goalkeeper Bri Davey points out that while milestones mean a good season so far, the hard work has only just begun.

“We set goals at the start of the season, some minor ones such as conceding the least goals in the league and milestones like that, but the big goal is to win the league,” she said.

“While we have ticked a lot of boxes this season, moving forward we want to make sure we finish as high as possible, which is first. We can-t call this season a success until we-ve won the Championship.”

Last season the team goal was to make the finals with anything extra just a bonus, but Davey explained that the team had moved to the next level and that anything less than a trophy is unacceptable.

“It-s always great to get into the finals but that is just a single stepping stone rather than the goal. After last year-s semi-final loss we-ve all been hungrier to take that step forward, make the final and win it.

“Going into the finals on the back of our longest ever undefeated streak is a good confidence booster for us; if you-re heading into a knock-out match knowing you-ve been beaten in the past few games then it wouldn-t be great mental preparation. We-re in a situation where we don-t have that playing on our minds.

“In saying that, we still need to keep focussed, turn up on the day and play our brand of football to achieve the result we want - which is to win the match and seal a place in the Grand Final.”

Davey claimed that this year has been the best season yet for the club and that the spirit and talent within the playing group is what has brought it this far.

“Our position and form has nothing to do with luck, it-s down to how we-ve been playing.

“We-ve had some minor set-backs but rather than hold us back they have pushed us forward and what we-ve gone through has brought us closer together as a team.”

With the tough start to the year it was always going to be difficult to earn a home final, but despite the travel Davey believes that Victory playing the day before bring some fans to the semi-final.

“It-s disappointing having to go to an away final but there-s been talk about an away crowd building and to hear that there will be support behind us is a confidence booster for the girls.

“You always want someone at the grounds cheering for you and if we see some blue shirts out there it will help the girls step up to the plate and win this game.”

Melbourne Victory Women take on Perth Glory in the Westfield W-League semi-final at nib Stadium on Sunday 1pm (Western Standard Time). Fans in Melbourne can watch the match live in ABC1 from 4pm.

Melbourne Victory A-League take on Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday 6:45pm (WST).