W-League: Squad poised for success

Star signings, four Matildas, a new captain, four live televised matches on ABC TV and a family of corporate partners.

Star signings, four Matildas, a new captain, four live televised matches on ABC TV and a family of corporate partners.

Football Federation Victoria (FFV) today launched Melbourne Victory-s 2013/2014 Westfield W-League campaign at AAMI Park with several exciting announcements on and off the field.

For the first time since the 2009/2010 W-League season, Melbourne Victory will don not one but six corporate partners on its squad uniforms.

Jetts Fitness and Banking on Football will feature on the front and back of the jersey respectively as major partners, with Pro Sports Group and Match Attax Trading Card Game taking up positions on the shorts.

PhotobookShop will own the off-field collar position, while the Reagan Milstein Foundation will appear on the sleeve of the playing jersey.

FFV CEO Mitchell Murphy said the new partnerships were a testament to the rapid growth of women-s football in Australia.

“Female participation remains the fastest growing sector in football and a thriving W-League competition and the success of the Westfield Matildas in recent years have not gone unnoticed,” Murphy said.

“With a terrific coach and some strong additions to an already talented squad, this excitement has now been met with unprecedented off-field support from the corporate sector,” Murphy said.

As Australia-s favourite fitness chain, Jetts Fitness operates 37 fitness clubs in Victoria and 200 across Australia and New Zealand. It will provide a significant financial investment in the squad and personal support to the players and coaching staff by providing them with free 12-month memberships.

“Jetts Fitness is thrilled to join the Victorian football family as partners of both Football Federation Victoria and the Melbourne Victory W-League squad,” Jetts Fitness Business Performance Manager of Victoria Tim O-Shea said.

“With customer friendly policies including no contracts, 24/7 access and low membership fees, we look forward to providing a valuable contribution to both the squad and the Victorian football community including clubs, their members and all supporters of this great game.”

Banking on Football allows football fans to do all their banking with someone who shares their passion for football and provides members with the opportunity to support the Melbourne Victory W-League team and their local grassroots club via the Cash 4 Clubs program.

"Banking on Football is delighted to be partnering with FFV and the Melbourne Victory W-League side,” Banking on Football CEO Margot Sweeney said.

“The people of Victoria are arguably the most passionate football supporters in the country and we can't wait to engage with them at the grassroots level via our arrangement with FFV.”

After losing last season-s Westfield W-League Grand Final, Melbourne Victory has signalled its determination to go one step further this season with some key signings and the retention of several stars.

Matildas young gun Stephanie Catley will captain the team for the first time, while the arrival of fellow Matilda and former Perth Glory striker Lisa De Vanna - who is rated as one of Australia-s supreme talents - will add firepower to the Victory-s attack.

De Vanna has scored 26 goals from 75 appearances with the Matildas and joins fellow national team players Catley, Ashley Brown and Brianna Davey in the 20-player squad, with last season-s Welsh revelation Jessica Fishlock committing to another season.

Talented central defender Emma Checker and midfielder Alex Natoli have joined from Adelaide United, while head coach David Edmondson has rewarded promising Victorian teenagers Beattie Goad and Emily Hulbert with their first Melbourne Victory contracts.

Swede Jessica Samuelsson and New Zealander Katie Hoyle are the Victory-s two international signings.

Edmondson said he was delighted with his squad and its preparation as it prepares to secure a maiden W-League title.

“We have a great balance of local, interstate and international players, which is pleasing,” Edmondson said.

“To have four Matildas players representing Melbourne Victory this season is a huge bonus for us.

“The experience they have gained on the international stage will no doubt hold them and the rest of the squad in good stead, particularly for new captain Steph Catley who shows all the attributes to be an outstanding leader.

“Training has been fantastic and the girls can-t wait to kick off the season in a grand final rematch against Sydney next week.”

Melbourne Victory will take on the Women-s Premier League All Stars of Victoria in a friendly match at 2pm on Saturday at John Cain Memorial Park.

MELBOURNE VICTORY 2013/2014 W-LEAGUE SQUAD: 1. Brianna DAVEY Age: 18 Nationality: Australian Position: Goalkeeper Matildas caps: 8 Melbourne Victory appearances: 25 Played off-season for: Bundoora United FC (Victorian Women-s Premier League), Linköpings FC (Damallsvenskan, Sweden)

2. Rebekah STOTT Age: 20 Nationality: Australian/New Zealand Position: Defender Melbourne Victory appearances: 25 Played off-season for: SC Sand (Bundesliga Women, Germany)

3. Jessica HUMBLE Age: 27 Nationality: Australian Position: Defender Melbourne Victory appearances: 9 Played off-season for: Box Hill United (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

4. Katie HOYLE Age: 25 Nationality: New Zealand Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Played off-season for: Eastern Suburbs AFC (Lotto Sport Italia NRLF Premier League, New Zealand)

5. Laura SPIRANOVIC Age: 21 Nationality: Australian Position: Striker Melbourne Victory appearances: 14 Played off-season for: South Melbourne Women-s FC (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

6. Cindy LAY Age: 19 Nationality: Australian Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 7 Played off-season for: EAP (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

7. Stephanie CATLEY (c) Age: 19 Nationality: Australian Position: Defender/Midfielder Matildas caps: 9 Melbourne Victory appearances: 38 Played off-season for: Sandringham SC (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

8. Ashley BROWN Age: 18 Nationality: Australian Position: Striker Matildas caps: 6 Melbourne Victory appearances: 24 Played off-season for: N/A (recovering from ACL injury)

9. Caitlin FRIEND Age: 19 Nationality: Australian Position: Striker Melbourne Victory appearances: 30 Played off-season for: Bundoora United FC (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

10. Jessica FISHLOCK Age: 26 Nationality: Welsh Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 6 Played off-season for: Seattle Reign FC (National Women-s Soccer League), Glasgow City (Scottish Women-s Premier League)

11. Lisa DE VANNA Age: 28 Nationality: Australian Position: Striker Matildas caps: 75 Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Played off-season for: Sky Blue FC (National Women-s Soccer League, USA)

12. Jessica SAMUELSSON Age: 21 Nationality: Swedish Position: Defender Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Previous club: Linköpings FC (Damallsvenskan, Sweden)

13. Tiffany ELIADIS Age: 18 Nationality: Australian Position: Striker Melbourne Victory appearances: 7 Played off-season for: South Melbourne Women-s FC (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

14. Enza BARILLA Age: 22 Nationality: Australian Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 44 Played off-season for: Bundoora United FC (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

15. Emma CHECKER Age: 17 Nationality: Australian Position: Defender Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Played off-season for: West Torrens Birkalla under-18 men-s (National Premier Leagues, South Australia)

16. Beattie GOAD Age: 16 Nationality: Australian Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Played off-season for: EAP (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

17. Gülcan KOCA Age: 23 Nationality: Australian/Turkish Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 18 Played off-season for: Bundoora United FC (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

18. Emily HULBERT Age: 17 Nationality: Australian Position: Midfielder Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Played off-season for: Box Hill United (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

19. Alex NATOLI Age: 17 Nationality: Australian Position: Defender Melbourne Victory appearances: 0 Played off-season for: EAP (Victorian Women-s Premier League)

20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI Age: 19 Nationality: Australian Position: Goalkeeper Melbourne Victory appearances: 3 Played off-season for: South Melbourne Women-s FC (Women-s Victorian Premier League)

COACHING STAFF Head Coach - David EDMONDSON Assistant Coach - Kat SMITH Team Manager - Jane NATOLI Head of Physiotherapy - Sharbil WEHBE Physiotherapist - Polly DHAR Team Doctor - Bianca SCOTNEY

PLAYER MOVEMENT - 2013/2014

In: Lisa DE VANNA (Sky Blue FC), Jessica SAMUELSSON (Linköpings FC), Alex NATOLI (Adelaide United), Emma CHECKER (Adelaide United), Katie HOYLE (Eastern Suburbs AFC), Beattie GOAD (EAP), Emily HULBERT (Box Hill United)

Out: Rachel ALONSO, Petra LARSSON, Jessica McDONALD, Georgia KOUTROUVELIS, Amy JACKSON, Danielle JOHNSON, Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, Jacqueline VOGT, Louisa BISBY, Melissa MAIZELS

MELBOURNE VICTORY 2013/2014 W-LEAGUE DRAW

Round 1: Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC, 3pm Sunday November 10 at Lakeside Stadium* Round 2: Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory, 2pm Saturday November 16 at Burton Park Round 3: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory, 12pm Sunday December 1 at nib Stadium* Round 4: Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets, 3pm Saturday December 7 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex Round 5: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory, 2:15pm Sunday December 15 at Allianz Stadium Round 6: Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United, 3:00pm Saturday December 21 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex Round 7: Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, 4:30pm Saturday January 4 at AAMI Park Round 8: Melbourne Victory v Canberra United, 3pm Sunday January 12 at Lakeside Stadium* Round 9: Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory, 4pm Sunday January 19 at Campbelltown Stadium Round 10: Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory, 11am Saturday January 25 at Adamstown Oval Round 11: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory, 3pm Saturday February 1 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex Round 12: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory, 2pm Sunday February 9 at QSAC*

*Denotes game will be shown live on ABC TV.