Women diary: Marlies Oostdam

Women’s football in Australia is entering the dawn of a new era, with the introduction of the Westfield W-League.

Women-s football in Australia is entering the dawn of a new era, with the introduction of the Westfield W-League.

Melbourne Victory Women will play its first match against Central Coast Mariners Women as a curtain raiser to Victory-s Hyundai A-League blockbuster against Sydney FC at Telstra Dome on Saturday, 25 October.

Victory members and all ticket holders for the Hyundai A-League match (kick off 7pm) can watch the Westfield W-League match (kick off 4pm) for free. Gates 2 and 7 at Telstra Dome will open at 3:30pm, with all other gates opening at 5pm.

Tickets are available from any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 136 100 or online through www.ticketmaster.com.au.

Victory Women defender Marlies Oostdam, who represented New Zealand at the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will write a fortnightly diary detailing Victory Women-s progress in the new competition. Marlies Oostdam Diary

Well, where shall I start? This is not my first football experience in Melbourne, as I played here eight years ago.

Having come over about three weeks ago all we seem to be doing is training and training and training! But it-s been great to see how much the team has improved over the last couple of weeks.

We started off with a rather big squad and that has now been cut back to 20. The quality of players is great too. Our team is very young but that-s something I-m starting to get used to!

Victoria has always been the underdog in the women-s game and I think we will be known as the underdog this season. But I also think we have it in us to cause quite a few upsets, so watch this space!

Last weekend we headed to Canberra for the weekend. That was our first real hit out and it went pretty well. We played the Canberra women-s team and ended up losing the first game 3-1 but winning the second one 5-2.

It-s been hard for our team to get game time in as we have three girls from Queensland and a couple more that have been away.

But all in all, we're settling in to the Melbourne lifestyle quite nicely. I love the variety of restaurants, bars and shops! I haven-t got much time to go exploring yet as we train five times a week, but we'll be off on a few adventures in the next few months!

Our first game against Central Coast Mariners Women at Telstra Dome will be huge. Melbournians loves their sport, so I think there will be a few football experts coming to check out the women-s scene!

I forgot to mention, I was lucky enough to arrive in Melbourne just in time for the AFL Grand Final. I can-t believe what a huge event it is over here. It-s worse than rugby in New Zealand!

Finally, I don't know how many times I've been given grief on how I pronounce things! But don't worry; I've got a few of the girls saying "AY" at the end of their sentences!