It’s been a long off-season but your City Women are finally set to return to the pitch this Sunday!
For the second year running, we’ll begin our season with a trip across the Tasman to face Wellington Phoenix.
Here are a few of the key talking points heading into our season opener!
Will we see any club debutants?
While a large number of last season’s squad will remain in City blue for the new campaign, there are still a few faces who fans will be looking forward to seeing on the park.
Having recently been a part of Canada’s World Cup squad, goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx has been set the task of claiming the number 1 spot after veteran Melissa Barbieri held it for much of last season.
Midfielders Laura Hughes and Tijan McKenna have impressed throughout pre-season since making their respective moves to the club, but there’s no shortage of competition for spots in midfield.
There’s no doubt Head Coach Dario Vidosic would’ve had some sleepless nights during the week with no shortage of options for his starting XI, and there’s no doubt there will be plenty of firepower on the bench ready to make a difference if needed.
Attack, attack, attack
On paper, City might just have the most dynamic and exciting attack across the whole league.
It’ll look very similar to last season with a host of key contributors all returning, although the one huge difference will be a fully fit Hannah Wilkinson and Holly McNamara.
Young guns Bryleeh Henry and Daniela Galic are both back once again, while now holding the title of vice-captain, attacking midfielder Rhianna Pollicina will once again cause plenty of problems for opposition defences.
Keeping those aforementioned names on their toes will be Caitlin Karic, the 18-year-old set to once again press for more minutes after a breakout 2021/22 where she twice found the back of the net.
City scored four times in each of its only two meetings against the Phoenix and with this star-studded attack set to take to the pitch on Sunday, Vidosic will once again be hoping to see plenty of goals from his team.
Stotty is back – but who joins her in defence?
A club legend in Rebekah Stott is once again back at City this season. Not just that, our all-time Women’s appearance leader will also take the armband.
You’d imagine she’ll be a walk-up start in Vidosic’s defence this weekend, but there are still plenty of questions about who else we will see at the back against Wellington.
2022/23 Player of the Year Julia Grosso cemented herself as a starter at left back last season while Kaitlyn Torpey would be the most likely pick to take up the other full-back position.
Naomi Chinnama and new defensive signing Taylor Otto are both chances to appear in the heart of defence, while new scholarship signing, Leia Varley, will be hoping to earn a City debut this weekend.
A-League Women: Round 1
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City FC
Sunday 15 October, 1:00pm KO (AEDT)