W-League Preview: Canberra v City


The clash

Melbourne City FC open their 2018/19 Westfield W-League campaign with a trip to McKellar Park to face Canberra United on Sunday afternoon.

Looking to defend their title, the three-time champions will be eager to kick-off the new season on a high.

Under new Head Coach Rado Vidosic, City has had an emphasis on the technical side of the game during their pre-season. With a range of new-signings, including Theresa Nielsen, Jasmyne Spencer, Helen Caceres and Adriana Jones, City are set to line-up with a point of difference this season.

With a host of experienced players missing the clash through injury and international seasons clashing, City will be looking towards youngsters Chelsea Blissett and Nia Stamatopoulous to step-up and grasp the opportunity.   

Despite a host of international stars missing the clash, led by Lydia Williams, City has a core group of both experienced and successful players to guide the youngsters. 

The task won’t be easy for the reigning champions, who face a notoriously fierce Canberra United outfit on their home deck.

With City yet to play a competitive fixture at McKellar Park, Heather Garriock’s side will be looking to get a grasp on the reigning-champions in the early stages of the match.

Canberra will be determined to commence the new season on a high and rectify the disappointment of a poor finish to last season’s campaign which saw them lose their last two matches and narrowly miss out on a finals position.

Team news

Danish international Theresa Nielsen is set to make her W-League debut. See our full team news here

Last time they met

Melbourne City defeated Canberra United 2-1 at AAMI Park in Round 7 of the 2017/18 Westfield W-League season.

Jess Fishlock opened the scoring in the 20th minute, before Michelle Heyman equalised three minutes later. Fishlock then secured her brace and the three points with an 80th minute strike.

What was said 

Melbourne City FC Head Coach Rado Vidosic

“It’s a great challenge. It’s a real honour to be a part of this team and what it has achieved over the past few seasons. I’m going to try and continue this run with the team. I think now it’s up to me to challenge the team and make things difficult for our opponents with the way we play and enjoy it, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Melbourne City FC goalkeeper Lydia Williams

“I think the last two seasons we have had a couple of players out [in the opening rounds], so it’s something we are used to. We’re just focused on the job at hand. Rado has worked hard with the girls that have been here. Everyone has been given the opportunity to get a chance to play this weekend, so everyone’s been on their toes.”

Where and when

City face Canberra United at McKellar Park on Sunday, kick-off 4:00pm, before returning to Melbourne to host a blockbuster double-header with the Men’s team against Sydney FC on Friday 2 November.