Matildas’ Nevin keen to fire at Victory

Covering the loss of your championship-winning captain and one of the best defenders in the A-League Women is no easy feat.

But Melbourne Victory would be hard-pressed to find a better replacement for Angela Beard, who departed for Fortuna Hjorring in Denmark over the off-season, than Matildas youngster Courtney Nevin.

Victory signed Nevin, who like Beard can play as either a left fullback or centre-back, from Western Sydney during the off-season.

“They seemed like a really good club and I thought it was the right time for me to move,” Nevin told AAP.

“Wanderers are a great club and I loved every moment of it but I just thought it was the right time for me to move, make that change.

“Obviously Victory won the championship last season so hopefully I can come into the squad and help them get that again.”

Highly rated at youth level, Nevin has enjoyed a meteoric and “crazy” rise to the Matildas, making her debut against Denmark earlier this year, then earning a spot in the extended squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

“Making my Olympic debut against the USA, and those last bits of the game was something I’ll never forget,” she said.

“Marking Alex Morgan, those great players that I’ve looked up to, being young. It was crazy.

“It was pretty surreal – when I was in the game, I took a moment and I was like ‘OK, I’m actually playing against the best in the world right now – let’s go, let’s make it a challenge.”

Still just 19, Nevin models her game on Matildas vice-captain Steph Catley – herself gifted with a wand of a left foot, a strong turn of pace and the versatility to play outside or centrally.

Since entering the national team environment, Nevin has relished learning from Catley, and was particularly impressive playing alongside the 27-year-old in the Matildas’ second friendly against the US in Newcastle earlier this week.

She also enjoyed spending time training with other young Matildas prospects between camps at Fortuna Hjorring, and expects to test herself overseas in the near future.

But first, Victory’s season, which kicks off against Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon, looms.

“This season hopefully I can really work hard and show people what I can do,” Nevin said.

“Get heaps of game time, really come out firing and really show people what I can do.”