Victory appoint new Westfield W-League coach

Melbourne Victory has appointed experienced coach and former Welsh International Jeff Hopkins as its Westfield W-League coach for the 2016/17 season.

Kat Smith, who served as assistant and interim head coach during the 2015/16 campaign, has been confirmed as the team’s assistant coach.

“Jeff arrives at Melbourne Victory with a wealth of experience both as a coach and a player, and we’re excited about what he can bring to our W-League program,” said Victory CEO Ian Robson.

“Last season was difficult for our W-League team in terms of results, but it provided valuable experience for our young and emerging talent.

“We’re confident that Jeff, alongside Kat Smith, can mould the team into a successful one.”

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Hopkins has spent the last eight seasons with Brisbane Roar, where he started in 2008 in charge of the club’s women’s team.

He guided the team to two championships in four seasons, before working with Roar’s Foxtel National Youth League squad and senior team until last season.

He enjoyed a decorated career as a player over two decades, including making over 400 appearances combined for Fulham, Crystal Palace and Reading in the 1980s and 90s.

He also won 16 caps for Wales at international level between 1983 and 1990.

After moving to Australia in 1999, Hopkins finished his playing career in the National Soccer League with Gippsland Falcons, before moving into the coaching ranks.

“I’m looking forward to this opportunity to coach Victory’s W-League team,” Hopkins said.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with elite players, and there is no denying some of the exciting talent in the Victory squad.”

Victory’s W-League team finished in ninth place on the table in the 2015/16 season, after being eliminated in the semi-finals the previous season.