Victory confirm Westfield W-League squad for 2015/16 season

Melbourne Victory Westfield W-League head coach Dave Edmondson has announced his squad for 2015/16 as the countdown to the new season continues.

Edmondson, who has been reappointed at Victory following a spell as head coach at Bristol Academy in England, says the squad has a solid mix of youth and experience.

Hayley Raso, who was part of Australia’s squad at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, joins Victory from National Women’s Soccer League side Washington Spirit.

Matildas great and former Victory captain Melissa Barbieri returns to the club, while another Matildas icon, Thea Slatyer, will provide a wealth of experience in defence.

Barbieri grateful to be back

United States international Christine Nairn has returned for another season, while Cassandra Dimovski, Alex Natoli and Gulcan Koca have also re-signed and Enza Barilla, Laura Spiranovic and Selin Kuralay are back at the club.

Jamie Pollock, Briar Palmer, Melindaj Barbieri and Whitney Knight are on board following impressive Sportsmart Women’s Premier League campaigns, with local players Jessica Pitts, Annabel Martin, Melissa Taranto and Adriana Taranto also signed up.

“It’s quite a good mix of players in the squad,” Edmondson said. “Generally, it is a young and relatively inexperienced squad but there are four of five players that add some valuable experience and international quality to it.

“The international players are headlined by Christine Nairn, Jamie Pollock and Briar Palmer, who have all played at a high level overseas.

“In addition, we also have a lot of very good young local Victorian players, a number of girls who have been involved at national team level during their careers and some I have had previous experience in coaching, so I think the overall squad is a really nice blend.”

Edmondson, who coached Victory to the Westfield W-League title in 2013/14, said fans can expect an attractive and positive style of play.

“We’ll be enjoyable to watch and with the cross-section of players we have, we’ll have a positive and exciting yet aggressive style and hopefully that brings the results we are all after,” he said.

“When I left Victory, I left on a positive note and it was a tough decision at the time but I’m thrilled to be back.

“It’s exciting that Melbourne Victory Football Club has taken full control of the team and are going to progress the team and develop all aspects of women’s football at the club in the long-term.”

Victory will open its Westfield W-League 2015/16 campaign against Perth Glory at Broadmeadows Valley Park on Saturday, October 17.

Click here to view Melbourne Victory’s Westfield W-League 2015/16 fixture.

Melbourne Victory Westfield W-League squad: 1.Cassandra DIMOVSKI (gk), 2.Alexandra NATOLI, 4.Melissa TARANTO, 5.Briar PALMER, 6.Annabel MARTIN, 7.Enza BARILLA, 8.Jamie POLLOCK, 9.Laura SPIRANOVIC, 10.Christine NAIRN, 11.Melindaj BARBIERI, 12.Whitney KNIGHT, 13.Thea SLATYER, 14.Selin KURALAY, 15.Adriana TARANTO, 16.Hayley RASO, 17.Gulcan KOCA, 18.Jessica PITTS, 20.Melissa BARBIERI (gk)