Photo: Emily Mogic Photography
Some people, definitely not you, but some people, still wonder if women’s football is any good. That question has been answered more than once, but this weekend it was emphatically answered again. Anyone see that goal from Christine Nairn?
Nairn, who we shall now refer to as “The Boss”, would be one of the first to clarify that it’s a team effort and Melbourne Victory look like a team that are happy playing together.
Amy Jackson is another quick to declare it a team effort. Jackson scored a sweet hat-trick and seems to be full of the kind of courage that sees a player stand up and put their body on the line for any ball that’s near them. That slightly fading shiner enveloping her right eye, it’s a testament to her commitment to the game and her team.
Victory across the board are different this season. Who knows if it’s by virtue of their championship win last season or perhaps it’s the family atmosphere popularised by Head Coach Joe Montemurro.
The players talk about it, and they talk about Joe and they seem happier than ever before. Football is important, winning games is important, but seldom does it feel better than when you’re winning with your family.
Lisa De Vanna also seems to be drinking the coolaid. Here is a player who has often struggled to settle at a club, be it W-League or NWSL. Yet with Victory she’s into her second season, is playing superbly and her influence is felt and shown in the professionalism throughout the team.
De Vanna unconditionally receives praise from her teammates from Amy Jackson and Racheal Quigley to Christine Nairn and beyond. They know she’s tough but this team want to be tough together.
Adelaide by contrast didn’t have a great game. They lost hard with another 4-0 defeat and whilst they know there are positives each week, one would imagine they’re getting frustrated, dropping further down the ladder and further away from any chance of redeeming their season.
Adelaide beats with two hearts – Kristy Moore and Melissa Barbieri. They give absolutely everything they have, but how hard must it be to watch the same mistakes over and over and to succumb to late goals game after game?
After this game you could see the pain written on their faces, and you know that the frustration is getting to them, but you also know that they will pick themselves back up and be out there with lion hearts again next week.
The good news for Adelaide is that they have plenty to work on, and there’s a good amount of talent for them to work with. The trouble is, W-League seasons are short.
There’s not a lot of time to prepare, play your 12 games and then you’re done. In the off season, more opportunities are needed for the players to develop their fitness and skills, to enable them to be competitive and home grown and for the players to see a pathway where they will stay.
To be honest, it was hard to see this result ending any differently.