Melbourne City defender Lauren Barnes says experience could play a big part in Sunday’s W-League grand final.
City are looking to make it three championships in a row when they lock horns with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
The only meeting between the two sides came in Round 4 as Sydney prevailed 3-2 at home courtesy of a 91st minute Remy Siemsen winner.
City finished fourth on the table and knocked off first-place Brisbane Roar in the semi-final last week. Barnes was confident they could turn it up for big games.
“We love to keep people on their toes I guess, for the past two years, I think our greatest attribute is the experience we have on the team,” Barnes told FourFourTwo.
“You see that experience really come out when it comes to big games, I think at the end of the day you have to show up to every game and I think we ended up proving that and showing that when we really needed to.
“We definitely put a target on our backs with our team this year. It’s a short season and you need good chemistry and that’s tough to do at times. Because we have such a short season, you have to start on day one.
“It took a bit longer to get used to the swing of things and the players around us, because a lot of them were new and came from different clubs and we stepped into a new environment where we didn’t know each other as well.
“I think getting to that point as fast as you can is why some teams are more successful than others.”
The American also said they were taking confidence out of traveling west to down Perth Glory in the 2017 grand final.
“If we can take anything from last season, it’s that we’ve done it before and we can do it again,” she said.
“It’s such a great motivator technically being an underdog and going into that game, it’s such a great movement going into this final and I think we’ve proved to ourselves and the rest of the world we’re here to get to that final and win it again.”
Barnes is set to return to NWSL side Seattle Reign this year where she’ll join City captain and Matilda Steph Catley.
The pre-season is set to start for Seattle on W-League grand final day, which will leave the pair with little time to celebrate or lament over the big dance.
But the 28-year-old was happy being a workaholic.
“It’s our life, so if you can extend it to make it a year long, it’s what we’ve got to do to just make ends meet,” Barnes said.
“I love coming here and then going back home, having soccer all year round doesn’t get much better.
“Steph and I have always had a great connection. She’s someone I definitely look up to, she’s an amazing little player and I’ve seen her grow in the past four years.
“The more you work with her, the better you get to know her and that’s what Steph and I have, so I can’t wait to get to Seattle.”