Alamein FC captain Emma Checker says teammate Janna Lawson has talent to make a splash in the W-League if someone can bring out the best in her potential.
Ayres has scored 41 goals this season and Checker said they were wary of her threat.
“Melina is one of those players that can hurt you if you let her,” the 22-year-old said.
“We respect her quality and I think she’s a great person and player. I don’t fear her and we’ve got players to match her.
“I haven’t played in NPL for a few years now, but if I compare it to last time I was here, I think it’s massively different.
“South have players like Lisa and Geelong Galaxy have Laura (Alleway) and the fact you’ve got quality players in the league says something.
“It has come a long way and it’s only going to continue to grow. Every club is trying to be more professional and South are a good example of where they’re setting the bar.
“On paper we don’t match all the other teams in the finals, but we have character, we gel well as a team and I think that’s more important. We stand out and I think we can achieve something good.
“The biggest thing I’ll focus on is making sure everyone is calm and composed. It’s a big game and we don’t have to change our mentality going into it as it’s worked for us during the season.”
Checker has played 22 games for Alamein this season and has got through the season unscathed after a run of injuries in 2017.
She is set to return to Adelaide United in the W-League next season and with three Australian caps under her belt, she is dreaming of playing in the 2019 World Cup in France.
“You play to achieve big things and I’ll always have France in the back of my mind,” Checker said.
“I’m working towards big things, but the main focus for me this year was getting my body right.
“I’m definitely enjoying my football and I feel stronger than I have in a long time. If it’s meant to be then, it’ll be and I’m making sure I’m doing everything to have a crack.”