Melbourne Victory captain Angie Beard believes Lisa De Vanna's big-game mentality will be a crucial asset heading into the W-League finals.
Melbourne Victory captain Angie Beard believes her team have a W-League finals X-factor in veteran forward Lisa De Vanna.
Victory head into Sunday's semi-final clash against Brisbane aiming to avenge January's 6-0 thumping the last time they played the Roar in Queensland.
De Vanna didn't play in that mauling and Beard says the 36-year-old's experience and big-game mentality will be pivotal as Victory chase a first W-League finals win since their grand final triumph in 2014.
De Vanna was part of that championship-winning team, one of four titles the Matildas star has won during her career - including the 2010-11 crown with the Roar.
"We've got a couple of older players, more experienced players but having a Lisa De Vanna, that presence, that experience, that motivational and inspirational player in our team. That's second to none," Beard said.
"Her as a performance player and showing up in big games - that's something that could really turn in our favour for finals.
"Not only is her playing style and her performance, something that's key, but with the young girls looking up to her, we also rise and kind of take her energy and use it to prop ourselves up for the game."
While Victory will have their inspirational star forward available on Sunday, it's a different tale for the Roar who will take on the finals without golden boot winner Emily Gielnik and captain Clare Polkinghorne.
The Matildas duo have both moved to Swedish top-tier club Vittsjo GIK leaving two big gaps to fill in Jake Goodship's squad.
"Obviously Em Gielnik and Polks are two mainstay players who are well feared around the world to be honest," Beard said.
"But the midfield at Brisbane Roar are quite tight and quite challenging in terms of trying to play through them and trying to break them down, but also on the transition, they really know how to find the gaps.
"That's somewhere that we really need to lock down this weekend."