Despite never beating Brisbane in six W-League seasons, Melbourne Victory’s Welsh midfield star Jess Fishlock has backed her team to win the W-League final.
Melbourne Victory are confident they can break a five-year hoodoo and finally beat Brisbane Roar in Sunday’s W-League grand final.
Victory, last season’s beaten finalists, have yet to win against the Roar in six W-League seasons but coach Dave Edmondson insisted that counts for nothing on the weekend.
“Sunday is a different game altogether,” he said.
“This team has only played Brisbane once and we lost 1-0 in a really close game,” Edmondson said.
“The team that lost five years ago… totally different players, totally different coaches, totally different day.”
One advantage Victory has over their 2013 grand final loss – is the availability of international player Jess Fishlock.
As captain of her national side Wales, Fishlock missed the 3-1 loss after her guest player stint ended, and has taken on the role of wise old head despite being just 27.
She warned her young teammates to not be over-awed by the match.
“Come the game, we’ve got quite a young squad so I think there will be a bit of nerves,” she said.
“It’ll be my job to make sure, as much as it’s a huge occasion, that the most important thing for them is just to play their game.”
“We don’t want to play the occasion, we want to play the game and if we do that, we will be fine.”
Playing in midfield behind the league’s best striking duo of Lisa de Vanna and Caitlin Friend, she backed her team to find a way past Brisbane Roar keeper – and FIFA Player of the Year – Nadine Angerer.
Angerer was inspirational as the Roar held out against table-topping Canberra United in their semi-final to win 2-1 on Saturday.
“She’s a fantastic goalkeeper, there’s no denying that, but at the end of the day she’s just a goalkeeper and if we breach their defence, we have some players that are capable to score past her.”
Edmondson , who will leave the W-League after the match for leading English women’s side Bristol Academy, has a selection dilemma with the return of New Zealand international Katie Hoyle and Enza Barilla.
He admits it’s a “great headache to have” and confirmed he’ll wait until match-day before confirming his side.
Melbourne Victory chief executive Ian Robson said he was hopeful of attracting 5,000 to the match, which kicks off at 3pm on Sunday at Lakeside Stadium, despite the match clashing with Melbourne Heart’s A-League match at 5pm.
“It would have been nice if there was a bit of clear air… but I hope all Victory fans and all football fans get along,” Robson said.