After securing the signatures of Westfield Matildas duo Emily van Egmond and Emma Checker, alongside the re-signings of Young Matildas Chelsea Blissett and Sofia Sakalis, Head Coach Rado Vidosic’s side has been bolstered by the return of fellow Australian international Kyah Simon.
In addition, former Matildas international and experienced goalkeeper, Melissa Barbieri returns, as does Junior Matildas international, Nia Stamatopoulos and former championship winning duo Rhali Dobson and Tyla-Jay Vlajnic.
With City’s squad continuing to strengthen, Head Coach Rado Vidosic is confident that his team has what it takes to compete at the top of the table this season.
“We’ve secured an important group of core players that have played an influential role for this Club over recent season,” Vidosic said.
“It’s an exciting time for the Club, we have a good mix of experienced internationals, as well as a bunch of up-and-coming talents that are not only the future of the sport and our Club, but also have the ability to play an important role for us this season.”
City is delighted to welcome back prolific attacker, Kyah Simon. The 28-year-old re-joins the Club for her third season in City blue, signing a two-year deal. With 87 international caps and 24 goals for the Westfield Matildas, Simon has demonstrated her ability to find the back of the net at the highest level. A key figure in the Club’s championship winning 2017/18 season, Simon has an innate ability to create chances for her teammates and find the back of the net.
Simon returns to City with a wealth of experience developed both in the W-League and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), having represented Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Boston Breakers, Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC and Houston Dash.
Melissa Barbieri will play an influential role for the Club both on and off the pitch in the 2019/20 season. The 39-year-old will combine her playing career with her duties as W-League Assistant Coach. Following a decorated career for the Matildas, Barbieri has continued to pave the way for female footballers in Australia with her great leadership, experience and footballing expertise.
Versatile winger and three-time W-League champion, Tyla-Jay Vlajnic returns to the Club ahead of the 2019/20 season. Vlajnic has played an influential role at the Club since its inaugural season in the W-League. An experienced footballer, Vlajnic has showcased her ability to play both as a fullback and attacker.
Similarly, Rhali Dobson returns to City looking to continue her run of form from last season. The pacey winger is coming off her strongest season for the Club, where she utilised her pace, football smarts and ability to create chances.
Furthermore, Junior Matildas international Nia Stamatopoulos returns to City for her second season in the competition. The attacking midfielder made Club history in her first season, becoming the youngest player in the Club’s history to debut when she made her first appearance for Vidosic’s squad as a 15-year-old.
The team will meet in Melbourne on Monday 14 October 2019 for the commencement of pre-season as their focus turns to the fast approaching 2019/20 Westfield W-League season.
Melbourne City FC’s 2019/20 Westfield W-League squad to date: Melissa Barbieri, Chelsea Blissett, Emma Checker, Rhali Dobson, Emily Van Egmond, Sofia Sakalis, Kyah Simon, Nia Stamatopoulos, Tyla-Jay Vlajnic.