Soccer: big future ahead for Melville City women says coach


Melville City Football Club women’s coach Gabby Walker-Ortega.
Melville City Football Club women’s coach Gabby Walker-Ortega.

WITH her first full season at the helm of Melville City’s Premier Women’s side in the books, coach Gabby Walker-Ortega is predicting big things for her young squad.

Despite fielding a team without a single player over the age of 20, Melville finished fifth in the State Premier League and fell one game short of silverware in both the Night Series and State Cup finals.

Walker-Ortega took the reins after a mass player exodus towards the end of last season and wasted no time turning things around at the club.

“We had some drama that resulted in us losing 22 players and the head coach with three or four games left in the season, which is when I took over,” Walker-Ortega said.

“This year has been about rebuilding and getting back some sort of baseline that we can build on.

“Our whole Premier side is teenagers and they’ve been playing against far more experienced women so I could not be prouder with how the season went to be honest.”

A promising player whose career was cut short by injury, Walker-Ortega has brought a fresh approach to training and preparation that has revitalised her squad.

“I don’t believe in an isolated approach to training, there are no individual drills and everything we do emulates a game-like situation,” she said.

“You can pass a ball against a wall 100 times but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it when you’re out there on the field under pressure.”

Walker-Ortega said her side was let down by its thinned out playing stocks and a lack of killer instinct in front of goal, both issues she believed would be addressed when trials get underway next month.

“Because we lost so many players and the squad was so young we definitely suffered a bit from fatigue in the second half of the season,” she said.

“We also struggled to finish all year. We had some of the highest percentage possession in the league and the opportunities have been there but we haven’t got that number nine who is unselfish enough to take all that possession and make it work for us.

“We’ve looked to fix that problem through targeting some new players that we’ve invited to trial and judging by the number of calls and emails I’ve been getting about when trials start, there is also no doubt we’ll have a bigger squad next season.”

Melville City’s women’s trials take place over two weeks beginning November 1.

For more information or to register visit www.melvillecityfc.com.au or call Stephen Farrell on 0455 833 352.