Football 2 years ago

City relished W-League derby test

  • City relished W-League derby test

If you think you've seen the best from Melbourne City's W-League destroyers, think again.

City sit eight points clear at the top of the W-league table at the halfway mark of the campaign with a 100 per cent record.

It's a performance that prompted leading Matildas star Elise Kellond-Knight to call City the best side ever assembled in Australia, but coach Joe Montemurro says they can get even better.

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To date, City have dealt with clashing international fixtures that have often robbed Montemurro of his best players.

No fewer than eight City players took cross-continental journeys last week, including four Matildas who played in Australia's 1-0 win over South Korea.

But there are no international windows before the W-League wraps up and Montemurro says they'll improve as a result.

"The first six rounds have taken a massive amount of management," he told AAP.

"It's nice to get everyone back and get them all on the park."

Kellond-Knight has questioned the role City has played in the W-League since entering the competition this year, given their dominance over more established rivals.

It's a sentiment, no doubt, shared by many competitors, given they don't have the budget or facilities of the upstart side.

Montemurro hit back at the suggestion that they were bad for the league, even if they were bad for other clubs' chances of winning it.

"We are just trying to create what we believe a women's professional football team should be and that standard is very, very high," he said.

"We've got talented players, but the ones that benefit most are the younger players training with them.

"I thank her for those comments ... (Kellond-Knight has) been part of a Brisbane team that had six or seven Matildas and last year had the best goalkeeper in the world (Nadine Angerer) come over.

"So I'm honoured to be part of what she thinks is the best W-League side ever."

On Sunday, City face cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory for the second time this season.

In October, City scraped a 2-1 draw over Victory without their international stars and Montemurro says his senior players are eager for their first crack at a Melbourne derby.

"It's what professional coaches and players thrive on," he said.

"The most important thing is we showcase the best players in the world in important games.

"It's what the fans want to see and it's great for the W-League."

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