Despite only picking up the one point in the AFC Women’s Club Championship – the experience is one Melbourne Victory will take plenty from.
Winning the W-League premiership last season, the Victory qualified as one of four sides in the tournament – with clubs from Japan, China and South Korea also represented.
The tournament was played over four days in round-robin format at South Korea’s Yongin Citizen Sports Park, with Japan’s Nippon TV Beleza.
Melbourne Victory defender Angela Beard describes the experience as “unparalleled” and something the club aspires to be part of again.
“That Korea trip was just absolutely insane,” she told FNR.
“You know you’re playing against a top-quality side one day, trying to recover and 24 hours later you’re playing against an even better opposition with players of high calibre.
“Asian football is just short, sharp, amazing little touches and sneaky little slick balls and players who are trying to evade you at all costs. I think the quality of Asian football in 2019 and at the 2020 Olympics is going to be absolutely brutal.
“It’s unparalleled, the fact that your team is represented as a club and as a country on a world stage and to just show off your talents to some of the best teams in the world is an experience you can’t really trade up.”
The Victory finished bottom of the group, with their only point coming against Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning.
The side now shifts its attention back to the W-League where a meeting against three-time champions Melbourne City awaits on Thursday night at ABD Stadium.
Beard expects the returning Kyah Simon to make an impact, with the Matildas forward back to full health after a difficult year nursing several injuries.
“I mean their whole team is just filled with players with excellent experience,” she said.
“I think the one person that you got to really keep in mind is the fact that Kyah Simon has been sitting on the sidelines for a while now and she’s finally been unleashed and set free, so you definitely need to keep an eye out for her.”
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