City set for historic clash

Melbourne City''s Jenna McCormick, Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams, Greater Dandenong mayor Cr Angela Long, Cranbourne MP Pauline Richards and Melbourne City''s Sam Johnson. Picture: SUPPLIED

Melbourne City FC will make its first official foray into South East Melbourne this Thursday night when its W-League team takes on Sydney FC at Dandenong City Soccer Club.

Less than two months after the shock announcement that it is relocating its headquarters to Casey Fields, Melbourne City is quickly making good on its promise to bring top level football to the south-east by hosting multiple W-League games in Dandenong this season.

It may be a forerunner to bigger things to come, with speculation rife that City’s relocation will lead to construction of a 15,000-seat rectangular stadium next to Dandenong Train Station, as was proposed to be the case in the event of “Team 11” gaining an A-League and W-League licence.

Thursday’s all-important W-League game is open to the public, albeit at a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions, and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.

Kickoff is at 7.05pm and tickets must be pre-purchased online.

It comes in the middle of a busy week of activities in the south-east for the club.

On Wednesday night City’s junior academy teams will commence training at Casey Fields and on Sunday they will play their first Junior Boys National Premier League matches at Casey Fields as well.

City is the defending W-League champion and the winner of four of the last five W-League titles.

Greater Dandenong Mayor Cr Angela Long said the upcoming games made last year’s relocation announcement all the more exciting.

“It will serve as a huge inspiration to young girls across Greater Dandenong and the region,” Cr Long said.

Star American import Sam Johnson said she and her Melbourne City teammates were itching to play their first games in amongst their new community.

“Everyone is really excited,” Johnson said.

“We can’t wait to play in front of everyone in South East Melbourne and really want all the football fans in Dandenong and Casey and the region to come out and support.”

Following the game against Sydney FC on Thursday, Melbourne City’s next W-League game in Dandenong will be against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday, 13 February at 5.05pm.

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