W-League quality questioned

Championship-winning W-League coach Rado Vidosic has condemned the decreased quality of the national women’s competition in a warning about the standard of football fans can expect this season.

Vidosic’s Melbourne City start the defence of their title on Tuesday against Brisbane Roar in a season-opening clash at Dolphin Stadium,

Vidosic was anything but bullish about his side’s chances of winning back-to-back titles, and was also concerned about the quality of a competition that had lost a host of Matildas plying their trade in Europe, and foreign stars stuck at home due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

“It has dropped a lot,” Vidosic said.

“We need to do something about it. We need to change the way we are treating the W-League.”

Vidosic said the W-League needed to become fully professional.

“I think we need to bite the bullet, and need to go full-time, because the only way for these players to improve is to be full-time in a professional environment.

“At the moment they are four months with us, and eight months with NPL clubs. That’s not going to help the level of expectations.”

Alex Chidiac is back in City colours! 😍

We are excited to announce that the Matildas midfielder will return to the Club this season after previously being a part of our double winning squad in 2015/16. ✍

Our @WLeague squad is now locked in! 🔒

Vidosic hoped Football Australia CEO James Johnson delivered on his promised to turn the W-League into one of the “top five leagues in the world”.

“I would say that the football federation has got something up their sleeve on how to deliver that promise and hopefully we can see that in the next few years,” Vidosic said.

He said City had “tried our hardest” to put together as strong as possible in difficult circumstances.

“Although expectation is high, we need to be realistic,” he said.

“To be honest, I can’t tell you what to expect – just hard work and a never-say-die attitude.”

City’s title hopes were boosted on Monday with the signing of Matildas midfielder Alex Chidiac.

Chiadiac’s return to Coty comes after three seasons with Spanish club Atletico Madrid.

“After a tough 12 months this is the right time for me to come back home for a change and a new challenge and I’m very excited to be returning to a quality league like the W-League,” Chidiac said.

“I felt right at home with City in my first season with the club so I’m very excited to be back.

“The professional environment and culture that city has built over the years is something any player wants to be part of and is definitely something that I’m looking forward to returning to.”

W-League Week 1 (all times AEDT)

Tuesday: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City, Dolphin Stadium, 4.35pm

Wednesday: Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC, Bankwest Stadium, 4.35pm; Canberra United v Adelaide United, Viking Park, 6.35pm.

Saturday: Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets, Wanderers Centre of Football, 7.05pm; Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory, Dorrien Gardens, 9.05pm.

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