Matildas stars put Morwell soccer players through their paces

Two of Australia’s top female soccer players have shared the secrets to their success with students at Morwell Park Primary School during a visit to Gippsland today.

Matildas champions and recent Melbourne Victory W-League recruits Casey Dumont and Laura Alleway put the students through their paces during a short training drill at the school ahead of a pre-season W-League friendly against Adelaide United in Morwell on Saturday 21 October.

The visit also marked a return to the Latrobe Valley for Melbourne Victory W-League head coach Jeff Hopkins. The former Welsh international player moved to Australia as a coach and player with the Gippsland Falcons in 1999 and 2000. He joined Melbourne Victory last year after several years in coaching and management roles with Brisbane Roar.

The W-League game, which will be free to attend, will be hosted by Latrobe City and is funded by the Victorian Government through the Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative, an $85 million investment in sports and community infrastructure, events and associated support programs administered by the Latrobe Valley Authority.

While they’re in the region, stars from both teams, including Dumont, Alleway, and longtime Melbourne Victory star Gulcan Koca, will host clinics with students from local schools, sharing tips on how to become the best, and building capacity in the region.

The CEO of the Latrobe Valley Authority, Karen Cain, said games such as this one, and the other major events coming to Gippsland this year, bring visitors to the region, create jobs and keep the local economy strong.

“They also inspire the next generation of aspiring sport stars to join clubs and emulate their heroes, while promoting an active, engaged and healthy community,” Ms Cain said.

“The Matildas’ recent success on the world stage means there has never been a more inspiring time to be involved in women’s soccer and this is a fantastic opportunity to promote and support female participation in sport in the Latrobe Valley.”

The Victorian Government is funding an array of sporting and community events in Gippsland this year.

From 19-22 October, 150 of Australia’s best cyclists will pedal their way through the region for the iconic Tour of Gippsland Criterium Series. For the first time, this year’s tour will feature an Elite Women’s Subaru National Road Series competition, with 60 to 70 female competitors.

The tour will consist of four separate races, taking place in Inverloch (19 October), Sale (20 October), Bairnsdale (21 October) and Traralgon (22 October). Cyclists also will take part in a number of community activities, including school visits, clinics and rides, safety awareness training, club criterium races and free skills sessions for kids.

Then on Friday 15 December, the Melbourne Stars go head-to-head with the Hobart Hurricanes during a pre-season friendly for the Big Bash League in Traralgon.

The W-League game will kick off at 2:30pm on Saturday 21 October. Admission is free.