22/05/2024

Barbieri in Matildas action. Image: @FIFAWWC twitter

Melbourne City have re-signed former Matildas goalkeepr Melissa Barbieri as a player and assistant coach.

Matildas legend Melissa Barbieri has signed on for another season with Melbourne City.

The veteran of 86 International caps and 77 W-League appearances will continue at City as an assistant coach to Rado Vidosic, while remaining available as a shot-stopper.

“We’re always happy to have Melissa at the club,” said Vidosic.

“She plays a huge role off the field in coaching and mentoring not just our goalkeepers, but the whole squad.

“Her experience and knowledge are vital to the squad and our coaching staff, so we are very happy to have her back.”

Barbieri is one of Australia’s most accomplished goalkeepers. The 2010 Asian Cup winner remains a valuable footballer even as the W-Leagues oldest player.

After spending most of the season coaching, Barbieri replaced the injured Teagan Micah for the final four rounds.

She secured two clean sheets in a string of strong performances.

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Barbieri has played a pivotal role in the development of two of the current Matildas custodians. In her coaching duties last season, she mentored Micah and had a similar role during Lydia Williams’ time at the club.

On her return to City, she will share goalkeeping duties with a new up-and-comer.

The club signed the very promising Sally James from Canberra United and the teenage goalie will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best.

“It’s always easy returning home,” said Barbieri.

“The location of our training facility has changed but the City family and values remain.

“I’m looking forward to helping all of my new and returning teammates settle in well and create some new memories out here in Casey Fields.”

City finished 2021 in the lowest ladder position since their inception and Barbieri has no intentions of a recurrence.

“I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from both Rado and PK (A-League coach Patrick Kisnorbo), and personally want to help get our team keeping clean sheets again and pushing for a top of the table position.”

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