City add firepower to W-League attack with Hannah Wilkinson

Hannah Wilkinson playing for New Zealand. (Photo: NZ Football)

Melbourne City has taken a big step towards improving on last season with the arrival of Hannah Wilkinson. The New Zealand centre forward brings goal-scoring potential and experience to a team that struggled for goals last season.

City relied on the set-piece ability of Jenna McCormick and the pace of Harriet Withers and Rhali Dobson to score last season. Alex Chidiac and Chinatsu Kira were often played up front instead of their favoured playmaker roles and had some highlights but limited success.

In Wilkinson, City has acquired a striker who has extensive European experience and has 100 caps for the Football Ferns. The new arrival is a player who has a strong aerial presence but also can carry the ball and hold off defenders.

Australian fans might most recently remember her for robbing Lydia Williams of possession in the Olympics opener only for her cross to be cleared by Ellie Carpenter. She is dangerous with half a chance.

“It’s exciting to have a player with a resume like Hannah’s join us for the upcoming season,” said Melbourne City coach Rado Vidosic.

“She’ll be a goal-scoring threat in the final third for us and she has shown her quality in Europe and on the international stage plenty of times in recent years.

“Hannah will provide us with some crucial experience and leadership on the pitch and we expect her to complement our style of play well.”

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Melbourne recently re-signed club captain Emma Checker and championship winner Rebekah Stott to bolster their defence. With the addition of Wilkinson, the team is starting to take shape.

Her career has spanned the USA, Sweden, Portugal, and German,y but this will be Wilkinson’s first season in Australian football.

“The W-League has always caught my eye. It’s a very professional league and it’s great to see that on our side of the world, especially with how much women’s football is developing,” she said.

“Melbourne City is a big name and I’ve heard fantastic things about the Club. Melbourne sounds like an incredible place to live and I’m just so excited to meet all the girls. I can’t wait to get to work and help create some new memories for our fans.”

City scored just 11 times last season and Wilkinson has the ability and the pedigree to add to that this season.
At Sporting Liston, she scored 12 times in 15 appearances and at international level, she has an impressive 26 goals in 100 caps.

In Wilkinson, City has addressed one of last season’s most obvious weaknesses. The absence of Rhali Dobson, Alex Chidiac, and Hollie Palmer means Vidosic will still need to find new ways to create chances. The signing of a top-class international striker means they will now have somebody to finish them.

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