City eye fresh start to W-League campaign

There’s no panic in the Melbourne City camp after their season-opening loss but the reigning W-League champions are desperate to get their title defence moving against Sydney FC.

A depleted City side started their bid for a record fourth W-League title in a row with a 2-0 away loss to Canberra United last week.

City are sweating on the availability of Australian representatives Tameka Butt, Elise Kellond-Knight, Kyah Simon and captain Steph Catley, who didn’t play against Canberra through injury or international duties.

Although there are 14 rounds in the season, forward Rhali Dobson said City can’t afford to suffer another let down against Sydney at AAMI Park on Friday night.

“In the W-League you can’t have a slow start … you need to get going,” Dobson told reporters on Tuesday.

“So you’ve got to move on really quickly. The loss was in no way an indication of what we’re capable of or sets the tone for this season.

“We had a worse start last year and we had a full squad.”

Dobson is in her second season with City after a successful stint with the Newcastle Jets.

She’s delighted to be back on the field in one piece after she was sidelined for eight weeks during the off-season when she nearly lost her sight in one eye after an accident involving a child’s toy.

“The handle accidentally slingshotted directly into my right eye and ruptured my iris,” she said.

“I was in with a specialist every day because they weren’t sure if I was going to regain my eyesight.

“It was about seven or eight weeks until I was fully cleared and I couldn’t exercise during that time.

“It was quite frustrating but it will be an interesting one to tell the kids one day.”

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