Age no barrier for Davey

Taking Melissa Barbieri's number one jersey at Melbourne Victory was always going to take something special, but teenager Brianna Davey's confidence suggests she is ready to fill the big shoes left by the Westfield Matildas captain.

Taking Melissa Barbieri's number one jersey at Melbourne Victory was always going to take something special, but teenager Brianna Davey's confidence suggests she is ready to fill the big shoes left by the Westfield Matildas captain.

The 16-year-old was coach Vicki Linton's shock choice ahead of good friend Barbieri in the lead-up to the W-League season.

Barbieri, 31, was forced out of the club she had been with since the inaugural season and to the Newcastle Jets.

The talents of the pair had forced Linton's hand with both wanting a first-team place, and Davey, a year 11 student at Melbourne Girls' College, said she would have moved had she been overlooked.

"It's been great so far. It's a bit hard jumping into the shoes of someone who was there before me," Davey said.

"Initially, I thought I was going to have to go interstate somewhere because I needed to play somewhere as number one."

"Vicki ended up giving me a call and just saying that she wanted to sign me over Barbs (Barbieri). At the start, it was a little bit of a surprise, but I thought I could step into the shoes."

Yet, the highly-rated and mature Davey said she owed a lot to the woman she replaced at Victory.

"We're really good friends. We've been to Matildas camps together and she took me under her wing from pretty much when I first started," she said.

"I really respect Barbs and she's taught me a great deal of things."

Davey had not even considered playing the sport when a Football Federation Victoria scout spotted her talents when the then 13-year-old was kicking the ball on holiday in Anglesea.

From a basketball and Australian rules background, football had just been a casual enjoyment for Davey.

But after earning a spot in the Victorian Under-13 squad in her first year in the game, she has gone on to represent the Young Matildas.

It was Davey's background that led to her stint between the sticks, and she has certainly grabbed her opportunity.

"At the start I intended to be an outfielder, but they knew I was from a background of sport with a lot of handling so they sort of just chucked me in goals," she said.

"That's where it started from."

Now, she is eyeing a spot with the Westfield Matildas, who failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, although they are set to appeal North Korea's inclusion.

FIFA banned North Korea from competing at the 2015 Women's World Cup after a doping scandal at the tournament in Germany earlier this year, and Australia are appealing their participation in qualification for the London Games.

Barbieri and Lydia Williams fought for the first-choice spot during qualifying, but Davey, who wants to focus on her season with the Victory, may well fancy her chances to feature in Tom Sermanni's plans in the near future.

"I'm striving for that at the moment and hopefully it will come around," she said.