Hopkins: AFC Club Championship experience a huge positive for Victory

Melbourne Victory boss Jeff Hopkins believes his team’s experience at the AFC Women's Club Championship will help their aspirations in the Westfield W-League.

The defending Westfield W-League Premiers ended their inaugural campaign at the tournament with a 5-0 loss to tournament winners Nippon TV Beleza on Saturday.

Playing against Asia’s best women’s club sides, Victory ended the event in South Korea with one draw and two defeats.

But Hopkins is taking plenty of positives from the experiences, believing the players will have learned plenty to bring back with them to Australia.

"A lot of coming here is about seeing how good opponents are. I've seen a lot of their [Beleza's] players playing at international level," Hopkins said.

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"We realised how good they would be. Again, how we could cope with how good they are most probably was a bit of a surprise to me that we didn't cope defensively with it very well.

“We didn't cope too well with the pressure on the ball. That's probably the big disappointment for me is our lack of ability to keep possession of the ball.

"But we spoke before and said it's a learning process for us, we want to get better and look, sometimes you've got to take a few hard hits before you can turn things around and get better."

Victory will now quickly turn their attention back to Westfield W-League duties, where the club have started their premiership defence with one win and one defeat from two games.

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The will play their first home match of the 2019/20 campaign on Saturday, December 7, taking on high-flying Western Sydney Wanderers at Latrobe City Stadium (kick-off 4pm AEDT).

"I think the players and myself will leave [South Korea] in no doubt that there's a gap and we'll look at the games carefully and try and find out in more detail where the gaps are and then we'll get working on bridging the gap, getting closer and closer,” Hopkins said.

"It's definitely disappointing, but that's what we're here for, we were here to compete but we were here to learn as well to hopefully help us get better.

"Sometimes you need to take a hard hit. Often in life they're the best lessons when you really get hurt, it makes you really want to turn things around and start improving things."

Melbourne Victory host the Wanderers in Round 4, in a match played on Saturday, 7 December at 4pm AEDT at Latrobe City Stadium.
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