Victory on the up going into derby

Melbourne Victory might be at the wrong end of the table but team veteran Enza Barilla says her side are now finding their feet heading into the derby against Sydney FC.

It has been a hard road for the Victory this term, but the 2014 champs seem to be finding momentum just in time to turn it on for the Fox Sports/ABC TV cameras on Sunday at AAMI Park.

Barilla is the veteran of numerous encounters against the NSW rivals, with the attacking midfielder now the club’s only survivor from season one.

Barilla, who is just a few appearances shy of club record-holder Steph Catley, talks through the Victory’s season so far and the influx of young players this season.

It has been a slow start for the team but do you feel like Melbourne Victory is gaining cohesion now?
We are a young team and had a slow start to the season, but we are definitely no easy-beats. We are improving with every game, and certainly the ladder doesn’t reflect where we want to be.

What is the team doing well now that wasn’t the case at the start of the season?
It has taken time to get to know each other and understand each other’s style of play. It was a bit of a rushed and hectic start to the season and the coach wasn’t announced until just before the season. We have settled now and it is a shame it is only a 12-week season because if we had more time you would see us moving up the ladder.

Do you enjoy the role of being one of the older players now?
It is good to have that experience behind you because know that things will come right when they are not going so well. I can remember being as scared as hell when I started, but the support I got from the older players is something I will take with me forever.

And do you still get nervous before a big game like this?
A few nerves and a lot of excitement. Plenty of excitement amongst the group, and now it is nice to be able to help the young girls along. Being a double-header and at AAMI Park makes for a lot of excitement. Hopefully we get a good crowd in early to watch.

And there is a good history between the two clubs, especially that famous grand final?
We know each other really well, and that game was very memorable for sure. One thing for sure is that it will always be a close and entertaining game between the two of us.

With so many young players at Melbourne Victory, how do you think the team is looking in the longer term?
There are more young girls coming through which is great. The young girls are the future and it is exciting to see them at come into the team and develop at such a young age. It definitely is a bright future for all of us at the club.