W-League Player of the Week: Katie Hoyle

Melbourne Victory’s New Zealand international Katie Hoyle played a key role as the leaders edged a crucial win over fellow title aspirants Canberra United on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory-s New Zealand international Katie Hoyle played a key role as the leaders edged a crucial win over fellow title aspirants Canberra United on Sunday.

The hard-working defensive midfielder has been an unsung hero for the Victory during their impressive campaign.

Hugely experienced at international level, Hoyle has formed an impressive partnership with Wales skipper Jess Fishlock in the heart of the Victory midfield.

With the finals starting to hone into view, Hoyle talks about the team-s success, playing in Australia and the Victory-s championship ambitions.

It was a high-intensity and fast-paced game against Canberra on Sunday. How did you find it? Attacking wise Canberra were very threatening. We had to really work on our defensive positioning, tracking back and being ready for their attacks.

It was the team-s first win this season against one of the other top three teams. Does that provide added confidence? It certainly does. We knew coming in Canberra are a really tough team and that it would be close. Our team works with a game by game focus. Any win is good for confidence and team morale.

What do you put the team-s success down to this season? I-m a big believer that if your team gets on well off the field, it helps on the field. We are a tight unit, have a tight bond and it helps us work hard for each other.

Sounds like you-re enjoying your first season in Australia? I-m really enjoying it I was originally meant to only play the first part of the season, but I have managed to extend it given am enjoying it so much.

How did you come to be in Australia? I knew Dave Edmondson from New Zealand. I hadn-t been coached by him but I got in touch. The league in New Zealand is not too flash, so I was wanting to get some games in Australia where the quality is better and I it would help my performance.

How are you enjoying things off the field? Really good. I lived with Jessica Samuelsson and it has been good fun. The girls are always up for hanging out and going to the beach or whatever.

Can the team go one step better than last year and win the league? I think so, I believe in the team but our team view is that we take one game at a time. If everyone puts in a good performance on the day than the team has it what it takes to win the league.

What do you think of New Zealand-s prospects for the next FIFA Women-s World Cup? We are definitely going in the right direction and have achieved some good results. We still haven-t beaten the Aussies for a while but that is coming (laughs). We have some high goals for the World Cup and Olympics and I think we will continue to progress.

Which player are you most enjoying playing alongside? That would have to be (Jess) Fishlock, given we play in the middle together. She is a quality player. She is easy to play alongside, works off you, you know she has your back if you go forward, and knows the game so well.

Who would you say is the funniest team-mate? Hard to pick, they are all jokers, but I would have to say Lisa De Vanna.

And what about the coolest? That is too hard to pick. There are a great bunch so I couldn-t pick just one.