A-League Women’s Premiers Melbourne City will meet the Newcastle Jets in the first leg of their semi-final on Sunday, as one of two clubs looking to maintain the status quo of competition history in the face of invigorated underdogs.

Since City’s 2015/16 entry to the competition, they and Sydney FC have shared eleven of seventeen trophies. Thow in Melbourne Victory, and the trio account for twenty of the thirty-one pieces of silverware lifted since the previously-termed W-League began.

City and Sydney now face the Jets and Mariners respectively, both opponents coming off their first-ever finals wins. The Jets ended their sixteen-year wait with a four goal blitz against Western United, while the Mariners beat the Victory on penalties to prolong their returning season.

By the time City kick-off against Newcastle in Maitland on Sunday, it will have been twenty-one days since they leapfrogged the Sky Blues to win the Premiership in their previous outing; despite the break, manager Dario Vidosic has no doubt his group will have managed it to their utmost advantage.

It will have been twenty-one days since City defeated Perth to leapfrog Sydney FC and win the Plate by the time they kick-off against the Jets on Sunday; despite the break, manager Dario Vidosic has no doubt his group will have managed it to their utmost advantage.

‘We’ve achieved one of our goals, now we have another we’re out to achieve. Training has been excellent, and we’re ready and really excited for the week ahead now that we know who our opponent is’, Vidosic told Box2Box.

‘We had a good chance to recover after the regular season heading into the international break, especially after a tough trip to Perth, so that was a good chance to give the girls a couple of days off. They know what’s at stake, they want to win more and have set their sights on the Grand Final. – that starts on Sunday.’

Reaching the final day of the season trailing Sydney by two points, City were dealt a slice of luck by the fixture and their opponents as the Sky Blues capitulated while City warmed up pre-game in the West. They undeniably grabbed that opportunity for all it was worth, Shelby McMahon’s 89th minute goal ultimately sealing their first silverware in four seasons.

‘We’d spoken about scenarios prior and said ‘look, prepare as you normally do, and we’ll keep an eye on the score and let everyone know whether that game carries significance.’ I had a feeling all along that it would so it was nice when it did come about.

‘I haven’t really thought about it [since] to be honest, I’ve kept moving… but there was happiness for the girls to achieve what they deserved after the football they’ve displayed this season, some of the stuff I’ve asked them to play, there was joy that they got to achieve that.

‘It’s always special. I carry the sentiment that the Premiership, over the course of the season, twenty-two games home and away and the same for everyone [is most significant], so that we were the best team is a great achievement. We have to very quickly put that aside as there’s another trophy for the taking.’

In their path awaits Newcastle, emboldened by stacking their goals column with eighteen in their past four, unshackled by their historically poor finals record. Manager Ryan Campbell took over from Gary van Egmond in January, and possesses significant strike weapons in Sarina Bolden and Melina Ayres.

‘Ayres is one who gave us grief in the semi-finals last year [for Melbourne Victory] when we lost on penalties, and we know the danger Sarina possesses. They’ve hit really good form going into the end of the season.

‘We know Newcastle really get behind their women’s team and it’s going to be a bumper crowd. They might play with nothing to lose, in a way, as we come in as Premiers, but we have to respect them. Good team, good coach, and in this league anyone is dangerous on their day, as we’ve seen many times.’