Western United midfielder Melissa Taranto is overjoyed to be on the pitch with her new teammates as the Club’s inaugural Liberty A-League Women team commenced pre-season training on Monday.
Taranto, alongside her twin sister Adriana and 16 other players, kicked off a four-week period of intense training under Head Coach Mark Torcaso and Assistant Coach Helen Winterburn.
Having been in the Western United Women’s Development squad over the last 12 months, the 23-year-old spoke of her excitement to train as an official member of the Club for the first time.
“It’s amazing to be back. We’ve spoken about being in the Green and Black for so long, so to finally be out here training again – we love it, we’re so excited. I already said to the girls I can’t wait for tomorrow, just to be back training with everyone,” she said.
With a strong contingent of Calder players in the side, there is already a distinct familiarity amongst the playing group which Taranto said has been complemented by players from interstate and overseas.
“It already feels like we’re a team out there. The most important part is gelling as a team, which already you can see on the pitch,” she said.
Being a central midfielder, Taranto is relishing the tough competition for places in the middle of the pitch with a number of players seeking to earn minutes this season.
Alongside her sister, Taranto will compete with the likes of Emma Robers, Alana Cerne and international star Jaclyn Sawicki for match minutes, as well as Matildas ace Chloe Logarzo.
“I remember back in 2015 I played against her when she was at Newcastle. I don’t know if she’ll remember me!” Taranto said of Logarzo.
“It’s going to be exciting, coming full circle, being here and being a bit older and hopefully playing with her. I think she’ll bring a lot of experience into the team, obviously being in the Matildas and just playing overseas, so that’s really exciting.”
Taranto and her teammates will continue preparations with intense training sessions and friendly matches in the weeks to come before the blockbuster Round 1 clash against Melbourne Victory on November 19.