Tyla Jay Vlajnic hails Western United fans ahead of ALW derby

Tyla Jay Vlajnic Western United

Tyla Jay Vlajnic has been loving life at Western United and hailed the impact of the loyal fanbase that has been supporting the Club’s inaugural Liberty A-League Women team.

The Green and Black have claimed three wins from three games to begin the campaign and will face arguably its toughest test yet against Melbourne City on Saturday.

Back in Victoria for the first time since Round 1, United will be eager to put on a show and Vlajnic said the backing from the fans will give the players added motivation, as well as the opportunity to make a statement to the league.

“I think what we’ve got here is we’ve got a good opportunity to go out there and show the league and the country that we’re a serious team, and I know the fans will be out to support us,” she said.

“I think that gives us, definitely, an edge. The Western fans have been amazing so far and I hope we can get the job done for them, for ourselves and the Club.”

Coming off its first bye week of the season, United has been able to reset and recharge ahead of the meeting with City, the only other side whose record remains perfect.

Vlajnic has seen the positives of that week off in the way the team has trained throughout the week and believes the break came at just the right time.

“I think the timing was perfect. Getting those three wins and then having the weekend to refocus and be away from the environment. Maybe that’s another reason why coming into this week, training has been so good,” she said.

After missing out on Round 1, Vlajnic had an instant impact on her debut against Wellington Phoenix, creating a direct assist from a corner and setting up another goal via her delivery.

Getting forward and showcasing her delivery into the box from set pieces is how she likes to play, and she will be hoping to do it against City, a side she represented 55 times.

Despite her ties to United’s opponents, Vlajnic said she hasn’t been giving it any thought and is focused purely on picking up an important result for the Green and Black.

“I haven’t really thought about City much at all in terms of being my previous club or anything like that. This season, they’re another team and another team that we need to beat,” she said.

“I think they’re young, they’re exciting, but so are we. For us, there’s no pressure. We don’t have a lot to prove in terms of history, and we’re going to go out and do what we’ve been doing for the first three rounds.”

Saturday’s match will also be United’s first at AAMI Park in the Liberty A-League, a place Vlajnic knows well and one that the younger players in the squad will be excited to experience.

“To date, AAMI Park is my favourite stadium to play in, I’m sure once the Western facilities are built that will be my favourite stadium,” Vlajnic said.

“AAMI Park is a great place to play, I’ve always loved playing there, and I think the younger girls going in will be a little bit excited to have that environment, and hopefully we can get a decent crowd out to fill it with a bit of noise.”

Vlajnic and the rest of the back four will hope to tame City’s league-leading attack in search of a fourth straight win a big three points over a local rival.