Calder United holds all four major trophies in the Women’s National Premier League Victoria.
The Keilor Park-based team plays an exciting, high-scoring, attacking brand of soccer that would delight even neutral fans.
It has a team laden with talent, with no fewer than five current W-League players on the roster, two high-quality imports and a star in Rachel Alonso, a striker with the ability to bring fans to their feet with spectacular goals in blockbuster games.
Calder president Eric Psarianos reckons it is time that his club – in particular the players – get the recognition they deserve as the premier women’s soccer team in Victoria.
“We’re the first team in NPL history to hold all four major trophies at the one time,” Psarianos said. “It would be nice to be acknowledged a little bit better because of it.”
Calder United’s dream run began last season when it claimed the Premier’s Plate after finishing top of the WNPLV.
Calder went on to become champions of 2016, eclipsing Geelong Galaxy United 2-1 in the grand final. It gave Calder the chance to feature in the inaugural FFV Community Shield before this season, and they soared to a stunning 7-1 win over Heidelberg United in February.
Calder pulled off the grand slam late last month when it beat FC Bulleen Lions in the Team App Cup final, meaning they are current holders of all four major trophies on offer.
Psarianos could not contain his delight when talking about Calder United’s achievement. He feels the wider football community has yet to fully acknowledge what the club has achieved.
“I’m a lot more than thrilled,” Psarianos said.
“It’s sort of exceeded my expectations when we put this all together. The group, everyone around the club, there’s just a real buzz and it’s been there from day one.”
Calder’s professionalism is unmatched in the WNPLV. Coaches Mark Torcaso and Ian Williamson provide a training program and a game plan that is followed to a tee by the players.
Co-captains Alonso and Rachel Binning are everything Calder United can ask for in leaders. Alonso, who has 13 goals this season, is a Melbourne Victory player, while defender Binning was part of Melbourne City’s run to the W-League title. Goalkeeper Beth Mason-Jones and midfielders Mindy Barbieri and Gulcan Koca also play for Victory. The international flavour is provided by Kasha Meyer from the United States and recent signing Rebecca Dempster, a Scottish international.
Just as important for Calder is to promote local youth. Barbieri, a former Keilor Park junior and a Maribyrnong College student, is the top home-grown prospect. She is part of the Young Matildas under-20 national team.
Calder United’s WNPLV title defence is on track. United sits second, two points behind South Melbourne, with six games remaining.
Calder and South will meet in a blockbuster at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday at 3pm. Psarianos admits it has been harder as the hunted than when they were the hunters.
“Every team is coming for us because we’re the reigning champions,” he said.