NAB young footballer of the year nominee: Melina Ayres
The move across town from Melbourne City might be a risky one for some, but it worked out pretty well for Victory youngster Melina Ayres.
The 19-year-old made 11 appearances and nine W-League stars this season, scoring two goals including a spectacular goal of the month against her old club in January.
Ayres is a striker with the ability to play out wide, and having spent some time with the Young Matildas she’s earmarked as a potential national team star of the future.
Currently in the W-League off-season, Ayres is turning out in the Victoria NPL Women’s competition with South Melbourne for whom she once scored five goals in a single match.
BY THE NUMBERS
A solitary assist means Ayres was involved in three goals throughout her 11 matches this season, but it wasn’t her only contribution to the side going forward.
The 19-year-old was a constant threat for defences around the competition as she fired in 15 shots and made ten key passes.
The stats make it clear that Ayres loves running from left to right – nearly a third of her passes this season went in that direction.
WHY SHE SHOULD WIN
Two absolute thunderbolts from outside the area made the competition sit up and take notice of Melina Ayres, and showed just the precision and technique the youngster possesses.
It’s her third season of W-League football and her eleven appearances in 2017/18 are the most she’s made so far, scoring as many goals this season as she did in the past two years at City.
Both of those goals were Goal of the Round in rounds 10 and 11, and Ayres' ability to turn in the ball from anywhere on the park make her one of the most dangerous young players in the league.