W-League: Dobson set to play former club Newcastle in Melbourne

Most players would be itching to go up against their former club, hell-bent on proving a point.

WINNING PLAY: Rhali Dobson debuted for Melbourne City last weekend. Picture: Dion Fountas

WINNING PLAY: Rhali Dobson debuted for Melbourne City last weekend. Picture: Dion Fountas

But to long-serving Jets player Rhali Dobson taking on Newcastle in Melbourne on Sunday will be like any other game.

The 25-year-old strike weapon was on board when the Jets took flight in the W-League in 2008.

She made nearly 70 appearances for Newcastle in eight seasons, missing just 2012, and earned a call-up to the national side in 2014 on her W-League form.  

Dobson was not in Newcastle’s plans for this season but was instead handed a W-League lifeline by competition heavyweights Melbourne City.

She has not looked back.

In her debut appearance for City on Friday night, Dobson came off the bench in the 69th minute then provided the matchwinner in a 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory.

Dobson delivered a pinpoint cross from the right sideline which found Rebekah Stott for a back-stick header in the 82nd minute. 

She rated the experience as on par with her Matildas debut and is still pinching herself to be part of what most consider to be the best W-League squad on paper.

“I look at the calibre of players around me and for me to take my game to the next level I need to work harder than I’ve ever worked before,” Dobson said.

“I’ve put it in my head this year that I’ve got to work three times as hard as anyone else and I think it’s really starting to come through.”

Dobson goes up against the Jets for the first time on Sunday when City host Newcastle at AAMI Park.

But her only focus will be helping City get another three points.

“It’s just another game, we just have to perform and get the job done,” she said.

Dobson has already seen personal changes on and off the park since joining City.

“More than anything I’m feeling personally, physically and mentally stronger. I can quite comfortably say that,” she said.

“For me some of my best football is going to come out of this year because of the people around me and the environment that we have and how professional the club is and what we have access to.”