Ferns defender Claudia Bunge expects ‘a bit of friendly fire’ from her Phoenix friends

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Football Fern Claudia Bunge expects a “bit of friendly fire” when she turns out for Melbourne Victory against a Wellington Phoenix side that includes some of her national squad teammates.

“I’m really excited,” Bunge told FTBL.com.au ahead of Victory’s A-League match against the Phoenix set for Sunday (6pm NZT).

I’ve grown up with a lot of the girls who play for the Phoenix and every time I play them, I definitely want to beat them.

“There’s definitely a bit of friendly fire and we’re mates off the field after the game, but I’m really looking forward to it and it should be a competitive game.

“I’ve been following them quite closely and I know Nat (Lawrence, Phoenix coach) quite well; she’s been coaching me over the past few years.”

Bunge (23), who has anchored the Victory defence for three seasons and two A-League titles, says her side knows what to expect of a Phoenix side she sees as physical and keen to press for the full game.

Main photo: Claudia Bunge … her Victory side is still looking for their first win this season.

One of the players Bunge will face is teenage striker Alyssa Whinham  who says she’s been doing her homework on opposing defenders as she tries to step up her game in her second season of A-League football.

The Wellington Phoenix and Football Ferns forward says defenders have made it difficult for her so far this season, restricting her ability to turn and dribble which is part of her natural game.

As for Bunge, she’s hoping to put one over her on Sunday evening.

Here’s Whinham’s midweek media conference:

Change of venue

The game has moved to Epping Stadium from City Vista with the pitch at Fraser Rise ruled unsuitable for play.

Fixture

Game to be played on Sunday December 4

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
Epping Stadium, Melbourne, 6pm (NZT)

Credit

This story is published with the help of the Wellington Phoenix.

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