Wauchope's Rhali Dobson and Melbourne City clash with Jets

On the move: Rhali Dobson in action for Melbourne City last weekend. Photo: Melbourne City/Aleksandar Jason Kostadinoski
On the move: Rhali Dobson in action for Melbourne City last weekend. Photo: Melbourne City/Aleksandar Jason Kostadinoski

THERE is no danger of Rhali Dobson entering the Newcastle Jets dressing rooms before Sunday’s W-League clash in Melbourne.

She won’t be overwhelmed when she faces her former club – and ladder-leaders – for the first time.

The Wauchope junior spent the first nine years of her W-League career at the Jets, before she linked with Melbourne City in the off-season.

She doesn’t hold any ill-feelings towards the Jets for letting her go.

Instead, the 25-year-old was more focused on how she could help City claim back-to-back wins.

“You always want to play with your home town, but at the same time I wouldn’t give this opportunity up with Melbourne City for the world,” Dobson said.

The forward admitted if she had the choice between Melbourne or Newcastle, she would have chosen the 2016/17 W-League champions.

“For me, this is what I have been asking for,” she said.

“My expectations are at the level of what Melbourne City expects so it’s really nice to come into an environment where I feel like a very calm and peaceful person.

“I don’t feel stressed; I feel happy with myself and with this club and with the direction and the culture that we have.”

The former Matilda admitted she would prepare for this weekend’s clash with the Jets as if it was just another game.

You always want to play with your home town, but at the same time I wouldn’t give this opportunity up with Melbourne City for the world.

Melbourne City forward Rhali Dobson

She did admit she had fans in Newcastle who continued to follow her progress.

“Playing Newcastle is just like playing any other team; it’s more that I’ve still got a lot of fans back in Newcastle and they still support me down here,” she said.

“So for me, the most important thing is that the fans are getting a good game and a good show of football from both sides.”

After playing 69 games for the Jets, Dobson admitted they had played a role in getting her to where she is.

Dobson has played limited minutes in City’s opening two games of the season.

She missed out altogether in their 4-1 opening round loss in Perth before returning last week.

In the 69th minute, Dobson entered the fray and then delivered the perfect cross for defender Rebekah Stott to head home in the 82nd minute.

It proved to be the decisive goal of the match.

“Coming off the bench in that atmosphere at AAMI Park and knowing who you’re going to play with – that in itself is special,” Dobson said.

Playing Newcastle is just like playing any other team; it’s more that I’ve still got a lot of fans back in Newcastle and they still support me down here.

Rhali Dobson

“Stotty made this run as the ball was coming out to me and she went to the back stick.

“I knew I had to stand it up to the back stick and hope she headed it home.

“As soon as I saw her head it I knew it was going in.”

Despite not getting on the field at NIB Stadium in the opening round, Dobson admitted she was happy to bide her time.

“Of course you want to get on and play but for me, I knew there was a reason and whatever that reason is, that’s sport,” she said.

“Sport is a game of opinions and decisions and that’s how that first week played out.”

She believes she is in the best shape both physically and mentally, for 10 years.

“Melbourne City have given me this amazing opportunity and it feels like home,” she said.

Sport is a game of opinions and decisions and that’s how that first week played out.

Rhali Dobson

“The most important thing is performing well for the Melbourne City fans, for my teammates and the coaching staff because they’ve put in so much effort with me.

“I settled really quickly; I was surprised how well I did because I don’t adapt to change significantly well in terms of quickness.

 “I love Melbourne, even if the weather is a bit bipolar.”

Sunday’s match kicks off at 4.30pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports One.