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Alex Chidiac headlines late flurry of City signings

Melbourne City have announced a host of late W-League signings, with headline acquisition Alex Chidiac returning to the club following a three-year spell with Atletico Madrid.

21-year-old Chidiac played 22 games for Atletico, scoring three goals, but a combination of the language barrier and long-term injuries made her time in Spain difficult. In an interview with Sporting News earlier this year, the midfielder described not being able to interpret team tactics or the expectations of her role in midfield, and so was left to play her natural game without knowing how to fit the system.

Chidiac will look to build on her 10 appearances for City when she returns from her mandatory 14-day quarantine period and will provide some much-needed quality in the centre of the park, with Director of Football Michael Petrillo describing her as a “technically gifted player that can run at players and create chances which is exactly what we needed in our midfield.”

Darrian Traynor // Getty Images

City announced Chidiac’s return amongst a host of other late signings, including familiar name Lia Muldeary, who debuted for City as a 15-year-old in 2017 alongside current teammate and close friend Sofia Sakalis. Muldeary is the first of two defenders mentioned in the mass signing, with Victorian NTC program product Naomi Chinnama also set to spend the season with City.

The club also announced the acquisition of Sarah Cain, a deep-lying playmaker with previous NPLW experience for Bulleen Lions, for whom she was pivotal in initiating attacking transitions.

Striker Harriet Withers also joins City after coming through the American college system with Murray State University in Kentucky, for whom she was named three-time Player of the Year. Withers scored in City’s 3-3 pre-season draw with Victory, finishing a well-worked cross from Holly Palmer.

Perhaps the most intriguing signing was that of Margot Robinne, who has experience in the French first and second tiers before later coming Down Under and bossing the NPLW with Bulleen Lions and Bayside United. Though Melbourne City has noted her as an attacking midfielder, Bayside United described her as “one of the leagues most deadly forwards” in their social media post which announced her signing for City, with the NPLW club also referencing her incredible record of 21 goals in 26 games in the 2019 NPLW season.

Cain, Chinnama, Muldeary, Robbine and Withers had all been train-on players with City throughout the pre-season and have been rewarded for their performances with senior contracts.

Melbourne City’s senior sides open their respective seasons with a double-header against Brisbane Roar on Tuesday, December 29.

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