Popovic proves that practice makes perfect

Vedrana Popovic’s match-winning free kick against Melbourne Victory on Saturday afternoon was proof that practice does make perfect.

Vedrana Popovic-s match-winning free kick against Melbourne Victory on Saturday afternoon was proof that practice does make perfect.

When teammate Katrina Gorry was taken down outside the penalty area after 18 minutes of play at the Veneto Club, Brisbane Roar Women midfielder Popovic was ready to make an impact.

Her sweetly-struck set piece that sailed above Victory ‘keeper Brianna Davey in to the top right corner ended up being the decider as the visitors prevailed 1-0 in the round two match.

Admitting she spends time either side of training to practice her free kicks, Popovic said she hoped this was only the start of some dead ball masterpieces as the season progresses.

“It was a really tough game but it was great to have a win and get on the scoresheet,” she said.

“We-ve been practising a few set pieces at training and I-ve been taking them in the games so I was happy to see it go into the top corner.

“Hopefully I-ll be able to score a few more free kicks this season.”

The 20-year-old is somewhat a veteran in the largely new-look Brisbane Roar Women side this season, despite her young age.

She was a member of the club-s inaugural Westfield W-League squad back in the 2008/09 season before year-long stints at Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory - a period where her football progressed and she began receiving call-ups to the Westfield Young Matildas squad.

Back at the Roar - her hometown club - from last season onwards, not only has Popovic matured beyond her years but she-s also developed herself into a confident central midfielder.

After years playing as a defender, she knows her versatility can play a big part in her role under new Head Coach Belinda Wilson.

“Last year, I ended up moving into the central midfield role due to injury to a few other players,” she said.

“I used to play midfield when I was younger so I found it easy to get comfortable.

“This year, Belinda has been using me at both centre-mid and right-back at training so we-ll see where I play over the season.

“I like midfield, right back, right wing - I-m comfortable anywhere in those positions.”

Brisbane Roar Women take on Sydney FC Women on Saturday, 3 November at Cleveland Showgrounds. Kick off is at 3pm.

Tickets available at the gate - adults $5, children under 14 and concession $2 and children under 14 free. Brisbane Roar members also receive free entry.