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Perfect no longer the goal for City

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Ben McKay

If the perfect is the enemy of the good, it's only natural that Melbourne City's W-League side have become the enemy.

City re-defined excellence in their debut season last year, winning every match of their season and claiming the premiership-championship double.

Joe Montemurro's side will begin their defence on Sunday when Newcastle Jets come to visit, and the coach insists another 100 per cent campaign isn't on anyone's mind.

"We're not even thinking about it," he said.

"This season is going to be challenging and we need to focus.

"We want to play good football. We're part of the City Group and playing a good brand of football is very important to us."

In a much-changed league, where almost every side has added international class, City has also re-shaped their playing stocks.

Mercurial captain Lisa de Vanna hasn't returned for another season, with Steph Catley given the armband.

Last season's best player, Scot Kim Little, has also stayed home, with golden boot winner Larissa Crummer to miss the opening month with an ankle injury.

Attacker Beattie Goad has headed to the US to study, imposing defender Jen Beattie has Champions League duties with Manchester City and youngsters Alex Chidiac and Monique Iannella have also found new homes.

A veteran of women's football, Montemurro says he doesn't begrudge any of his players moving on given the demands of the sport.

"Players need to be commended because some of these girls haven't stopped playing for years," he said.

"They go from league to league to league, not paid very well and you really commend what they do as elite athletes. That's why we look to take care of them when they do come here."

The new faces charged with defending City's title could be just as formidable as the departing lot.

American duo Lauren Barnes and Erika Tymrak bring a strong pedigree, with Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams ensuring City will be again tough to score against.

Given all the moves - both at City and across the league - Montemurro is delighted that match day has arrived and his new generation can be put to the test.

"The league's definitely gotten better. A lot of clubs have recruited well with a lot of international players. We expect a lot of tough games and a very competitive W-League," he said.

"Sydney are going to be very strong. Canberra are going to be very strong. Adelaide have recruited well.

"It's great that the clubs are lifting their recruiting and their processes. It's only good for the game and it's going to be a great season."

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