With just over a month until the landmark 10th season of the W-League commences, a host of clubs have released more information on squad signings.
Adelaide added to their roster with the return of central defender Emma Checker.
Absolutely thrilled to be back in home colours. Time to create some history with this amazing club ?? https://t.co/nFsSyEZ1nV
— Emma Checker (@EmmaChecker) September 22, 2017
The South Australian has returned to her home town clubs after several seasons on the eastern seaboard including winning a championship with Melbourne Victory and Premiership with Canberra United last season.
Another home town star returned home with Matildas forward Hayley Raso heading back to the Roar after a couple of seasons away with Melbourne Victory and Canberra United.
— Hayley Raso (@HayleyRaso) September 21, 2017
As wells the Matilda. Roar also announced the signing of a host of local players for the new season.
“As a club, we are delighted to have these players sign on for the upcoming Westfield W-League season,” Andreatta said.
“It is great to highlight the fact that most of these footballers have developed in the Queensland junior system.
Amy Chapman, Abbey Lloyd, Ayesha Norrie, Summer O’Brien, Natalie Tathem, Allira Toby, Kaitlyn Torpey and Georgina Worth have all committed as Mel Andreatta looks to build on Queensland locals for their 2017/18 W-League campaign.
- Amy Chapman: one of the most experienced squad members and a foundation player of the W-League. The attacking midfielder / striker has been with Brisbane since 2010
- Summer O’Brien: playing her third season with the Roar. O’Brien is a defender who can take up centre back or full back roles.
- Kaitlyn Torpey: a Young Matildas full back. Torpey is set for her third season with Brisbane.
- Allira Toby: the striker is set for a second season with Brisbane after moving from Adelaide United in Season 9.
- Ayesha Norrie: after a season with Melbourne Victory, the defensive midfielder and former Young Matilda returns to Brisbane.
- Natalie Tathem and Abbey Lloyd: both local products return for a second season with the Roar.
- Georgina Worth: the former Young Matildas goalkeeper enters a fourth W-League season and has already proven a capable back up to Mackenzie Arnold
“We’re anticipating another extremely competitive season ahead and each of these players has an important role to play in helping us be successful.
“The recruitment and the re-signing process will continue but we’ve made a strong start to our pre-season with our goal being to win a third championship.”
The defending regular season champions have added to their defensive stocks with the signing of English defender Laura Bassett.
— Laura Bassett (@laurabassett6) September 20, 2017
Bassett is a FIFA World Cup bronze medalist and a recent member of the Lioness squad that made to the semi finals of the European Championships.
“I’ve never been to that side of world,” the 34 year old told BBC Radio 5 Live. “The Australian league and the Australian national team are certainly really, really competitive on the world stage at the minute.”
“I can’t wait to get out and learn from the coaches, learn from the players out there and their training methods and really see what goes on on the other side of the world.”
It’s been like Christmas every day for Victory supporters this week with the club announcing a new signing every day.
It started with the announcement of goalkeeping duo Casey Dumont and Beth Mason-Jones on Monday.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) September 18, 2017
Tuesday saw Angela Beard joining the team after making 29 appearances for Brisbane Roar over three seasons.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) September 19, 2017
“I’m pretty excited about her and I think she will be a good get for us this year.” said Jeff Hopkins.
“She’s an aggressive player, and defensively she’s good one versus one. She loves to get forward and has a good left foot.”
Beard has spent most of the W-League off-season playing for Heidelberg United in the Women’s NPL,will add some balance to the full back positions of the Victory.
“She’s participating really well, she’s getting a lot out of the games and also doing a lot of work on her own as well.
“She’s very driven and single-minded and that’s what I like about her. She’s moved into a place here (in Melbourne), she’s independent to test herself.”
A duo of youngster were next to be announced with Mindy Barbieri returning for third season with Victory while Junior Matildas striker Kyra Cooney-Cross is set to make her W-League debut.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) September 20, 2017
On Cooney-Cross, Hopkins was enthusiastic about the possibility of one of Australia’s best young talents joining his team.
“Potentially she could be anything. I think she’s one of the biggest talents in her age group,” Hopkins revealed.
“She’s a really instinctive player in and around goal. She’s a striker, can play as a 10 or as a winger as well. It’s not just about the goal scoring side of things, she can create as well, seeing passes and executing.”
One of Victory’s longest serving players Gulca Koca also returns. The Victory foundation member will play her 9th season and already has 55 appearances and a championship to her name.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) September 21, 2017
“Last year we switched things around and played her as a six; we played with two sixes last year,” Hopkins said of the versatile Koca.
“She also played as a full back and she can give us cover as a central defender as well. When you have a smaller squad, players that can play well in different positions are really important.”
On Friday, Victory picked up NPL Golden Boot winner Melina Ayres. The striker has spent the last two W-League seasons with two time defending champions Melbourne City and makes the move to Victory gain more game time and experience.
An eye for goal ??
Can read the play ??
Can play up front or out wide ??
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) September 22, 2017
“She’s got a lot more to her than an eye for goal, even though that’s obviously a quality that you want in your striker,” Hopkins said. “She gives us flexibility to potentially play with two strikers as well.”
The final player signing of the week saw Young Matildas defender Annabel Martin commit for a third season with the Victory. Martin has been a bright light for Victory in the past couple of seasons and has been rewarded for her growth.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) September 23, 2017
The 18-year-old has been almost a permanent fixture in the team starting in 23 out of a possible 24 matches.
“She loves to get forward, to get outside the winger when they come inside and overlap,” Hopkins said.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more of her in a more advanced role this season. We’ve got the ability to go around the outside of our wingers and when we come inside, her and Angie [Beard] can get past.”
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
The Wanderers have announced their first two international signings in forward Marlous Pieëte and defender Maruschka Waldus.
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) September 21, 2017
As reported earlier in the month, Pieëte signs from Dutch champions Ajax having made 48 appearances in 4 season. Pieëte has represented the Netherlands 48 times and this will be her first time playing for an overseas club.
“Marlous has played at the very top with the Dutch national side and is coming off a successful season with Ajax. She will bring both quality and experience to the squad,” said Richard Byrnes.
Meanwhile Waldus comes from Icelandic club Fylkir FC. Waldus has had a globetrotting career playing in Netherlands, United States, Sweden, Germany and Iceland.
“Maruschka comes with a CV of playing in the top leagues across Europe, experience in the Champions League and the NWSL. She’s a fantastic addition to our team.”