Foundation player Ellie Brush and youngsters Grace Maher and Nicki Flannery are heading back to Canberra United for the 2016/17 W-League season.

The announcements follow the re-signing of strike duo Michelle Heyman and Ashleigh Sykes earlier this week.

"I'm really excited to announce the re-signing of foundation player and inaugural captain, Ellie Brush and the re-signing of two of our brightest young players in Grace Maher and Nicki Flannery,” said head coach Rae Dower.

“We thought it was appropriate that we announced them together today to celebrate the experience and youth that will be the cornerstone of our squad for this season.”

28 year old Ellie Brush is one of the stalwarts of the W-League and its highest capped, and one of the most decorated, player with 94 appearances over eight seasons.

Currently playing for Houston Dash in the NWSL, the central defender has been a cornerstone of Canberra since day one and her presence in a changing squad will be vital.

"It is such an honour to be able to come back for a 9th season to represent the club and my home town,” said Brush.

“This club in particular has always put the players first and done a lot over the years to improve the league as a whole and I can't wait to get back and start the season with them."

Brush currently in the 90s club – along with Melbourne City's Marianna Tabain (91), Sydney FC captain Teresa Polias (90) and Brisbane Roar captain Clare Polkinghorne (90) – and is set to become the first W-League player to reach 100 appearances.

“I'm proud to have been a part of this club since the inception of the league and have had the chance to witness the growth of the league over that time.”

At the other end of the spectrum, United have retained young Canberra locals Maher and Flannery.

Part of the 2015 W-League championship side, Maher heads into her third season with Canberra and, after starring in the Young Matildas recent AFC qualifiers, will be one of the players anticipated to have a more prominent role in the midfield - particularly with a midfield that is absent Kendall Fletcher (Western Sydney), Caitlin Munoz (ACL), Julia De Angelis (College) and Grace Gill (retirement).

"I can't wait to put on the green jersey again this season alongside players like Ellie who have been with the club since the beginning,” Maher said.

“The support we get here in Canberra is amazing and brings me so much pride to be a part of this team."

Forward Flannery heads into her second season and will provide depth to the front line after a promising start to her W-League career.

“Nicki and Grace are part of the current Young Matilda's squad and are the future of Canberra United,” Dower said.

“Having players of the caliber of Ellie, Michelle and Ash around with their leadership and guidance assures that the club is in really good hands."

Canberra United will have a bye in the opening round of the season before commencing a search for a third title on 12 November 2016.

Confirmed / Announced Players

Ellie Brush, Nicki Flannery, Michelle Heyman, Grace Maher, Stephanie Ochs, Ashleigh Sykes