Adelaide United's goal of qualifying for their first finals series have been given a boost with the return of former Matildas captain and 2013/14 W-League Goalkeeper of the Year Melissa Barbieri.

Returning from the birth of daughter Holly, Barbieri had a stellar 2013/14 W-League season, leading to the Lady Reds to their best defensive record and highest points total and table position.

“To have her back was massive for us," said coach Ross Aloisi in The Advertiser.

"It was a priority to have Bubs (Barbieri) back she was in career best form, she won the goalkeeper of the year."

As with last season, the continuation of her football career comes at personal cost to the three time World Cup representative.

While Barbieri returned to Adelaide last week to commence pre-season training, a now 18 month old Holly has remained in Melbourne with husband Geoff and Barbieri's mother.  The custodian concedes that finding a compromise to see her resume the No.1 with the Reds took some work and the separation will be difficult.

“It [football] had to fit in with my family because it was very hard last time (season), financially and being away from home (Melbourne).’’

“It was just more of assuring my husband that it was going to be OK, he’s like “we have to put our life on hold for football once again.”

“I’ll speak to her on the phone a little bit but otherwise I’ll just focus on what I’m here for and when I’m home, I’m home."

Aloisi, who himself parted from his family to play for the Wellington Phoenix during the 2007/08 season, has been accommodating of the special circumstances with Barbieri set to head home for a couple of extra days at the conclusion of each W-League match.

“We’ve allowed her to come back into training with us on Wednesdays and then go home after a game because we realise the family is very, very important."

Aloisi, who was appointed Head of the FFSA's women's program, is confident that with the return of key players Barbieri, Kristy Moore, Jenna McCormick and Tiarn Powell the Reds can continue to make further strides. Add to that the continual development of exciting attacking prospects Emily Condon (16) and U17 National Team player Alex Chidiac (15)  and the Adelaide squad is shaping up as one that will once again prove difficult to overcome.

The Reds kick off their season away to Sydney FC on 14 September 2014.