Three More Major Additions To W-League Squads

Overnight, Melbourne City announced the hugely important retention of Emma Checker on two year deal, Western Sydney Wanderers have brought Teigen Allen back to the club and Brisbane Roar announce the signing of Shea Connors. We hear from the players and head coaches.

Above: Emma Checker – back in sky blue. Artwork supplied by: Melbourne City

Melbourne City FC have announced the re-signing of W-League Captain Emma Checker on a two-year deal.

Having joined City in 2019, Checker has made 23 appearances for the club and was named captain last season.

Playing in a star-studded team during her first season at City, Checker was part of the club’s record-breaking 2019/20 squad that went through the season undefeated on their way to a Premiership and Championship double.

After making her W-League debut as a 15-year-old, Checker has gone on to make 101 appearances in her career so far. In March she made her 100th W-League appearance in City’s 1-0 win over Perth Glory.

Checker has scored two career goals and netted her first in City blue in Round Five last season against Adelaide United.

Widely regarded as one of the best defenders in not just the W-League but country, she received a Matildas call-up for July’s friendlies against Netherlands and Germany, appearing in both fixtures to now sit on seven international caps.

Above: Checker photographed in June on her return to the Matildas squad. Photo: Football Australia.

Checker will again lead our W-League squad in season 2021/22 and is the second of many signings to be announced over the coming weeks.

W-League Head Coach Rado Vidosic said: “Emma’s an exceptional leader and having now been at the Club for the past two seasons, she knows exactly the way we want to play and will set a great example for the rest of the squad.

“She is one of the best and most experienced defenders in the W-League and I have no doubt she’ll continue to improve this season.”

Expressing her delight about resigning, Emma Checker said: “It was an easy decision to sign on for the next two years. I’ve loved my time at City so far and feel like there’s a lot more I can bring and contribute in the seasons to come.

“We’ve experienced some highs and some lows, but that’s football and it’s all in the way we bounce back this season. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I’m excited by the direction the Club is heading in.

“The Club shows great commitment and ambition towards the women’s team. It’s important as women that we feel valued by our club and that’s a big part of why I feel so heavily invested in the club in the long run.” 

Teigen Allen returns to Western Sydney Wanderers:

Above: Teigen Allen in action for Western Sydney Wanderers during her previous spell, against Adelaide United. Photo: Eric Berry

Western Sydney Wanderers FC have signed defender Teigen Allen for the upcoming W-League season.

The experienced defender returns to the club with over 120 appearances in the domestic competition as well as international experience with clubs Välerenga in Norway and Western New York Flash in the United States.

A Penrith Nepean junior, Allen brings a winning mentality and attitude to the club having won a number of accolades including an AFC Asian Cup, FFA Cup of Nations, and a W-League Premiership twice. 

Allen was part of the inaugural Wanderers W-League squad, making 21 appearances over two seasons, where she played alongside club legend and head coach Catherine Cannuli.

Head coach Catherine Cannuli welcomed Allen back to the club. “Teigen played an instrumental role in helping create the foundations of what the Wanderers W-League team looked like and stood for in its early years,” said Cannuli.

“It is fantastic to welcome back a player of such calibre to our club and a person who comes from the Western Sydney region that understands our mentality and ethos.

Above: Teigen Allen playing for the Matildas against Argentina in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

“Teigen is a true professional and someone that our next generation of Wander Women can look up to.”

Allen said she was ready to be pushed to her football limits at the Red & Black. “I’m at a stage in my career where I understand the importance of atmosphere and energy within a team and a club,” said Allen.

“I know I will be able to get the most out of myself and play my best football if and/when I am surrounded by a healthy football environment and I do believe the club and Catherine (head coach Catherine Cannuli) will and have provided that. 

“Catherine has always been a leader and a role to model to me since I first started my professional football career. I have so much respect for her on and off the field.

“I know playing for the Wanderers with Catherine as head coach, myself and my team will be pushed to our football limits. Putting us in a position to be a top-quality team, week in and week out, giving us the best opportunity we have to come finish on top.”

Brisbane Roar Sign Another Young Starlet:

Above: Shea Connors returns to Brisbane Roar after two years away. Photo: Brisbane Roar.

Brisbane Roar is excited to confirm NPL Queensland star Shea Connors as the Club’s fourth signing for the upcoming W-League campaign.

Following two games and a goal in a brief stint with the side two seasons ago, the prolific 25-year-old returns to Roar colours as one of the state’s leading strikers.
Connecticut-born Connors has already scored 30 times for NPL Women’s leaders Lions FC this term, improving her overall tally to 66 goals in 48 appearances in the competition.

Her sustained scoring form was recognised with a call-up to the Queensland state team that beat New South Wales in the Watson-O’Connor Cup late last year and she will now get the chance to carry that into a full W-League campaign.

“It’s definitely something I’ve been working towards and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Connors, who plays alongside Roar team-mates Mariel Hecher and Holly McQueen at Lions.

“I think Mariel said there’s so much talent here and it’s so true. I think the team is going to bond really well because everyone knows each other already in some capacity. We’re not starting from scratch, it’s going to be such a good group of girls.”

Having lived locally since arriving in Australia in 2019, Connors said she feels right at home in the Sunshine State.

Above: Shea Connors pictured with her NPL club Lions FC.
Photo: Lions FC.

“I absolutely love living in Queensland,” she said. “I never want to leave! It’s funny, I feel like an adopted Queenslander.

“And playing for Queensland against New South Wales last year, that was so much fun.
I feel like I’m not just a visitor, I want to live here. I’m trying to make this my home. I get a lot of pride from representing Queensland and playing for the only W-League club here.”

Head Coach Garrath McPherson said Connors would be a dangerous proposition for W-League defences.

“Shea is a proven goal scorer in the NPL Women’s competition and brings speed and attacking threat to our team.

“Like Mariel Hecher, Shea is an example of the pathway into the W-League environment that the NPL competition provides.

“She has shown across the last few seasons that she can create and convert goal scoring opportunities against the best defenders in Queensland.”

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