Three A-League Women clubs announced player signings today. Impetus‘ Ben Gilby heard from all the players and head coaches involved (27/7/22).
Norrie Back At Brisbane
Brisbane Roar is delighted to announce the re-signing of its Liberty A-League captain Ayesha Norrie for the 2022/23 season.
Norrie will officially rejoin the Roar following the completion of the NPL Queensland Women’s season with her current club Lions FC.
A Brisbane local, Norrie captained the team for the first time last season after returning to the club where she made her top-flight debut as a 16-year-old.
She made 13 appearances and chipped in with two goals as her outstanding efforts at the base of midfield culminated in her winning the Player of the Year award.
“I’m excited to be back on board and to get started again with the Roar later this year,” Norrie said.
“Brisbane is home for me so it’s always an honour to put on the jersey and represent the city and the state. My first year being captain, it was a learning experience for sure. It helped me grow as a person on and off the field and given me more confidence.
“I hope to continue that next season with the team. We had to start from scratch a bit last year, so it’s good to know we’re bringing a few core players back. We can build on that. We’ll definitely grow again with a bit more experience, a bit more familiarity.”
Norrie linked up with Lions FC in the NPL Women’s competition in April but is currently taking a break from competitive action to rehab a back injury.
Head Coach Garrath McPherson described the captain’s return as a “priority” for the Roar. “Eash is a strong, empathetic leader who sets the standard for both work ethic and care for others,” McPherson said.
“She had a breakout season for Brisbane both as a player and a captain. I am sure the fans are excited to hear that she is returning to lead the club for another campaign.”
Canberra Add NPLW Victoria Star Murray
Canberra United are pleased to announce the signing of versatile defender Holly Murray on a multi-year deal.
Murray is the latest signing by new United Head Coach Njegosh Popovich and inks a deal with the club off the back of a series of superb performances in the Victorian National Premier League with South Melbourne.
The youngster burst onto the local scene as a 12-year-old being named as part of Alamein FC’s inaugural Victorian NPL squad at U15 level and latterly represented the Football Victoria (FV) Emerging squad and was a train-on player at Melbourne Victory.
“I am so excited about signing for Canberra United and playing in the Liberty A-League,” Murray said.
“It has always been a dream of mine to play in this league and to get the opportunity to do so for such a great club is amazing. I am grateful to Njegosh and the club for giving me the chance to show what I can do in this league. I can’t wait to get to Canberra to meet the staff and supporters and get started!”
The highly-rated Murray was recently named in a Herald Sun feature as one of the best young junior prospects in Victoria and it’s that potential, coupled with an innate game-sense that has persuaded Popovich to snap her up for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns.
“Holly is a quality addition to our squad for the new season,” Popovich enthused of his new player.
“She is an excellent defender who reads the game well, is strong in the challenge, and has a good turn of pace, all the hallmarks required of being a top-class defender in the Liberty A-League.
“As a young player, she will fit in well with our group and the culture of the club and I delighted to be able to welcome her to our team.”
Nix Re-Sign Keeper Edwards
Brianna Edwards has signed on for a second season with the Wellington Phoenix and is committed to challenging incumbent goalkeeper Lily Alfeld for the starting role.
The New Zealand U-20 keeper has agreed to a new deal with the Phoenix after serving as Alfeld’s backup in the team’s maiden campaign.
“We’re such good training partners,” Edwards said. “I push Lily and she pushes me, and we make sure we get the best out of each other every single session. As much as we’re friends, I think she knows this season I want to push for more and push to be better.
“It’s really exciting to have someone who also wants to see you do well. I think that’s something special that me and Lily have.”
Edwards holds dual citizenship and fills the first of seven Australian berths in the Phoenix squad. She’s looking forward to moving across the Tasman to pursue her football career.
“I’ve been over to New Zealand a couple of times this year for under-20 camps and I just love it there. It feels like a second home and I think it will feel even more like that when I’m back with the Nix. I can’t wait. I feel like I still have more to offer the Nix and there is still a lot I can get out of it. I love the culture, I love the players and I love being a part of the club.”
The move has the support of her family, particularly her dad, who was born in New Zealand.
“My family has already talked about coming to the Phoenix’s opening game. “I also have a lot of family in the North Island so I think everyone will be keen to get down to Wellington and watch.”
Edwards will also have support in the stands when she represents New Zealand at next month’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica. “My family is coming to Costa Rica to watch and they’ll be kitted out in full New Zealand gear, even my mum, which she’s a bit timid about.”
Phoenix head coach Gemma Lewis highlighted Edwards’ qualities as a team player: “We were really comfortable when Lily was away for international duty for Bri to step up and show what she can do,” Lewis said. “We feel like it’s going to be a season for her to really push and challenge Lily and give a little bit more competition.
“Lily’s a great leader and a very good goalkeeper, but Bri’s been developing and pushing really hard. Ultimately they make each other better and we want Bri to keep pushing Lily.”
The Phoenix are not just looking at dual citizens to fill the Australian berths, with Lewis and assistant Natalie Lawrence travelling across the Tasman to look at potential players.
“We want to give Australian players the opportunity as well. We want to do what’s best for the team and we need to surround them with players that are really going to push them. In this respect Bri is that player and it’s a bonus that she’s a dual citizen. But ultimately we want to find good Aussies that can add value in our environment to really push this team forwards as well.”
Brianna Edwards is the Phoenix’s seventh signing for the 2022-23 Liberty A-League season, joining Alfeld, New Zealand U-20 team-mates Kate Taylor and Alyssa Whinham plus Football Ferns squad members Betsy Hassett, Paige Satchell, and Mackenzie Barry in the Nix squad that will assemble in Wellington in October.