Impetus’ Nathan Edwards was invited to Reading‘s media day ahead of the new WSL season. In this the first of three interviews from the event which will be appearing on the site over the coming weeks, he speaks exclusively to the club’s new signing Brooke Hendrix, who had A-League Women success with Melbourne Victory last season, and asked head coach Kelly Chambers about the influence that her new arrival will have on her team (25/8/22).
Above: A Royal looking for many more Victories – Brooke Hendrix. Photo: Reading FC.
Brooke Hendrix is ready to have “the biggest impact” at Reading after finally signing a two-year deal for The Royals from Melbourne Victory.
Hendrix, born in Sharpsburg, Georgia in the USA, arrived in Berkshire off the back of a Grand Final victory against Sydney FC, but the defender was close to joining Kelly Chambers’ side earlier in her career, before her eventual transfer to Melbourne.
Hendrix said, “I have actually tried to be a part of Reading for a while now, even before my move to Australia. You know how football goes, a lot of it is about timing and I finally got the chance to come over in this window.
“The manager is just looking for me to be my usual, big, old-school centre-back self that will put my body on the line to help the team win.”
The 29-year-old has had a well-travelled career, playing in three different continents and already experiencing the Barclays Women Super League before with West Ham United.
From her travels and success, the American is looking to install a winning mentality within her new team.
“Kelly (Chambers) definitely brought me in for my experiences, and just having played in different football cultures and the things I have learned in each place has been really amazing to bring to this team.
“I think I will be useful in this young team, sharing my experiences and what I have learnt, with various formations, different teams and playing in the Champions League,” Hendrix said.
It has been three years since Hendrix’s last appearance in England, which was in the FA Cup final as The Hammers lost 3-0 to Manchester City.
But despite only a short period away from the WSL, the women’s game in England has evolved massively.
The American said “It has only been a couple of years since I left, but the growth has been amazing.
“Teams are bringing in top-notch players from all over the world, and England are really investing in the women’s game.
“I also think with the Euros victory, it is carrying over into the league in terms of the resources, money, and attention that is going into it and if it wasn’t the best league in the world, it definitely is now and I have played everywhere so I can say that.”
And, along with five other new signings, the former Melbourne Victory defender, Kelly Chambers feels like her squad is ready for Liverpool at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
The Reading manager said, “I wanted players who have had experience in this league, Brooke (Hendrix) is one of them, Diane Caldwell is another player that shows great leadership qualities.
“I need leaders in this group that will keep driving those that need to be driven and making sure our standards are high at training, and that we are pushing each other every day, but all for the best for the team.
“Hopefully it will reflect on the pitch that we have brought those players in and had a challenging environment that will help the people who were already here.
“I think we have added to a really good foundation, and we are done in the transfer window, so we are excited for the season to start.”