Impetus’ Ben Gilby hears from all of the six newly announced players from today as well as the head coaches of the three clubs (21/9/22).
Above: Harriet Withers brings A-League Women experience to Western United ahead of their inaugural campaign in the competition. Artwork: Western United.
Western United’s Liberty A-League Women attack will have speed, trickery, and clinical finishing with the additions of Harriet Withers, Stacey Papadopoulos, and Raquel Deralas.
The trio have all been key players for Calder United in recent years, contributing to NPLW trebles in 2019 and 2022.
Withers will bring two seasons of A-League Women experience – including a Championship – to the team and is eager to use that to support the group.
“I’m hoping to help guide and motivate the girls this season, both on and off the pitch. I want to make sure the girls are showing and giving everything I know they are capable of,” Withers said.
“And personally, I hope to hit the back of the net as much as possible and make it a season to remember for everyone. Green and Black will look good at the top.”
Papadopoulos has developed under head coach Mark Torcaso for much of her junior career and said moving up to the A-League Women alongside him makes it an extra special feeling.
“I’ve known Mark since I was about 14 or 15 and have been coached by him from that age until now so it’s crazy how far we’ve come,” she said.
“He’s a super passionate guy and we’ve had a pretty cool journey over the years. He’s showed a lot of faith in me as a player and it’s pretty special to be a part of this with him as well.”
At 20 years of age, Deralas is the youngest of the three players and has signed a scholarship contract with the Club. She will be hoping to continue her development on the professional stage.
“To be given the opportunity as a young player to continue my development and quality and experienced players is a life-changing opportunity and I’m excited for the next step in my football journey and what lies ahead.”
Western United Head Coach Mark Torcaso said Western United fans should be excited about the attacking talent that each player will bring to the team.
“Mixing in Harriet’s experience and Stacey and Raquel as first-time A-League players with all of their attacking talents is going to be really exciting for our team this season,” he said.
“Their speed, skill, finishing ability, and work ethic in the final third will be a big boost to our attacking options and I look forward to seeing them continue to develop amongst the group.”
Withers, Papadopoulos, and Deralas become United’s 16th, 17th, and 18th signings ahead of the Club’s inaugural A-League Women campaign and will join their teammates in pre-season training next month.
Brisbane Roar add Robinne
Brisbane Roar have added experienced French player Margot Robinne to their squad ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The veteran has plenty of playing experience in Australia at both A-League Women’s and NPL Women’s level following her move Down Under in 2017.
After signing for Melbourne City for the 2020/21 season, Robbine became the first French-born player in the national competition and spent last season with Canberra United.
Her journey north will now bring her to the Sunshine State where the 31-year-old is eager to make a fast start with her new club and add to her 18 career A-League appearances.
“Brisbane is the first A-League team I played against and for a first game, it was really interesting! I really enjoyed the way Brisbane was playing, it suits my style so I’m very excited about joining them,” she said.
“When I spoke to Garrath [McPherson], the way he has this team playing is very creative, going forward and creating scoring opportunities with freedom so that’s my style and I can’t wait to be a part of a team with this philosophy.”
Her NPL Women’s career has seen her feature for Bulleen Lions and more recently, Boroondara Eagles in the Victorian Premier League, where she has spent 2021 and 2022.
This year, she featured in 11 matches and scored a remarkable 15 goals across the League and Cup as the Eagles made it all the way to the Grand Final.
Boroondara Eagles president Manny Koutroulis spoke about the impact Robbine has had at the Club and what he expects her to bring to the Roar.
“Margot is a very smart forward, can come in deep and combine well with the midfield but she also makes great runs into the box and knows where the goals are,” he said.
“At our club, Margot came in and helped the team immensely, she was a great leader on the park and supported good local players around her in our successful quest for promotion to NPL.”
Prior to her move to Australia, Robbine played in her native France, building up plenty of experience that she is hoping to put to good use, mentoring some of the Roar’s young talent as the season goes on.
“Now that I’m a bit more used to the Australian style of play, it’s a bit easier to mentor the young players,” she said.
“I used to be captain of my university team in France, it’s important for me to play that role, especially as the older players when I started my career at 14 were setting a good example for me.
“It’s good for the younger players to have older players willing to share their experience. I’m happy to play that role as I’ve done it before,” Robbine added.
Having played against the Roar last season, Robbine is looking forward to joining up with her new teammates when the pre-season begins in October.
“It’s important to get to know everyone at the club and learn about the culture and the way everyone functions. Every club is different and I’ll be trying to fit in with the Roar while bringing my French touch as well!”
Robbine’s experience was a big drawcard for Head Coach McPherson when signing the French player and is looking forward to seeing what she will bring in the coming season.
“Margot is an experienced A-League Women’s footballer who joins us from interstate,” he said.
“Experience and maturity have been a consideration during our rostering and recruitment with Margot bringing a wealth of both to our youthful side.
“She is a versatile player who is technically and tactically excellent, this will allow her to play both in central midfield and central attack,” McPherson added.
Adelaide Add Two Goalkeepers
Adelaide United have announced the signings of goalkeepers, Jenna Farrow and Grace Wilson, ahead of the Liberty A-League 2022/23 season.
Born in Tasmania, 23-year-old Farrow began her senior career in 2016 with Ulverstone Football Club before representing Olympia Warriors in 2019 and 2020. In both seasons at the Warriors, Farrow was awarded the Golden Glove, captaining her side to a Premiership in 2020. Last season, Farrow joined South Melbourne in Victoria’s NPLW.
“I’m very excited to be joining Adelaide United for the upcoming season,” Farrow said. “This will be my first time being involved in a professional environment and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“Adelaide have made great strides in the last few seasons and I believe we have the depth to continue improving under Adrian (Stenta).”
Meanwhile, Wilson, 17, re-joins the Club on an amateur agreement after signing with the Reds in December 2021.
Commencing her football with Adelaide University, Wilson has recently been representing Football South Australia’s NTC programme as their No. 1 in South Australia’s Women’s NPL following the completion of the Liberty A-League competition in March.
“I’m very happy to be returning to the Reds after the experience I had with the Club last year,” Wilson said. “Being involved with the girls was a great learning curve for me and it really improved my football.
“We have high hopes for the new season and we will be working hard to build on what we achieved in 2021/22.”
Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, said: “Boosting our goalkeeping stocks with both Jenna and Grace ahead of the upcoming season is fantastic.
“After a lot of hard work and commitment to her craft, Jenna is getting her first chance at A-Leagues level, which will be a great test and one that she will throw herself right into, I’m sure.
“Grace was with us last season and has continued to improve through her time with the NTC this off-season, as well as her involvement with the Junior Matildas. especially considering her age and how early she is in her development.
“Alongside Annie (Annalee Grove), these three young ‘keepers will push each other to develop and provide healthy competition for our entire squad.”