Canberra United will welcome back attacking stars Hayley Raso and Stephanie Ochs for the forthcoming Westfield W-League season.
Both are well known to United fans having previously played in Green and will return to the CU family for Season 9.
Raso re-joins United having made her Westfield W-League breakthrough with the club in 2011, going on to make 18 appearances in two seasons for the club before joining her hometown Brisbane Roar in Season 6. She was part of the squad that claimed Grand Final success in Season 4 as United won the ‘double’ and, a year later, claimed the teams’ Rising Star and Supporters Player of the Year awards.
“I am so excited to be back with Canberra United for the upcoming Westfield W-League season,” Raso said. “I cannot wait to represent this great club, join Canberra's strong squad and to push for the title this year.”
“I'm really looking forward to working with Hayley again after coaching her for Queensland at National Youth Championships level,” Head Coach Rae Dower said of the signing. “Hayley has developed well over the last couple of years and comes into the season in good form helping the Portland Thorns to win the NWLS Shield.
“She is another player with Matilda's experience and I think that she will form a great attacking partnership with Michelle Heyman, Ashleigh Sykes and Steph Ochs. As a former crowd favourite with the Canberra United faithful it will be great for Hayley to have those green ribbons in her hair again.”
Ochs, who won a Grand Final with United in Season 7 scoring in the 3-1 defeat of Perth Glory in Western Australia, will add further menace to an already promising attacking line-up at the club.
“I'm so excited to be back with Canberra United and am looking forward to another great season with this talented group of girls,” Ochs said. “I was gutted that I had to sit last year out with my injury but I'm now more motivated than ever to bring another championship back to Canberra.”
“It's really exciting news that Steph will be re-joining the team for Season 9,” Dower said. “In her last game for us, she scored in our grand final win and had a great game so we will be hoping she picks right up from where she left off. She played a major role in the success of Season 6 as Premiers and Season 7 as Champions scoring goals and providing assists.
“Steph's a great personality as well, a really good team player and an incredible athlete. She's been playing alongside Brushy at the Houston Dash so she's had that little bit of familiarity. We're all very excited that she's coming back to join the green family.”
Canberra United starts their Westfield W-League season on Saturday 12th November when they take on Champions Melbourne City at GIO Stadium in Canberra. The match will also be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
Name: Hayley Raso
Position: Midfielder / Striker
Date of Birth: 5 September 1994
Place of Birth: Brisbane, QLD
Clubs: Banora Point, Palm Beach Sharks, Gold Coast, Canberra United, Brisbane Roar, Washington Spirit, Melbourne Victory, Portland Thorns
Representative Honours: Gold Coast Rep Team, Queensland, Australia U19, Matildas
Matildas: 14 appearances (debut: 24/06/12 v New Zealand (Wollongong) D 1-1 – sub) Goals: 1
Canberra United Debut: 22/10/11 v Adelaide United (away) W 4-1 – sub
WWL Appearances: 52
WWL Goals: 12
CUFC Appearances: 12(6)
CUFC Goals: 4
Follow me on Twitter: @HayleyRaso
Name: Stephanie Ochs
Date of Birth: 29 August 1990
Place of Birth: San Diego, California, USA
Clubs: San Diego Toreros, Western New York Flash, Washington Spirit, Canberra United, Houston Dash
Representative Honours: USA U23
Canberra United Debut: 9/11/13 v Brisbane Roar (away) W 3-0
WWL Appearances: 26
WWL Goals: 8
CUFC Appearances: 26
CUFC Goals: 8
Follow me on Twitter: @stephochs7