Melbourne City FC is delighted to announce the signing of experienced Australian defender Emma Checker who joins the Club on a one-year contract ahead of the 2019/20 Westfield W-League season.
The central defender brings a wealth of experience to the squad, having represented the Westfield Matildas on three occasions, as well as playing professionally in both Australia and South Korea.
Checker has made 78 appearances in the W-League, where she has established herself as one of the competition’s most dependable defenders.
Melbourne City FC Head of Football, Michael Petrillo said: “Emma is one of Australia’s best and most reliable defenders which gives us a fantastic boost ahead of the 2019/20 season.”
“She’s an established W-League footballer that has gained valuable experience with the Matildas and abroad.
“Her natural leadership qualities, hardworking attitude and composure at the back will strengthen our defensive third as the Club continues striving towards achieving more success in the Women’s game,” he said.
Following her signing, Emma Checker said: “It’s a pretty overwhelming feeling, I'm really excited, it’s obviously a new start, a new place and I’m looking forward to a new challenge.”
“It’s incredible, I remember the first day that I walked in. I felt at home, and I felt like it was a place where I could really put myself to the test and I think it’s really impressive how world-class the facilities are.
“I want to be challenged and I feel like the environment here is the best place for me to challenge myself and to get myself back to hopefully being in the national team setup again,” she added.
“I’ll fight, I feel like I'm a pretty fierce player and I'll give it everything, that’s the one big thing I want to bring to the Club – a lot of hard work and commitment.”
The former Adelaide United captain made her W-League debut as a 15-year-old playing for the Reds in the 2011/12 season. She then moved to Melbourne, where she spent two seasons at Melbourne Victory (22 appearances), before joining Canberra United (15 appearances) for a further two seasons.
In 2017, Checker joined Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels in South Korea, where a serious injury interrupted her spell. The Australian re-joined Adelaide later in the year, where she was named captain of the club and reasserted herself as one of the country’s strongest and most reliable defenders over the past two seasons. The former Reds captain sits fourth on Adelaide’s all-time appearance list with 41 games.
The 23-year-old brings experience beyond her years and will provide tremendous leadership as the Club continues its push towards achieving more success.
Alongside Checker’s announcement, Head Coach Rado Vidosic’s side will be bolstered by the return of promising Australian youngsters Sofia Sakalis and Chelsea Blissett.
17-year-old Sakalis has recommitted to the Club, with the Young Matildas international signing a two-year contract. Sakalis has demonstrated her attacking qualities both internationally and domestically, making eight appearances and scoring 12 goals for the Junior Matildas (Australia’s U-17s) before earning a further two caps for the Young Matildas (Australia’s U-20s).
Sakalis made three appearances in 2018/19 Westfield W-League season, demonstrating her creativity as an attacking midfielder.
Joining Sakalis and Checker, is 19-year-old defender Chelsea Blissett who has re-joined the Club on one-year contract. Originally from Albury-Wodonga, Blissett made six appearances in the 2018/19 season. The wingback showed great confidence in her debut season, combining her strong defensive assets with her ability to work hard up the ground.
The Club can also announce its partnership with Indonesian food giant Indomie. Indomie will be on the A-League and W-League shorts for the upcoming season and have signed on as a Premier Partner of the Club.
Indomie Country Manager for Australia, William Ho said: "This a very exciting and proud moment for Indomie to join Melbourne City FC as the newest Premier Partner. We are very much looking forward to working together on the season ahead to create fun and engaging experiences for fans throughout the year."