Westfield Matildas stalwart Lydia Williams and four international stars have been unveiled by Melbourne City, as the three-time champions signalled their intent for the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season.
Williams is back in City colours for another season, joined by American duo Lauren Barnes and Jasmyne Spencer, English international Jodie Taylor and Danish superstar Theresa Nielsen.
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“We’ve already secured an enviable list of new and re-signed players, and these five will give us the push needed to compete for the title,” coach Rado Vidosic.
New to the Westfield W-League for 2018-19, Danish international defender Nielsen joins City boasting an impressive resume.
Not only has she played 121 times for Denmark, but Neilsen was also named in the Best XI at UEFA Women's Euro 2017.
She has also won multiple Elitedivisionen titles and Danish Women’s Cups while with Brondby IF and just completed a season in the NWSL at Seattle Reign, where she played alongside both Williams and Steph Catley.
“Theresa will bring international experience to the group after a lot of success in Europe and on international stage," Vidosic said.
"She’s seen it all before and has been competing at an elite level for a number of years."
Williams has over 70 caps with the Westfield Matildas and returns to City after her exploits with the Reign in the NWSL.
The 30-year-old, who was the Westfield W-League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016/17, will add further experience to a squad already brimming with world-class talent.
Interestingly, she will continue her relationship with Reign teammates Catley, Nielsen and Barnes – to help form one of City’s strongest defences yet.
Barnes, having also completed the recent season in the US with Reign, returns to Melbourne looking to add to the 26 appearances and two titles she has won while with City.
“With Williams and Barnes, not to mention Catley, there’s already a good team dynamic at play from their time together in Seattle, so we’re confident they can all hit the ground running.”
Another new signing from Reign - American Jasmyne Spencer - promises to add some attacking flair and bite to City’s forward line.
With experience playing in Australia, Denmark and the US, the New York native has proven she can make an impact on the field wherever she plays.
Vidosic’s final signing is UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Best XI player and Golden Boot winner, Taylor.
An influential match-winning attacker, Taylor returns to Melbourne as a guest player, with an enviable scoring record at clubs including Arsenal, Seattle Reign and the England national team.
Melbourne City FC’s fourth Westfield W-League season kicks off against Canberra United at McKellar Park in the nation's capital on Sunday, October 28.