Signing news: McKenna joins City as Withers makes move to cross-town rival

MELBOURNE Victory have signed former Melbourne City striker Harriet Withers ahead of the 2021/22 A-League season.

The 25-year-old joins her former rivals after making eight appearances for City in 2020/21, scoring one goal - a Melbourne Derby winner in a 3-2 triumph over Victory.

Withers is joined by teenage midfielder Paige Zois in committing to the club this week, with the 17-year-old re-signing for a further two A-League seasons. Zois made one appearance for the senior side in 2020/21 in a 6-0 loss to Brisbane Roar in January, 2021.

A product of the club's Elite Girls Program, Zois heads into the new campaign after a successful stint with NPLW Victoria outfit FC Bulleen Lions, and is eager to continue her development under Victory boss Jeff Hopkins as the Champions head into battle in 2021/22. 

Hopkins now has 13 players in his squad after adding Withers and Zois to the mix, as the start date of the 2021/22 A-League Women campaign of December 3 draws closer.

Joining Catherine Zimmerman, Melina Ayres and Lia Privitelli in Victory's strike force, Withers says she's eager to help her new teammates defend the title in 2021/22.

“I’m excited to be joining this Championship-winning side and can’t wait to work with Jeff and his team to build on that success this season,” Withers told the club website.

“Last season was really exciting for me - returning home to Australia and making my mark in the league - and I’m looking forward to building on that at Victory.” 

Withers scores against her new club to decide last season's Melbourne Derby in City's favour

As Withers joins Victory from City, teenage attacking midfielder Leticia McKenna joins Withers' former club from Brisbane Roar ahead of the new campaign.

McKenna, 19, signs for City with 37 league appearances to her name accrued at both Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar. McKenna made her W-League debut for Perth in November, 2018, joining the Roar after two seasons out West. McKenna featured 12 times for Brisbane in 2020/21 and will look to continue her development at City in the newly named A-League.

“I want to be challenged and continue to be pushed outside my comfort zone, and I feel City is going to give me that," McKenna said.

“I have heard so many great things about the club, the facilities, coaching staff and its approach to player wellbeing.

I am really excited to work with (head coach Rado Vidosic) and the potential of what we can achieve for the fans and ourselves this season with a good mixture of youth and experience within the squad.”

McKenna (right) joins Melbourne City from Brisbane Roar for the 2021/22 A-League season
McKenna (right) joins Melbourne City from Brisbane Roar for the 2021/22 A-League season

It's been a busy week for Canberra United, with three new signings joining the Green Machine in the space of three days. 

French midfielder Margot Robinne and young winger Holly Caspers committed to Vicki Linton's side on Monday, September 28 before the club announced Chloe Middleton would be joining from Western Sydney Wanderers on a one-year deal on Thursday morning.

Robinne has 210 games of French National League experience under her belt, scoring 128 goals between stints at Montigny le Bretonneux, FC Rouen and Toulouse FC since debuting in the league at the age of 15.

Now 30, Robinne joins Canberra after a one-season spell at Melbourne City. She says her new club's exciting brand of football caught her eye as she competed against the Green Machine in 2020/21.

"Last season, the team at Canberra United played some exciting football, they showed great courage and passion,” Robinne said.

“Vicki’s football vision and team management approach were at the centre of my decision to make the move to Canberra. I have no doubt it’ll be a great environment for me to develop as a player and I’m eager to earn the team, club and supporters respect through my hard work and determination.

“I’m very excited to discover a new environment and play with experienced players while being able to tap into my own experience to take on a leadership role with the younger ones.”

Looking to add goals to his Adelaide United squad is Reds boss Adrian Stenta, who secured the services of Young Matildas forward Georgia Beaumont for the upcoming A-League campaign.

The Brisbane Roar U-18 NTC program product and former train-on player with Roar's senior side arrives with potential which Stenta hopes to help develop throughout her time with the Reds.

“Georgia is a smart striker with a lot of potential," Stenta said.

“At the local level she’s a proven goal-scorer and I’m confident those promising displays can translate to the A-League Women season.

“Georgia also has experience of representing her country with the Junior Matildas and I’m sure she will fit right into our team.”