Wanderers re-sign two club stalwarts, City continue to strengthen defence

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers legend Caitlin Cooper has joined one-club player Erica Halloway in signing on at Wanderland for the 2021/22 W-League campaign.

Cooper returns in Red and Black after winning the Wanderers Medal as the club's Player of the Year in 2020/21, playing all 12 games and making 22 tackles, engaging in 62 duels and making 104 ball recoveries.

The 33-year-old says she's delighted to continue to represent the club she's played for throughout the majority of her career.

“I’m very happy to be re-signing with the club for what we expect to be a big season for us in the W-League,” Cooper told the club website.

“We have high hopes and lots of goals that we want to achieve together, and I believe that we will be able to go all the way this season.

“Having been at the Wanderers now for the majority of my football career, I have seen first-hand the growth of women’s football both on-and-off the pitch and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved together so far.

“I’m counting down the days now until we return to the Wanderers Centre of Football next month to start training with the team to push for a massive season ahead.”

Joining Cooper in re-signing for the Wanderers is Halloway, who will compete in her seventh season in Red and Black since first joining the club in 2015.

Halloway made four appearances for Western Sydney in 2020/21, returning from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury which sidelined the striker midway through the campaign prior.

Halloway has played 57 times for the Wanderers to date, scoring seven goals.

“The Wanderers are a family to me and it means the world to me to be able to represent the Red & Black,” Halloway said. 

“I have always said I will only ever play for one club so I’m delighted to re-sign for my seventh season.

“We’re expecting a big season at the club under head coach Catherine Cannuli and I can’t wait to get to work with the team to achieve the goals we have set out for ourselves.”

Halloway returns for her seventh season in Red and Black
Halloway returns for her seventh season in Red and Black

Whilst the Wanderers secure the services of a pair of experienced veterans, Melbourne City have re-signed teenage defender Naomi Chinnama for two more seasons after impressing head coach Rado Vidosic through 2020/21.

Chinnama made six appearances for City in her maiden W-League campaign, debuting off the bench against Sydney FC in Round 7. The 17-year-old joins an experienced defensive unit for 2021/22 at City including New Zealand international Rebekah Stott, Matildas centre-back Emma Checker, Chelsea Blissett, Tori Tumeth and Kaitlyn Torpey.

“Naomi really impressed us in her first W-League season so it’s great to have her back for the next two years," Vidosic said.

“Despite her age, she looked comfortable at the level and gained some invaluable experience.

“She still has so much room to grow and improve, so we are really excited to keep working with her and to watch her continue to develop.”

Naomi Chinnama