Illawarra Stingrays star striker Michelle Carney has been rewarded for an outstanding NSW Women’s Premier League campaign with a contract at Western Sydney Wanderers for the new W-League season.
Carney won the player of the year award and golden boot with 44 goals in the league and was instrumental in helping the Stingrays win the club championship and reach the grand final.
She previously played in the W-League with Sydney FC in 2008, when the Sky Blues won the title in the inaugural season.
But after five years away from the national competition, Carney moved west to the Wanderers for the 2012-13 campaign.
‘‘I have been here a few weeks now and it is really professional, which is good,’’ Carney said.
‘‘We will see how I go. There is going to be a lot of competition because there is a lot of Matildas. It is always good to have competition.’’
Carney will have to contend with Matilda veteran Kyah Simon for a spot in the Wanderers starting side but that hasn’t stopped the Stingrays skipper from setting her goals high in her return to the W-League.
‘‘I just want to enjoy it and hopefully get the results because it is a great club,’’ Carney said.
‘‘We want to go better than last year and hopefully get into the semi-finals, that will be our goal. ‘‘Obviously we want to win it, so we will be fighting for that.’’
The Wanderers take on Adelaide in their season opener on November 10 at Marconi Stadium.
The Sydney club finished sixth in their debut season and are be looking to follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts.
Part of Western’s Sydney’s on field success in the A-League could be attributed to the club’s tremendous off-field support.
Carney said she looked forward to being a part of the Wanderers culture.
‘‘Obviously with the men going so well and in western Sydney the population for soccer is growing,’’ Carney said.
‘‘It has always been massive so the support is there and it is just a great club to be involved in.’’
Carney has been joined in the Wanderers squad by fellow Stingray Caitlin Cooper, who previously played in the competition with the Central Coast Mariners and Canberra United.
Improving youth striker Jordan Baker is also training with the squad.