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Nov 19, 2008   |  7:54PM AET

Backline strengthened with Davies inclusion

Backline strengthened with Davies inclusion

Canberra United’s line up will be further strengthened for this weekend’s home game against Adelaide United with the inclusion of former national team player Rhian Davies for the first time this season.

Canberra United-s line up will be further strengthened for this weekend-s home game against Adelaide United with the inclusion of former national team player Rhian Davies for the first time this season.

A former Canberra Eclipse captain, now based in the Northern Territory, Davies is looking forward to the opportunity to return to her “second home” to line up in the newest women-s national league.

“It-s very exciting to be a part of it and I can-t wait to get out there and have a run with the team,” Davies said ahead of her first game in the Westfield W-League.

“Looking at the standard of the game, it is quite high and I-m really excited about getting amongst it again.”

“Canberra-s always been a second home to me so it-s really nice to go back there and having a few familiar players back in the side is going to make it even more welcoming.”

Coach Robbie Hooker believes that Davies will further add to the consistent backline of Thea Slatyer and Ellie Brush.

“In terms of quality and experience, being a former Matildas player coming into the backline, we-ve got a young backline as it is so having Rhian [Davies] come into the side will add that experience,” Hooker said.

“They-ve been pretty good this year, conceding four in four games and keeping two clean sheets but there-s always room for improvement and by having another player with Davies- experience and quality will add to that backline.”

A member of the 2001/02 Eclipse Championship winning side, Davies believes that Canberra has the quality to repeat the feat this season.

“I think there-s potential for the team to be a real contender this season for either first or second at least.”

“It-s really nice to see where women-s football is heading in particular where the Canberra side is going.”

“The team seems to be playing really well and Ellie Brush is looking after her players really well.”

Capped 66 times for Australia, Davies will not only add plenty of experience to Canberra United-s backline but provide some mentoring and guidance for the younger players hoping to follow in the defender-s footsteps.

“I would like to help the team in any way I can to make the finals and also to help some of the younger players coming through in regards to the actual playing of the game and their development,” said Davies.

The dual FIFA Women-s World Cup player and Olympian has been residing in the Northern Territory-s remote community of Yirrkala Dhanbul as a Sport and Recreation officer for the past five months.

“It-s an amazing job and the place is beautiful.”

“We-re right on the water so we take the kids fishing in the afternoon and they teach me a lot about their culture and they still have their own language and it-s really nice to be a part of that and be adopted into their community and culture.”

The future of Canberra United and women-s football may lie in the remote communities of Australia with Davies suggesting that the natural talent with the round ball is unbelievable.

“The talent in some of the girls is incredible, put a ball in front of them and without any thinking they-re carving the field up, I already giving [Matildas coach] Tommy [Sermanii] a call.”

Canberra United returns home this weekend to line up against Adelaide United on Saturday at McKellar Park kicking off at 4pm.

Tickets are available through Capital Football, the Tradies Clubs in Dickson or Woden and at the gate.