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Nov 24, 2009   |  3:24PM AET

Slatyer back on board

Slatyer back on board

Canberra United are delighted to announce that experienced Matildas defender Thea Slatyer has re-joined the club in time to bolster the squad for the much anticipated Westfield W-League finals run in.

Canberra United are delighted to announce that experienced Matildas defender Thea Slatyer has re-joined the club in time to bolster the squad for the much anticipated Westfield W-League finals run in.

Slatyer, who has 39 Matildas caps to her name, offers Ray Junna an older, more experienced defensive option ahead of this weekend-s huge clash with Melbourne Victory at Olympic Park.

Slatyer was a mainstay in the Canberra United side that reached the final of the inaugural Westfield W-League season, playing eleven of the twelve matches in the 2008/2009 campaign, and will bring a wealth of knowledge to what is, at present, a youthful Canberra back-line.

Ray Junna is effusive in his praise of what Slatyer, who took a break from the game after a demanding 2008/2009 season, will bring to his youthful team.

“With her experience, as we come towards the end of season, she should help settle the nerves down as she has a steadying influence,” Junna said.

“Her organisation around the park is excellent. Whereas the young players may get nervous and don-t say much, and are led by the senior players, Thea is a very vocal player and will be a great addition to the squad.”

There-s no doubting the pedigree that Slatyer brings to the squad. Having made her international debut back in 2002 she has been a constant in and around the senior national team since then.

“Thea is one of the number one contenders for Tom Sermanni-s Matildas team and has a terrific overview of the game,” Junna continued.

“She doesn-t panic when under pressure and her passing is very good. There are not many players in the women-s game who can hit a 40-metre pass with accuracy, but she is one of them.”

Slatyer has trained with the squad over the past week in preparation for her return to first team duty and Junna isn-t the only one looking forward to seeing the defender pull on the green jersey once again.

“The rest of the squad is very excited at the prospect of welcoming Thea back,” Junna said.

“It takes a bit of the load of the older players and will help the younger ones develop.”

United travels to Olympic Park in Melbourne on Saturday to face Melbourne Victory in Round Nine of the Westfield W-League with kick off at 3:00pm. With both teams on 11 points the result of this game could well decide the final spot for the semis on 12th December. Tickets are available through Ticketek and the match will also be shown live on ABC 1.