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New W-League signing Checker bent on returning to Matildas setup

Melbourne City have made their first signing of the W-League off-season, acquiring central defender Emma Checker on a one-year deal ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

City’s new signing joins the club with considerable W-League experience, recording 41 appearances for Adelaide United (4th on their all-time appearances list), with other stints at Canberra United (15 apps.) and Melbourne Victory (22 apps.).

Despite being just 23-years-old, Checker has demonstrated impressive leadership capabilities in her time as captain at Adelaide United, where she was especially noted for her reliability and composure in defence. She played every minute of the 2018/19 season.

Checker’s represented Australia at the U-17, U-20 and Senior levels, making her debut for the Matildas at just 16 against Hong Kong, with three caps to her name overall.

Having missed out on selection for Australia’s final 2019 Women’s World Cup squad, Checker’s made her ambitions at Melbourne City clear, telling the club’s website:

“I want to be challenged and I feel like the environment here is the best place for me to challenge myself and to get myself back to hopefully being in the national team setup again.”

Speaking to Inside Sport in 2012, former Matildas coach Tom Sermanni described Checker as being ‘probably in a Cheryl Salisbury-type mould’. He continued, saying, “Emma is blessed with the attributes that make a high-quality centre-back in the modern game. She’s athletically good, tall, and comfortable in possession.”

In other W-League news for City, the club has managed to re-sign young talents Sofia Sakalis (17) and Emma Blissett (19).

Attacking midfielder Sakalis secured a two-year contract with the club, and will look to build on her three W-League appearances last season, whilst Blissett, who featured six times primarily as a wing-back in 18/19, signed a one-year deal.

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