After starring in Western United’s inaugural Liberty A-League Women season, midfield maestro Emma Robers and energetic full-back Stacey Papadopoulos will return for season two.
Both players have signed one-year contract extensions and will be looking to help lead the side to further success in 2023/24.
Injuries limited Papadopoulos to 12 appearances last season but she was pivotal in each match she played while Robers was a constant in midfield, missing only one of the 20 total fixtures.
Ahead of their return, both Robers and Papadopoulos shared similar messages of anticipation looking ahead to the new campaign.
“I’m so excited to get back with the group. It’s been a long off-season so we’re definitely ready to get going,” Papadopoulos said.
“Last season was tons of fun and the team did really well, so I’m just ready to bring back the same energy this season and go one better.”
“We proved a lot of people wrong with our huge success last season. We changed our narrative from ‘underdogs’ to ‘competitors’ and I can’t wait to keep this going and take it all the way this season.
“After coming in second in the Premiership and the Championship, it’s now time to challenge for the No.1 spot and there is no group of people I would rather do that with than my Western United family.”
Western United General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato hailed both players as crucial pieces of the squad both on and off the pitch.
“Emma and Stacey were excellent for us in our inaugural season. We were delighted with their performances on the pitch, but they made their presence felt in equal measure off the pitch,” he said.
“Both players became key influences in the dressing room in setting the foundations for the culture in our inaugural team. We are extremely pleased to see them returning for next season.”
Having both come through United’s pathway at Calder United in NPLW Victoria, Robers and Papadopoulos will continue to lead the Club’s women’s football program into the future.
The pair will join the rest of their Western United teammates in pre-season training from next week ahead of the season opener on Saturday 14 October.