Western United has added one of the best passers in the Liberty A-League Women to its squad, securing the services of Grace Maher from Canberra United.
The 24-year-old will add to United’s list of talented young centre-backs, adding supreme ball-playing ability into the Green and Black’s backline.
Maher has become a pass master in the Liberty A-League and one of the best long-range strikers of the ball in the competition. Last season, she ranked in the top 10 in key stats including key passes and progressive passes.
Ahead of a new challenge in the Liberty A-League, Maher said the chance to join a Grand Finalist and a team heading into its second season was one she jumped at.
“I’m extremely pleased to be joining Western United for the upcoming season. The players have spoken so highly of the Club and staff, so after speaking to Mark (Torcaso), I really felt this team will push me out of my comfort zone, making me a better player and person,” she said.
“It has been too long in my eyes since I won a Championship or Premiership, and I want nothing more than to play a part in bringing home the first piece of silverware for the women’s side.”
Western United Head Coach Mark Torcaso is enthused by Maher’s range of talents in multiple positions and expects her to have a major impact on the group.
“Grace’s signing is a huge one for us because we’re bringing in someone with proven quality and big experience in this competition while still having so much growth left to make,” he said.
“As far as distributors go in the Liberty A-League, Grace is up there in the top bracket. Her ability to play out of defence will be a huge asset for us and very exciting for our fans to watch.
“I can’t wait to see what she brings to our group and look forward to having her help us continue to grow our women’s program in season two.”
Maher made history in the then-named W-League in 2014, becoming the youngest player to sign for a team and play in the competition. To this day, her age of 15 years and 184 days on debut remains a Canberra United record.
She then went on to start in the Grand Final that year, featuring alongside established professionals and legends of the Australian game as Canberra claimed the Championship.
Maher continued to shine on the pitch, earning appearances for Australia at Under-17 and Under-20 level before lifting the Premier’s Plate with Melbourne Victory in 2019.
Having returned to Canberra after two seasons at Victory, Maher will now come back to Victoria and hope to reach new heights on the pitch in Green and Black.