Western United announce arrival of Liberty A-League star from Canberra

Western United have announced the signing of former Canberra United midfielder Grace Maher ahead of the upcoming Liberty A-League season.

Maher returns to Victoria after three seasons at Canberra, having joined the club from the capital for a second stint in 2020 from Melbourne Victory.

The versatile 24-year-old – who can play at both centre-back or in central midfield – bolsters Western’s stacked defensive and midfield corps, which already boasts Matilda Chloe Logarzo and young star Alana Cerne.

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“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.”

Maher’s technical ability has shone throughout her time in the Liberty A-League, becoming one of the best passers and long-range strikers of the ball. She ranked in the top 10 in key passes and progressive passes last season, as Canberra just missed out on a spot in the finals.

Coach Mark Torcaso said he’s looking forward to adding Maher to the mix this season, hinting that she will more than likely slot in at centre-back.

“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 debuted as a 15-year-old for Canberra in 2014, making history at the time by becoming the youngest player to sign for a team and play in the competition.

During her first stint, she went on to win the Liberty A-League Championship, before taking her talents to Melbourne Victory in 2018 where she spent two seasons and helped the club win the Premiership in 2019.

She’s also shined at both Under 17 and Under 20 level for Australia and was called up to a Matildas training camp in 2017 ahead of the Algarve Cup by former coach Alen Stajcic.

Maher joins former Victory striker Catherine Zimmerman as the club’s latest arrival ahead of the new season.