54-cap Matildas star seals A-Leagues return: Full details

WATCH: Matildas trio Chloe Logarzo, Emily Gielnik and Elise Kellond-Knight have all spoken about the positive news that the Liberty Pass, which grants free access to kids under 16 years old to Liberty A-League matches, will be available this upcoming season.

Melbourne Victory have turbocharged their attack ahead of the upcoming Liberty A-League season with the signing of Matildas striker Emily Gielnik.

The 31-year-old returns to the club where she won the 2018-19 A-League Women’s Premiership, after her release from WSL side Aston Villa at the conclusion of last campaign.

Gielnik also spent time at Brisbane Roar in two separate stints, where she burst onto the scene in 2009 and was part of their 2010-11 Championship winning team, while in her last spell, the striker took home the 2020-21 Golden Boot.

The 54-time Matilda has played all over the world at the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Vittsjo GK, Urawa Red Diamonds, Avaldsnes IL and most recently Villa, while at international level, she’s been part of two Asian Cup squads and was called up to the sides that went to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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“I’m excited to be back at Victory and working with Jeff (Hopkins) and the team for the upcoming season and I can’t wait to get started,” Gielnik said.

“I had a great experience during my first stint at the club, winning Victory’s first Premiership in the A-League Women’s competition, and I’m looking forward to achieving more success with the squad this season.

“Jeff and the team have created a formidable environment over the past couple of seasons and I want to contribute to that the best I can by scoring goals and lifting trophies with the team.”

Gielnik becomes the eighth capped Matilda currently on Victory’s books heading into the upcoming season, joining Lydia Williams, Elise Kellond-Knight, Beattie Goad, Jamilla Rankin, Emma Checker, Jessika Nash and Rachel Lowe.

She’s also the third Australian national team player to return to the A-Leagues after a stint overseas on the back of a history-making Women’s World Cup, alongside her Victory teammate Williams and Tameka Yallop, who returned to Brisbane.

Prior to re-signing, Gielnik spoke at length about how her time in the A-Leagues with Brisbane helped make her and many of her Matildas teammates into the players they are today.

“The likes of KK (Kellond-Knight), Katrina Gorry, Tameka Yallop, Casey (Dumont), just to name a few, all were in that Roar season where we we developed in this A-League and we were able to develop enough to get contracts abroad,” Gielnik said at the A-League Women Celebration Round launch in August.

“So that was kind of a stepping stone for us, and for me personally, for my career, if I think about where I developed enough to get to Matildas, this was my background. This is where I started.

“Brisbane Roar is where I I started banging in goals and I had a step with Victory, which was also very successful, but… we’ve all been abroad for a really, really long time and credit to the A-League, this was the platform to what gave us the confidence and the skills to be able to get big time contracts overseas.

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“But lots of us miss playing at home, we miss the league. I think just what we’re struggling with is the massive pay cuts that we’re taking to come back home is a little bit disappointing and this league wants to attract world class players.

“I’m definitely considering coming home, I’m looking to come home. I’d like to be home. But the Matildas was the pinnacle of my career and I can proudly say that it’s really because of the A-League.”

Victory coach Jeff Hopkins said he was looking forward to having Gielnik back at the club.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Emily back at Melbourne Victory,” Hopkins said.

“It’s wonderful to have a player of her calibre return to the league and join our squad for the upcoming season and we know she will be an important contributor with her experience and guile in front of goal.

“Her career at domestic and international level speaks for itself and we’re looking forward to seeing what she can produce back in the A-League Women’s competition.”

Victory begin their season against former side Brisbane Roar on October 15 at the Home of the Matildas.