Matildas midfielder back in Melbourne & Liberty A-League rivals have been put on notice

Elise Kellond-Knight is returning to Melbourne Victory after re-signing for the 2023-24 Liberty A-League season.

The Matildas midfielder, who missed the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Down Under, is back in Melbourne for a second season, where her debut campaign was cut short by injury.

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Kellond-Knight had made 12 appearances before the Australia international ruptured her Achilles, ruining the 33-year-old’s chances of representing the Matildas at the World Cup.

The 113-cap Matildas has unfinished business with Victory, who lost in the Preliminary Final last season.

“Although it ended early with injury, I had a great first experience with this group at Melbourne Victory,” Kellond-Knight said.

“Jeff and the squad have developed a culture and mentality that demands the best from everyone in the squad and that is something I want to be a part of.

“The next goal for the team and myself is to bring the Championship home for the team and I’m hungry to achieve more with this group.”

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A two-time Championship winner with Brisbane Roar and part of the Matildas squad that claimed the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Kellond-Knight’s renewal is a huge boost for Victory.

Jeff Hopkins’ Victory have also re-signed captain Kayla Morrison, Lia Privitelli, Alana Murphy, Paige Zois, Ava Briedis and Rosie Curtis, while recruiting Sydney FC star Rachel Lowe, Melbourne City’s fringe Matildas defender Emma Checker, Jamilla Rankin, NPLW VIC Golden Boot winner Kurea Okino and Ella O’Grady.

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“KK is an incredible professional and role model in the squad and we can’t wait to see more of her at Victory,” said Victory’s director of football John Didulica.

“Her contribution last season was more than just on the field. She provided leadership and experience to the squad and our coaching staff and has become an important member of the team.

“We can’t wait to see KK back fit and firing after her recovery from injury and know she will contribute significantly this season.”

While Kellond-Knight was sidelined for Australia’s run to the World Cup semi-final, she impressed as a pundit on Network 7, while also appearing on KEEPUP’s Dub at the Cup podcast.

“I’ve really enjoyed the journey. When I had the injury in March, I didn’t even think twice about it. I just wanted to be as close as I could to the team and the World Cup to experience it,” she reflected.

“I didn’t want to sit as a fan. I wasn’t ready for that. I really wanted to be on the journey with them.

“The idea to actually take Australia on the journey. I was intrigued by it. I don’t really think of myself as a pundit but I’d give it a crack and I really enjoyed it.

“It’s really valuable to give accurate, relevant info because the amount of people who tuned into the World Cup is absurd. I’m glad I didn’t know 11-plus million were watching that game on Wednesday night.”