Trio of youngsters join United roster

Three products from Canberra and the surrounding region are the latest players to be unveiled by Canberra United.

The new signings are Academy youngsters Clare Hunt, Laura Hughes and Karly Roestbakken who make the step up into the Westfield W-League for Season 9.

The trio have all earned international selection for Australia this season with Roestbakken and Hughes playing in the under-17 team whilst Hunt earned selection in the U20 squad. The players have impressed in the United Academy ranks during 2016 to earn their call-up to the senior selection ahead of the new campaign.  

“Welcome to ‘generation next’ for Canberra United,” Head Coach Rae Dower commented. “I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Clare, Laura and Karly into the Canberra United team for Season 9 of the Westfield W-League. All three are part of an exciting generation of female footballers from Canberra and surrounds and are products of our extensive scouting, talent identification and high performance system.  

“I’ve been really privileged to help guide these youngsters in their football journeys over the past three years and I can’t wait for them to show off their precocious talents this season. All three have already represented their country at international level. There are another half dozen or so players that will take the step up alongside these players in the coming years and it’s hugely exciting to see that the future of women’s football and Canberra United is in really safe hands.”

Hughes, who lists Tuggeranong United, Brindabella Blues and Woden Valley amongst her junior clubs is excited to be making the step-up to the Westfield W-League side. 

“I’m very excited to be signing with Canberra United this season,” she said. “It’s been a long term goal of mine to one day play for Canberra United as I attended matches in Canberra when I was young. It’s an honour to play and train with such talented and experienced players where I can learn from. This is truly a dream come true for me.”

Roestbakken and Hunt echoed the views of their team-mate with the realisation that squad selection is the next step along the path to gaining a coveted first team spot.

“One of my goals has always been to play for Canberra United and to play alongside and against the best female footballers in Australia,” Roestbakken revealed. “It is amazing to see this dream turn into a reality. This is such a great learning curve in which I can gain lots of experience from quality footballers and coaches. Not only do I get to play with such talent, but I also get to learn and develop as a player. I am truly grateful and excited for this opportunity and I can’t wait for the W-League season to start.”

“I’m extremely excited and thankful for this opportunity to play with and against some of the best female footballers in the nation,” Hunt said. “I can’t wait to kick start the season with Canberra United.”

Meanwhile, Canberra United is delighted to announce the extension of their partnership with ActewAGL for a further three years. 

“ActewAGL has backed Canberra United since the club’s inception in 2008 and we’re delighted to continue our partnership for a further three years,” ActewAGL Director Marketing and Corporate Affairs Paul Walshe said. “As an avid supporter of women’s sport, we’re looking forward to another thrilling season from this experienced outfit. 

“We’re particularly excited that United has signed on three Canberra girls from the ActewAGL Junior League: Karly Roestbakken, Laura Hughes and Clare Hunt.  It’s highly rewarding for ActewAGL, as a key sponsor of women’s football, to witness the successful pathway of players from junior to senior ranks.” 


Name: Laura Hughes
Position: Midfielder
Date of Birth: 6 June 2001
Place of Birth: Canberra, ACT
Clubs: Tuggeranong United, Brindabella Blues, Woden Valley
Representative Honours: Capital Football, Canberra United Academy, ACT, Australia U17

Name: Clare Hunt
Position: Defender
Date of Birth: 12 March 1999
Place of Birth: Cowra, NSW
Clubs: Grenfell Junior Soccer Club, Western Mariners Football Club, Canberra FC
Representative Honours: ACTAS, Canberra United Academy, ACT, NSW Country, Australia U17, Australia U20

Name: Karly Roestbakken
Position: Midfielder
Date of Birth: 17 January 2001
Place of Birth: Queanbeyan, NSW
Clubs: Monaro Panthers
Representative Honours: Capital Football, Canberra United Academy, ACT, Australia U17