Crawford Set for Return to Football

Canberra United’s Hayley Crawford is likely to make a return to football this weekend after a two year absence from the game when Canberra United line up against the Perth Glory in Round Six of the Westfield W-League.

Canberra United-s Hayley Crawford is likely to make a return to football this weekend after a two year absence from the game when Canberra United line up against the Perth Glory in Round Six of the Westfield W-League.

The former ACT Academy of Sport member hasn-t played since her 2006 stint in the capital region but more recently a knee operation four weeks ago has kept Crawford out of the side until now. “I-m really confident, I-ve made good progress with my knee in the past four weeks after my operation but it feels good to be pulling on the [Canberra United] shirt and get out there training with the team,” Crawford said following her first training session with the team.

“The team culture at Canberra United is what brought me back having been here in 2006.”

“Robbie [Hooker] and all the staff at Canberra United has put together a good team culture and I wanted to be a part of that and this exciting league, so what better way to return than with Canberra United.”

The striker is hoping to help the side over come its yips in front of goal by providing a different role up front rather than solely relying on the pace of the forwards. “I think I bring something a little bit different to the team being a target striker,” Crawford said.

“With all the young fast players to work off me, hopefully we can build upon that.”

“My job will be keep as high up the field as possible and have Ash [Sykes] with that speed to burn along with Kara [Mowbray], Sasha [McDonnell] and Amy [Chapman] working off that so being a target player the strikers can cut in behind and exploit the space I-m hoping to create.”

“Hopefully we-ll make the Perth defenders to their job.”

Having not played or training with the squad until last night, Crawford doesn-t feel it will be a difficult task to fit in. “Watching the girls play has got me a little more organised, seeing what they do in their set plays and [Robbie Hooker] Hook-s has some DVD-s.”

“The teams really organized in how they do things so basically listening to the team and how Hook-s has to say and really taking it all in is important and I think I should be okay for the weekend.”

While Crawford-s focus is squarely on Canberra United at this stage, the 24 year old isn-t ruling out the possibility of one day rejoining the national team after having been involved with the Matildas at the 2003 FIFA Women-s World Cup.

“At this stage I-m just happy to be back.”

“I guess small steps have to be taken but it is something I-ve thought about and if that can happen in the future than that would be great but right now I just want to do the job with Canberra United and see where it goes from there.”

Canberra United takes on the Perth Glory on Sunday evening (6:00pm AEST) at Members Equity Stadium in an important clash towards securing a home semi final as the Westfield W-League reaches the halfway mark.

Canberra United returns home next weekend (6th December) when Sydney FC travel south to McKellar Park on Saturday evening in Round Seven of the Westfield W-League. Tickets are available through Capital Football, the Tradies Clubs in Dickson or Woden, and at the gate on match day.