New Zealander Emma Kete is back for a second stint in Green.
New Zealand forward Emma Kete, makes a return to the Westfield W-League this season having had 2014 off in England to collect more experience to add to her professional football career. And gaining this invaluable training that has added to her preparation this season.
The 28-year-old will wear green again this season and she compares the 2014/2015 Reigning Champions as ‘one of the most professional clubs’ she’s ever been with.
“At Canberra United, it’s the professionalism of the club that stands out,” Kete mentions. “I’ve played at professional clubs overseas and I’d have to say by far it’s one of the most professional clubs and set ups, also the team and club cohesion.”
Kete also detailed that the semi-professional club, which sees a squad comprised of predominantly Matilda’s, has it’s professional advantage because Canberra United is ‘tight knit’ and ‘well known’ in the ACT, leading the way in women’s football and setting the benchmark for other clubs.
“We lead the way in women’s football here and football in general,” she said. “I feel more confident. I’ve gone away, gone overseas and gotten a lot more experience and grown as a player.”
The Kiwi couldn’t have asked for anymore from Canberra United when she received a phone call two games out from the end of the season in 2011/2012 from the undefeated Champions to play on a short term contract.
“I have always been grateful for that,” Kete confirmed. “I definitely couldn’t have turned down the opportunity to play for Canberra United. It was a little nerve racking coming into such a strong side I knew I could add a little bit of something and be part of it.”
Compared to England, there is an obvious attraction to playing in the Westfield W-League - the warmer Australian weather and the shorter season.
“I think the lifestyle and cultures are a bit more difficult to adjust too,” Kete commented. “In Australia and New Zealand it’s a lot more laid back and team cohesion is a lot more important. Whereas in England you’re left to do your own thing and it can be quite hard culturally.”
After last year’s title success, United will be looking to build on that momentum and perhaps go back-to-back becoming the first team to achieve this feat. But as Kete is well aware this will be no easy task.
“That’s sort of my aim to be defending champions,” she said. “No other team has done that before so it’s exciting to do what no other team is able to do.”
Canberra United has one of the most dangerous and destructive attacking front lines in the league: Michelle Heyman who has had 34 appearances with the Matildas and has scored 51 goals in the Westfield W-League, Caitlin Munoz who has had 56 appearances for the Matildas and played at the FIFA World Cup, Ashleigh Sykes who’s scored 17 goals in the Westfield W-League and English born footballer - Jodie Taylor who will also make guest appearances as part of a loan from Portland Thorns FC.
The forward line is an embarrassment of riches and Kete is confident she can play her part. “We’re very attacking dominated so I think we will be pretty dangerous. We will have one of the best front lines in the mix. I aim to really deliver this season to repay the opportunities I’ve been given.”
With Kete on board and raring to go, United will be even tougher to beat in 2015/16.
Photo: Emma Kete celebrates with goalscorer Veronica Perez in the team's 3-0 win over Sydney FC.