Adelaide United Women secured a massive coup ahead of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 season after Amber Brooks re-signed with the team.
The American, who arrives from Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), enjoyed a magnificent campaign with Adelaide last year.
Brooks featured in all 12 games on her way to collecting the Reds’ 2018/19 Player of the Year award.
Brooks revealed she was thrilled to be back after excelling in Ivan Karlović’s side.
“I kept in touch with Ivan I guess during the W-League offseason and my NWSL season,” she said.
“And it was something that even leaving at the end of last W-League season was in the back of my mind that I might return.
“I was really happy in general how last season went, but at the same time frustrated that we kind of let the opportunity to make finals slip through.
“But I thought we made a lot of progress and I was happy to be a part of that progress.”
The Reds experienced their most successful season to date last campaign, finishing one point outside the top four.
Brooks admitted the feeling of unfinished business served as a motivating factor to return Down Under.
“Obviously coming into last season, I didn’t know what to expect other than the previous seasons Adelaide had finished near the bottom,” she explained.
“So I was pleasantly surprised at how well we finished and the fact that we were in a position to make finals at all.
“And then I think once you get a taste of that and I’m sure all the other girls would attest to it, it’s really exciting and we now have some belief in ourselves and we know that we’re capable of hanging with the top teams.
“I think the great thing about finals football is any team that gets there has the opportunity to win and it’s a whole new ball game once you make it to finals.
“We know we have to be more consistent and stronger throughout the regular season and put ourselves in a position where we’re comfortably in finals.”
Now playing in the Australian top-flight for a second season, the 28-year-old was in a better position to share her thoughts on the league.
She said being a defender, specifically a centre-back, allowed her to test herself against fully-fledged internationals and insisted playing in this competition will only help continue her development.
“I think it’s a great league,” said Brooks, who has received one cap with the United States.
“I think especially too as a defender I’m always going up against a top forward, whether they’re Australian or playing in the NWSL or another top international.
“So I think from my standpoint that’s another big reason why I wanted to come back.
“I think I’m going against the likes of Sam Kerr and top Matildas and international players so I think that’s really good for me and forces me to really be at the top of my game every game.
“I’m not here on vacation so first and foremost my decision to come back was because I thought it would help me in my career and my quest to keep getting better and reach my goals.
“Obviously with Adelaide I think we saw what we’re capable of and again it’s just a bit more consistency.
“I think all the local girls have another year of experience under their belt and did well in their NPL teams so I think there should be a lot of optimism around the team and what we can do this season.”
The former Bayern Münich stopper said she is again looking forward to taking on a mentor role in the team as one of the most experienced players on the roster.
“The team lost some leadership with Emma (Checker) and Michelle (Heyman) leaving,” she continued.
“I think last season even as I warmed up to the girls as the season went on I kind of just naturally take on that leadership role.
“And kind of bring that experience and the girls are very receptive to it which is what’s most important and I learn from them as much as they learn from me.
“And I think that’s why we get along and why we’ve such strong unity as a team.”