Now heading into her fifth season at Adelaide United Women, Emily Hodgson believes the stability in the squad has never been higher.
While many teams in the Westfield W-League this campaign will be without key Matildas, Adelaide’s squad has thus far largely remained intact with a few key additions.
Hodgson is confident that the continuity established over the last few years should hopefully reap the benefits this time around and secure that elusive finals berth.
“Our core group has been together for a while now which is great,” Hodgson said.
“And with all the other massive players leaving, I think we’ll do really well because we play together.
“I think we did well last year too, we just couldn’t get over the line in a few games but I reckon this year will hopefully be our year.”
Since making her Reds debut in 2016, Hodgson has accumulated 40 appearances.
Only two players in the current squad have more in Georgia Campagnale and Emily Condon.
“I think I got given my opportunity very young, I started playing when I was 16,” she said.
“And I think just given the shot to play at such a young age has probably helped me and having coaches believe in me and a good team to play with has only helped me achieve what I have.”
The 20-year-old explained that consistency and versatility have been fundamental to her success.
Hodgson, predominantly a right-back, has also appeared further forward as an auxiliary winger, adding another dimension to her game.
“I think being consistent is really important and I just put that down to the team too,” she added.
“When you’re playing with other players who are playing well, it really lifts you and you just continue to play well and do everything you can for the team.”
Hodgson began playing with her local club and moved to Adelaide Hills Hawks before joining Cumberland United Women’s Football Club.
Seven years of being in the state system ensued before she made the United squad, and spends the offseason competing with Women’s National Premier League outfit, West Adelaide.
However, the defender revealed that while football has palpably been an integral part of her life, it was not the first sport she had tried.
“I did ballet when I was little and then I got kicked out because apparently I was too energetic,” she laughed.
“So then apparently I told mum and dad that I wanted to do something where I would get dirty, so I started playing soccer for my local club.”
The Young Matilda, who has been capped seven times by her country, said her aim is to one day ply her trade overseas.
But at the moment her sole focus is again cementing her spot in the starting eleven and securing a top four finish.
“I obviously want to play as many games as possible and get as many minutes,” she continued.
“And just keep improving on things that I need to, like going forward and just doing everything I possibly can for the team.
“From the team perspective, winning as many games as possible so hopefully we can make finals which I think this is a good year to do it.”