Isabel Hodgson is excited to be back at Adelaide United after re-signing with the Club ahead of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 season.
The 23-year-old arrived a few weeks into the league season last year from East Tennessee State University and went on to play seven matches, scoring one goal, before leaving with two rounds left due to her college commitments in the United States.
Hodgson registered 15 appearances in her first stint with the Reds between 2013 and 2016.
She said her time in America certainly helped evolve her game.
“I think it was probably one of my best decisions was to go over there,” she said.
“I think I’ve really developed and improved as a player. I think physically the American league is quite tough, it’s very athletic, and a lot of running and very physical.
“And I think that’s been brought to my game here and it’s really helped me move up to the element in the W-League.”
With a full season in front of her this time around, Hodgson said her personal goal was to make the most of her opportunities.
“Coming in last year was a bit difficult because I came in the middle of the season and I was only here for a couple of months and then I had to leave again,” she explained.
“So it’s hard to come in and join a team that’s been playing together, and playing together well for a while and just trying to find where I fit.
“Whereas the good thing about this year is I’ve been here since pre-season and finding out where I fit and the goal to try and get more minutes on the field.
“And even being one of the older players at the moment, stepping into the leadership role and just really show my place in the team.”
As for the team objective Hodgson made it clear – try and secure a maiden finals appearance.
“First and foremost is to win games and make finals,” she said.
“I think last year we just missed out and we almost had that taste and I think we’re really ready to go this year and get all the way into finals and see where it takes us.”
The winger, who spent the final few months of the off-season with Adelaide City in the Women’s National Premier League, said she has enjoyed working with Head Coach, Ivan Karlović.
“Obviously I met Ivan last year during the middle of the season,” she said.
“So it’s really good to see him as a coach from pre-season and just working with me about what he expects from me and what he wants me to do throughout the year.
“It’s been really good having him consecutively, knowing him from last year and coming in to this year, everyone trusts him a lot and what he says goes, so he’s a really good coach.”
Adelaide begin their campaign away to Western Sydney Wanderers and Hodgson stated the team could sense the anticipation with the new season fast approaching.
“I think we’re all getting really excited, we’re getting ready to start playing some real games,” she continued.
“We’ve been in pre-season for a while now, so we’re working hard and we’re just waiting for that to pay off – all the conditioning sessions pay off and be in a game and hopefully get that first win against Western Sydney.”