Emma Checker believes the two-week break will serve as a benefit rather than hindrance to Adelaide United’s Westfield W-League 2018/19 ambitions.
The Reds recorded an opening round goalless draw against Melbourne Victory before a two-week hiatus halted their season due to a Round 2 bye and then the international break.
But Adelaide Captain, Checker, refuses to see any negatives, instead insisting the time off has allowed to further build team chemistry ahead of Sunday’s match with Brisbane Roar.
“If anything, it’s been good in the sense that we’ve almost had an extra two weeks of pre-season,” Checker admitted.
“That’s not disregarding the first game, but we went back into that mode of building and preparing ourselves for a big season.
“And I think obviously it’s hard that we couldn’t gain momentum from that first game, but you’ve to look at the positives and it’s been really good for us to have two solid weeks of training together.”
The Reds will be bolstered by returning duo, Emily Hodgson and Charlotte Grant, from international duty with the Young Matildas, while Kahlia Hogg could feature following her move from Western Sydney.
Checker also said United’s internationals – United States pair Veronica Latsko and Amber Brooks, and Icelandic duo Fanndís Fridriksdóttir and Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir – have all strengthened the side, adding quality and experience.
She revealed she has enjoyed developing a strong partnership with Brooks in the centre of defence.
“It’s been great,” she said. “I’m really enjoying having Amber (Brooks) by my side. She’s got a lot of experience and it’s really good for me to learn off of someone like her.
“And I think the reality is we’ve got four great internationals and all four of them bring something different to the table.
“For us it’s been good because we’ve got not only four good players but four good people and it’s really helping us gel as a team.”
Brisbane have collected four points from the first two games and Checker is aware of the class the Roar possess, but suggested her side will not be shying away from the challenge – determined to get the win.
“I think Brisbane are always a strong side,” she continued.
“They’ve maintained similar personnel for a long period of time so they’re good team and we respect that going into the game.
“But whilst we respect them we don’t fear them and I think we’ve got what it takes to mark up with what they’ve got.
“So we’re going into the game confident and for us it’s nothing but three points. Obviously they’ve got a lot of experience in their team but we back what we’ve got.”
Adelaide United face Brisbane Roar in Round 3 of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 season on Sunday, 18 November at Lions Stadium. Kick-off is at 3.30pm ACDT. Watch Live on the My Football Live App.