Canberra United recruit Lisa de Vanna with coach Rae Dower after the Matildas captain signed a deal to play in the W-League. Photo: Capital FootballCanberra United young gun Nickoletta Flannery wants to tap into the brain of one of Australian soccer’s greatest players as she prepares to battle Matildas captain Lisa de Vanna for W-League game time.
De Vanna started her stint with W-League ladder leaders Canberra with a pre-Christmas beep test on Wednesday as she sacrifices a holiday at home to begin her mission in the capital.
Canberra coach Rae Dower said the international veteran must train with the team this week and return on Boxing Day if she wants to be considered for selection to play against the Melbourne Victory on December 28.
De Vanna jumped at the chance and was put through a gruelling fitness session after the 32-year-old took a two-month break from the game.
Canberra is already at the top of the ladder and has scored more goals than any team in the competition, but de Vanna’s arrival gives their championship dreams a major boost.
Despite being one of the most decorated players in Matildas history, de Vanna insists she has to earn her place in the Canberra line-up. That includes battling with 17-year-old Flannery for an attacking spot.
“I think it’s going to be good for the team, [de Vanna] is a world-class player and I think everyone can learn something from her,” Flannery said.
“Even at training [on Wednesday] she was giving out orders which kind of lifted our training environment.
“There’s a lot of learning to be had. Lisa’s in my position so I can learn a lot – shooting, crossing, position. It’s good to be here with her. I’ll just try my hardest and see what happens.” Look who is in town! Welcome @lisadevanna11pic.twitter南京夜网/WfnGFrR2Mv— Canberra United (@CanberraUnited) December 19, 2016