CANBERRA captain Ellie Brush declared United will again be contenders when the W-League season starts on Saturday.
Brush, who captained United to a grand final berth against Brisbane last season, believes Canberra can go one better this season.
The Charles Sturt University physiotherapy student said the team has been training hard for the upcoming season and was looking forward to it getting under way.
“I think we are all focused on trying to go one better,” she said.
“We were disappointed not to win it last year and now are ready for the first game.
“We really want to be up there in the top three, and anything less than that won’t be good enough.”
Canberra had its first pre-season hit-out last week against Sydney FC, which they lost 2-1, but Brush said the result hadn’t concerned her or team manager Ray Junna too much.
“It’s a trial (game), so you can’t really read too much into that,” she said.
“They are a really tough team and we know that when the season comes around we’ll have to be on our game.”
For Brush herself, this season is about playing consistently.
After her stellar 2008 season, Brush was included in the Matildas squad and made her Australian debut against Italy in January.
She is now hoping to pick up where she left off.
Even though her main focus is on playing well for United, Brush knows that a consistent season for Canberra could earn her a recall to the national squad.
Brush, who plays with SS & A in the local competition, is in Canberra for the start of the season but she will return to Albury to continue her studies throughout the W-League season.
To maintain her fitness, and of course to compensate for missing training with Canberra, Brush works with Albury-Wodonga Football Association stalwart Steve Hayes as well as W-League rival Sydney FC goalkeeper Nikki Dieter.
“Steve does extra training sessions with me throughout the week,” she said.
“He invites a couple of other players down and with Nikki we work pretty hard.
“It allows me to study here as well as compete in the W-League.”
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