Indiah-Paige Riley will return to the Brisbane Roar after last playing with them in 2020. (Photo: Brisbane Roar)

Former Matilda and current New Zealand international Indiah-Paige Riley will return to the Brisbane Roar for the remainder of the 2022-23 Liberty A-League season.

Riley returns to the Roar after a three-year stint in Demark and will replace the injured Mariel Hecher.

The injured Hecher was one of the more dominant players for the Roar before she was sidelined. She tore her ACL for the second time in her career in the win over Western Sydney Wanderers earlier this season.

Riley re-enters the club after debuting for them in 2018 at 17 years old against the Wanderers. During this time she made 20 appearances and was nominated for the Young Player of the Year award in her second season.

“I’m very excited to be back playing in Brisbane, I can’t wait to put on the orange jersey again and play in the warm weather in front of the roar supporters,” said Riley.

“It was quite a quick decision for me personally after talking to influential people in my life. However, it was from unfortunate circumstances that I have been given the opportunity to play here again.”

“Mariel’s injury is a huge loss to the team; she has a massive impact on and off the field so joining as her injury replacement is no easy task.”

After two seasons in the A-League with the Roar, Riley was scouted by the then-Danish champions Fortuna Hjorring. After transferring over to Europe she played a total of 48 appearances and scored eight goals in all competitions for the Danish side.

This included the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League, in which she helped lead Fortuna to the Round of 16. Despite losing to the best women’s side in the world, Barcelona, Riley admits that it was one of the highlights of her career.

“My move overseas I think was one of the best decisions I could have made in order to grow and mature as a player and a person,” she said. 

“I’m constantly learning new styles of play and learning new things from my teammates every day at training really helped me develop.”

“On my return to Roar, I hope I can continue building on the success they have had this season so far and do everything I can to help the team to win.”

Not only has Riley played in the UEFA Champions League but has played internationally for both Australia and her native New Zealand. Starting her international career in the Australian youth set-up, she decided to switch to play for New Zealand late last year and made her debut in September against Mexico.

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Riley has previously played for the Young Matildas and Matildas. (Photo: Matildas)

Garrath McPherson, the head coach of Brisbane spoke about his excitement about Riley re-entering the squad. Riley will give him an extra key piece in the forwards alongside Katrina Gorry.

“Indi is another former pathways player from Queensland who has played at the highest levels of the women’s game,” he said. 

“She made her debut at a young age and has spent the last two- and a bit years in Denmark. During that time, she has also been selected for national teams. Indi is a wide striker of great quality; she loves to take on defenders 1v1 and has an eye for goal.”

“She aspires to be involved in a World Cup in six months’ time and we are excited that she has decided to return home to Brisbane.” 

Brisbane Roar will face the Perth Glory next on Wednesday as they look to enter the top four.

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