Adelaide United has added UEFA Champions League experience to its young side with the signing of 28-year-old Dutch defender, Maruschka Waldus.
The Lady Reds shipped four goals in the second half of their opening fixture with Canberra United, so the acquisition of experienced defender Waldus will be a welcome one for coach Adrian Stenta.
“She ticks a lot of boxes, we were looking for another defensive player,” Stenta said.
“She’s been playing in Europe so she’s fit and ready to go.
“She’s been playing in the champions league in Europe as well and has W-League experience before too.”
United has one of the youngest defences in the W-League with goal scorer Mallory Weber (26) the eldest of last week’s starting back four.
With the ability to play across the back-line as well as in a holding midfield role, Waldus’ experience and versatility will be an asset to the Reds, who are yet to make a finals appearance in the W-League era.
“She’s a real leader already, on and off the pitch. We’re impressed with the quality we’ve seen from her already in training.”
Waldus’ professional career started at Dutch club SC Heerenveen where she spent the first four years of her career, amassing over 60 appearances and scoring nine goals.
Since then she has gone on to play at nine clubs across seven countries including a stint at Dutch giants FC Twente.
Waldus joins United from Norwegian side Valerenga, the reigning champions of the Norwegian first division.
Throughout her career in Europe, Maruschka managed to make 14 UEFA Champions League appearances including an impressive run with FC Twente which saw it reach the round of 16 in the 2015/16 season.
Waldus has already had plenty of W-League experience after spending two seasons with the Western Sydney Wanderers and is excited to be back in Australia, this time in a different shade of red.
“When I was contacted by the club, I had a good feeling about this next move in my career and so far everyone has been welcoming to me and I’m very happy to be in South Australia,” she said.
“I believe in the ambitions the club and our team have, so this is a good fit for us all, and I’m looking forward to working together in achieving these.”
Adelaide United welcome Perth Glory to the Marden Sports Complex this Saturday night in its first home game of the season.
Coach Adrian Stenta hinted that Waldus could be in line to make her debut, having completed the necessary quarantine requirements and given she is match-fit with the Norwegian season already in full swing.