Canberra United recruit Chloe Middleton is prepared to play anywhere on the pitch for her new club, except for centre back. She’s no good at it, she laughs.
The versatile midfielder has played across a number of roles in her time across the NPLW and in her 10 appearances with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
While playing as a winger is her preference, she’s also been used more centrally, as a wing-back, or even further forward on one occasion.
Playing 334 minutes in her five appearances last year, the winger role is where she found her consistency.
“I can pretty much play anywhere,” Middleton told media on Thursday.
“I love the midfield and I love winger. Anywhere is good really, as long as I’m playing. I’m happy to play wherever.
“Hopefully that played a role [in Canberra] recruiting me. When you’re versatile, it’s better for the team as well so you can fill in wherever they need.”
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Coming from the Wanderers midfield, she’ll need to adjust to a new system in what is looking to be a highly aggressive and pace-focused game plan.
The new signings of Allira Toby and Margot Robinne bring experience moving forward into the front third, while Michelle Heyman’s striking abilities are as prominent as ever.
Sporting her trademark headband and hair ribbon combo (though swapping red for green this season), Middleton is firming as a potential starting midfield option come the first match against Melbourne City.
The pace of Holly Caspers would be a perfect compliment across the wings at Viking Park. A further connection with Lauren Keir, her Illawarra Stingrays teammate, sees Middleton looking at success first and foremost.
“Looking from the outside, [Canberra] has such a good environment,” she said.
“It’s something that anyone would want to be a part of. I’m looking forward to working with the other midfielders and hopefully going one step further than what Canberra did last year.”
Head coach Vicki Linton sees what she can add into the strong midfield mix she’s built of the signings so far.
Her time with the Wanderers came as a particularly attractive quality to want to get her into the side for 2021/22.
“As a midfielder, there’s some versatility there,” Linton told media.
“She has some complementary skillsets to the other midfielders we have. The opportunities I’ve had to speak with her, she’s a really positive person.
“She’s got some [A-League Women] experience, the footage I’ve seen of her and the skillset she has will be really useful in our squad.”
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