Clubless since Notts County folded earlier in the year, Laura Bassett has finally announced her new club and to the surprise of many she’s headed to Australia’s W-League to join up with reigning Premiers, Canberra United.
Travelled around WSL
A rarity at the 2017 European championships, as a player without a club. Following on from Notts County Ladies dissolution in April, Bassett stated that she didn’t want to rush into a new set-up but rather focus on the Euros having already selected in Mark Sampson’s England squad.
The Euros came and went, the English transfer window opening and closing, though as a free agent, Bassett as well within her means to move to a European club outside of the regular transfer dates. The rumours circled, many suggesting that she may return to Birmingham City, a club she’d spent eleven years at over two spells, but with the Midlands club all but full many didn’t see that as a viable option. However, today it’s been announced that Bassett has joined Canberra United – Bassett, joining an elite few English women who have (or will) play in the W-League.
Originally from Nuneaton, Bassett is well known to fans across England, her senior career starting at Coventry City before she moved to Birmingham City in 2000, a permanent fixture with the Blues until 2008. The tail end of her first stint in Birmingham spent stateside with USL W-League side, New York Magic – her only prior experience to league football outside of England. After leaving the Blues, Bassett spent a year with Arsenal before moving onto Leeds United (then Carnegie) and back to Birmingham for three more years.
Another move away from the Midlands saw Bassett relocate to another London club as she was part of the Chelsea team that came agonisingly close to WSL glory in 2014, her time in Staines over within the season before she moved to the ill-fated Notts’.
Having racked up 63 caps for England since her debut in 2003, Bassett has remained a favourite of Sampson since he took charge of England, whether utilised on the pitch or called into camp for her character in the squad. Well known for an unfortunate own goal in stoppage time in the 2015 World Cup semi-final against Japan, the centre-back synonymous with the heart-break England endured that summer. Resilient to the last, Bassett bounced back from the own-goal as she has at every stumble during her career, the Midlander a model professional both on and off the pitch.
Defender "Can't wait" to get started
Speaking about the move to the Canberra United website, Bassett said she couldn’t wait to get settled and started, the defender stated she was, “excited and really looking forward” to meeting up with everyone at the club. Having “only heard impressive things” from those around the league, Bassett is ready to get stuck in and “fully immerse” herself.
Vastly experienced over her years playing in and for England, the centre-back is still looking to learn from her teammates as well as passing on her valuable “knowledge, experience and advice” and doing all she can to “support the young players.”
United coach Heather Garriock is looking to set the English international up in the very heart of her new-look defence, hoping Bassett will become “the backbone” of the backline in the forthcoming season. Equally glad that the 34-year-old can play in defensive midfield too if needed.
The W-League season kicks off on 27th October and Bassett’s Canberra are in action the following day away to Melbourne Victory.