Matildas teenage superstar Ellie Carpenter admits she had "a lot of offers" from rival clubs but decided to re-sign with Canberra United because of one person.
Second-year coach Heather Garriock.
Carpenter, 18, was one of the most sought after players in the W-League this off-season but she believes only Garriock can take her game to the next level.
Canberra United star Ellie Carpenter in action last season.Credit:AAP
Garriock has adopted the same no-nonsense approach which made her one of the most feared midfielders in the world and earned over 130 Matildas caps, to her coaching.
She doesn't suffer fools, everything is done in the name of winning and every player is pushed to their absolute limit.
It was Garriock's fierce determination to win which brought Carpenter to the capital and a relentless appetite to improve her player's which made the star defender stay.
Carpenter wants to follow in the footsteps of the Matildas third-most capped player, Garriock, and lead Canberra to their first title in five years.
"She knows how to get the best out of me as a player and pushes me to what she knows I can do and that's what I like about her, and she has my best interests at heart," Carpenter said.
"Yeah I had a lot of offers but I'm happy I decided to come back Canberra. It was a good season last year and we’re just getting started, we have unfinished business.
Taren King in Canberra United’s 2018-19 playing kit.
"She's recruited new players and we have high hopes. Heather's end goal is to lift that trophy and everyone knows that. Every weekend is a battle but we're going to make the top four and try to lift the trophy."
Carpenter made her National Women's Soccer League debut this year with the Portland Thorns and started in the grand final last month.
"Portland is one of the best women's clubs in the world, it has world-class facilities and I was lucky to have my first season there and play in a championship [game] alongside world-class players," Carpenter said.
"I feel like I've grown a lot as a player and person since being in Portland and I definitely think I'm a different player to what I was 12 months ago.
"It's been a big year but I'm excited about the return to Canberra. Canberra is the best place for me to be leading into the World Cup next year.
"I just want to have another good season under Heather and push myself and keep improving and Canberra is the best place for me to be to peak come the World Cup."
United missed finals in tough campaign last season but Carpenter is confident she can lead the club back to the play-offs.
"People don't really refer to me as a young one anymore, I'm quite experienced now and even last year I was playing a bit of senior role," Carpenter said.
"I'll definitely look to play that role again this season and share my experience with the young ones."
Canberra will kick off their season against Melbourne City on October 28 and wear a new-look jersey this season, which features the Parliament House spire.
CANBERRA UNITED'S DRAW (home games in bold)
October 28: Canberra United v Melbourne City at McKellar, 4pm
November 4: Canberra United v Perth Glory at McKellar, 4pm
November 17: Newcastle Jets v Canberra United at Newcastle, 7.30pm
November 22: Adelaide United v Canberra United at Coopers Stadium, 7.30pm
December 2: Canberra United v Sydney FC at McKellar, 4pm
December 7: Western Sydney Wanderers v Canberra United at Spotless Stadium, 5.20pm
December 22: Melbourne City v Canberra United at AAMI Park, 5pm
December 27: Canberra United v Brisbane Roar at McKellar, 7.30pm
January 3: Perth Glory v Canberra United at Dorrien Gardens, 8.30pm
January 13: Canberra United v Adelaide United at McKellar Park, 4pm
January 17: Canberra United v Melbourne Victory at Seiffert Oval, 7.30pm
January 25: Brisbane Roar v Canberra United at Suncorp Stadium, 5.20pm
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