AUSTRALIA national team star Elise Kellond-Knight was refused a W-League homecoming this summer but says she won’t be denied a strong preparation leading into the Women’s World Cup.
Kellond-Knight is in Portugal with the Matildas, preparing to play Norway in the Algarve Cup opener (Thursday morning AEDT) and at tournament’s end she’ll be a free agent after winning a release from Germany’s Turbine Potsdam.
The Queenslander asked for a release before Christmas, which the Frauen- Bundesliga club denied.
“My plan was to play in the W-League. Unfortunately due to contractual problems it didn’t happen,” Kellond-Knight told AAP.
“With time the club realised when a player’s not happy they can’t perform.”
The 27-year-old Matildas favourite — affectionately known to all as KK — contributed to three campaigns in Brandenburg but had run her course given the demands of the 10-month season which made playing in the W-League impossible.
“I had 2.5 years only in Germany with a handful of days at home. That eventually takes its toll,” she said.
“You start to feel really isolated with the culture, language, distance.
“My feelings built up and I got to the point where you’ve got to change something.
“You can’t just keep running against that wall so I made that decision.”
National team coach Alen Stajcic empathised.
“Once you’ve been on that merry-go-round you do need a bit of a break,” he told AAP.
“We’re so conditioned to men’s football that we don’t understand what women go through.” The big question for ‘KK’ is what’s next?
The National Women’s Soccer League in the USA — where many Australians ply their trade — is possible, though the timing of her release brings challenges.
“There is interest there but finding an international spot is a little bit tricky,” she said.
“The transfer window in Sweden is still open. Japan is possible too.
“Of course a last resort, returning to Australia … doing a combination of training with Brisbane Roar’s youth team and playing with the Matildas.”
Stajcic said Kellond-Knight would be looked after.
“Clare Polkinghorne is a good example of someone that stayed at home this year but had a really good training environment up in Brisbane,” he said. “All the ones that are staying at home this year, we’ll provide that.”
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have been keen to bring in a right-back having sold the Irish international to Tottenham.
And after selling Diogo Jota to Liverpool for £45million ($80 million AUD), the club have the funds to spend big.
SunSport reported on Saturday how the Blaugrana are looking to bring in Ajax ace Sergino Dest with Semedo on his way out of the Nou Camp for around £40m ($71 million AUD).
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that it is Wolves that are in pole position to secure the 26-year-old’s services.
He also revealed how Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal will be joining Semedo out the door in Catalonia.
Romano tweeted: “Wolves are ‘one step away’ from signing Nelson Semedo.
“New bid submitted yesterday and Barcelona are now ready to accept.
“Work in progress also on personal terms to be agreed.
“On next hours Barca are gonna sell Semedo to #Wolves and Vidal to #Inter. Here we go soon!”
Wolves are ‘one step away’ from signing Nelson Semedo. New bid submitted yesterday and Barcelona are now ready to accept. Work in progress also on personal terms to be agreed. On next hours Barça are gonna sell Semedo to #Wolves and Vidal to #Inter. Here we go soon! 🐺 #FCB
Liverpool showed Chelsea still have far to go to challenge the champions for the Premier League title as Sadio Mane took advantage of a first-half red card shown to Andreas Christensen to score both goals in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Mane provoked the Dane’s dismissal and then headed the Reds into the lead before pouncing on another terrible error from the Blues’ goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Idiotic Kepa gifts Mane
Commentator Andy Townsend had nothing to offer but “bloody hell” when he reflected on the $127 million flop’s all-time howler.
At the other end, Alisson Becker also proved the value of a good goalkeeper as he saved Jorginho’s penalty 15 minutes from time to deny the Blues a lifeline.
Victory takes Liverpool level on points with Everton, Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the top of the table as the only sides with maximum points from their opening two games.