Vicki Linton's search for W-League talent sent her all the way to Iceland and back, with Canberra United re-signing midfielder Laura Hughes for 2021.
Canberra announced Hughes' return to the capital on Friday morning, having spent the winter playing with Throttur Reykjavk FC in the top Icelandic league.
Hughes, a Canberra United Academy product, has made 18 W-League appearances and scored one goal since making her debut against the Brisbane Roar in 2016.
The 19-year-old midfielder is the second official signing on Linton's roster and joins local junior Grace Maher, with more expected to follow in the coming weeks.
"She's an exciting, attacking midfielder. She's still young and developing, we have to remember that with all our players, even Grace Maher who's only 21," Linton said.
"They're still young, learning and developing but there's a lot of good things about Laura's game, how she likes to go forward and her creativity. I'm looking forward to working with her."
Linton has not worked with Hughes before, but has watched her matches from the last W-League season and Throttur highlights.
Hughes joined the Reykjavik-based club in May and has since made 13 appearances and scored two goals, the first of which came on her Urvalsdeild kvenna debut.
"This overseas experience for her in Iceland is only making her better. I've spoken to her and she's really learning from the experience and she, and I, can't wait to see what she can bring back to the W-League," Linton said.
"There's going to be some tangibles with her moving overseas and being a little bit more independent. Over there, she's the foreign player so she's having to grow in her leadership - even at a young age she's having to grow with that. I think it's one of those things that help develop a person and a player.
"Everything is going well for her [in Iceland] and there's a lot of positives."
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Hughes is looking forward to returning to Canberra and building on her overseas experience this upcoming season.
"I'm really excited to be given the opportunity to play for Canberra this season and I'm looking forward to working with Vicki and seeing what we can achieve as a club," Hughes said.
"I absolutely love playing for Canberra and there's no other team I'd rather be a part of. I'm just counting down the days until I can put on that jersey and play for the fans at McKellar Park."
Football Federation Australia is yet to announce a kick-off date and competition format for the upcoming W-League season, although its expected to be delayed until early next year.
The FFA finalised a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the national teams on Wednesday, with the revised deal to stand until the completion of the 2023 Women's World Cup.
The Matildas and Socceroos will continue to evenly split their revenue, while the former will also receive a monthly wage by the FFA.
Negotiations are still ongoing with A-League and W-League clubs but now that the national deal is done, Linton is hoping competition planning will get underway.
"The CBA has been signed so that's a step forward and allows the FFA to start planning in more detail, once they've settled that away," Linton said.
"With the COVID-19 restrictions, it's looking more likely in the new year as a start. The indications are in a few weeks we'll have the firm details, but that's what I know at this point."