A-League Women side Canberra United announces the signing of Chinese midfielder Wu Chengshu from China's Women's Super League side Jiangsu Suning FC, in Canberra, Australia on Nov. 10, 2022. (Photo by Chu Chen/Xinhua)
For Chinese international Wu Chengshu, joining the Australian women's football club Canberra United is something like "stepping out of the comfort zone."
by Xinhua writers Bai Xu, Yue Dongxing
CANBERRA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese international Wu Chengshu has joined Canberra United for the new season of Australian women's football top flight, a move she sees as "stepping out of the comfort zone."
"This is a big step in my career, which I hope could help me improve a lot," she told Xinhua in an interview in the Australian capital.
Canberra United last week announced the signing of Wu on loan from Chinese Super League club Jiangsu FC for the 2022-23 season of A-League Women, which will kick off this weekend.
Wu Chengshu (R) of China competes against Chiba Remina of Japan during their 2022 EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) E-1 Football Championship women's match at Kashima Soccer Stadium in Kashima City in Ibaraki prefecture, Japan on July 26, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)
Usually playing as a midfielder, Wu, 26, has emerged as a major attacking threat for China's national team, scoring the first goal against Japan in the 2022 Asian Cup semifinal.
"During the Asian Cup matches, I felt that my teammate Tang Jiali, who had played in England, improved a lot in many aspects including physical confrontation. I want to have a try myself as well," she said, revealing the motivation behind her loan move.
"For our future development," she said. "We have to catch up with the European teams."
Talking about why she chose Australia as the first overseas stop in her career, Wu admitted that the A-League is superior to China's domestic league in terms of competitiveness and technical standard.
With the FIFA Women's World Cup to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand next year, Wu also hopes to get adapted to the local conditions prior to the event.
"Here I am able to get used to the venues and climate in advance, which would be good for my preparation for the World Cup," she added.
Wu Chengshu (L) of China vies with Lin Ya Han of Chinese Taipei during their 2022 EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) E-1 Football Championship women's match at Toyota Stadium in Toyota City in Aichi prefecture, Japan on July 20, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)
Wu is the latest Chinese footballer who plys her trade in overseas leagues. Wang Shuang, the Chinese Women's Player of the Year for 2021, plays in the U.S. National Women's Soccer League side Racing Louisville FC. Another A-League club, Adelaide United, have announced the signing of Chinese international Xiao Yuyi earlier this month.
Wu noted that both the Chinese Football Association and her former club - the Jiangsu FC supported her decision.
"After the last match, my former club held a farewell party for me," she recalled.
Wu Chengshu (L) of China vies with Ting Chi of Chinese Taipei during their group A match at the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup in Mumbai, India on Jan. 20, 2022. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)
Shui Qingxia, head coach of the Chinese national women's team, also encouraged her. "She wished that I could get used to the new environment soon, and improve myself in defense."
Talking about Xiao who is currently in South Australia, Wu said they had always been in touch.
"She arrived earlier, and told me what to bring to Australia," said the footballer, smiling.
She is now looking forward to meeting Xiao in the new season, which will start on Saturday.
"Hopefully we could present a wonderful performance," said Wu.