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.
Usually playing as a wide 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.
It was a reason why she decided to come to Australia.
"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 said that competitive level and technical skills of the A-League Women in Australia are higher compared to the domestic league, and also gets adapted well ahead of the World Cup.
Next year the FIFA Women's World Cup will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
"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.
In fact, many Chinese players have played in overseas leagues. For instance, Wang Shuang, who was named Chinese Women's Player of the Year months ago, plays in the U.S. National Women's Soccer League side Racing Louisville FC.
Another club in A-League, 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.
Shui Qingxia, head coach of the Chinese national women's football 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 matches of the new season, which will start on Saturday.
"Hopefully we could present a wonderful performance," said Wu. ■