It was a difficult decision at first, but Amy Harrison couldn't be happier that she's one of the Red & Black.
With her experience and the sublime quality of her football, the classy Matildas midfielder has been pivotal in the emergence o the Wanderers as a force in the Westfield W-League this season.
Harrison’s signing was one of the key moves by Wanderers head coach Dean Heffernan and his assistants Michael Beauchamp and Cath Cannuli.
But, it took a little bit of procrastination before Harrison eventually decided to make the move from defending champions and bitter rivals Sydney FC to their crosstown rivals.
“It has been good. I love it,” Harrison said of her season so far with the Wanderers.
“I am really happy with the decision I made.
“I think the club is really going in the right direction and everyone here is just so level headed, so caring, so respectful.
“Obviously that comes from the coaching staff down. It is such a great group of girls and I couldn’t be happier.
“For sure, it was (a big decision). I didn’t have the greatest season with Sydney last year and, to be honest, I never thought I would leave Sydney yet alone come to their rivals.
“I spoke to Nules (Catherine Cannuli) a little while ago and Dean.
“I didn’t know how to choose, I didn’t know what I was going to do so then I said I’ll just stay at Sydney, but I just couldn’t bring myself to sign (there).
“I knew then and there I wasn’t going to go back. I spoke to Dean again and made the decision.”
The move to the Wanderers has been a blessing for the 23-year-old, who is hoping the move out West will help her refocus and kick start her career with the Matildas.
Capped 10 times for her country, Harrison admits it is hard to look on while the Matildas are in camp preparing for the Olympic Games qualifiers.
“I love Sydney and I always will because it has been such a big part of my life and career, but you have to move on at some point,” said Harrison.
“While I have such good memories there I think now is the perfect time to be here, to refresh and live the game more than I did and be around new people and evolve as a person as well.
“Being at the Wanderers gives me more motivation to get myself back in there (the Matildas) and do all I can to get back there.”
As one of the high profile signings at the Wanderers, Harrison is cognisant of the expectations on her.
But, the heavy burden of expectation is not something she allows to get into her mindset.
“There’s a lit bit of it (expectation),” said Harrison. “At Sydney, there’s a lot bigger personalities.
“But, everyone here is equal and treated exactly the same no matter who you are, whether you are a visa player, a Matilda or a train on. We are such a close-knit group.
“The most important thing is that everyone here is a good person.
“We all get along so well and our team morale is probably one of the best I have ever been involved with in my career and I think that helps.
“That’s why I like it here so much, there’s no hierarchy. You are respected no matter who you are and that’s all that matters.”
With the regular season drawing to an end and the finals rapidly approaching, the Wanderers face a tough finish to the season with games against Sydney FC, Melbourne City, and Perth Glory still to come.
It’s a daunting task, especially for a club that is looking to play finals football for the first time, but one Harrison believes the Wanderers will relish and hold them in good stead.
“Obviously in the Finals, you are going to be playing the Sydney’s and City’s so, if anything, it is the best preparation we could have asked for,” added Harrison.
“But, then again every team on their day can win.
“We lost to Adelaide which was probably not our best game but then we can beat Sydney 5-0. It’s who is there on the day and who is going to perform.
“But, it's the perfect preparation for us going in (to the finals).”
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Saturday 15 February, 5:00pm