Alanna Kennedy joined the Orlando Pride yesterday for her first training session of the preseason. The Australian international, who was acquired by the Pride in the offseason in a trade with the North Carolina Courage, said that she had only heard good things about the Pride and that she was excited to make the move.

“I’d only heard good things,” Kennedy said after training. “Obviously, I’ve been coached by Tom [Sermanni] before and the girls had nothing but good things to say about the team and the club and the organization. So, I was really excited to join the team.”

Head Coach Tom Sermanni was equally excited to welcome Kennedy to the pitch. “I think you already see her quality,” Sermanni said. “She is a terrific footballer, composed, calm on the ball, good decision maker, and just what you call a class player.” 

Kennedy is a versatile player, who gives Tom Sermanni options in both the defense and the midfield.

“She can contribute in several ways. Initially, for most of last season and with the Australian team, she’s been playing as a center back. When we looked at her, we pencilled her in in that position,” Sermanni said. “But she’s really flexible to play in the central midfield. So, she’s got the different qualities to play in both of those positions. She’s competitive, she’s a Western Sydney girl; you’ve got to be tough if you’re from the West of Sydney. So, she’s got that toughness, she’s got quality, but she’s also got the flexibility to play either in the central midfield or as a center back.”

Kennedy has seen a lot of familiar faces at Pride training; she plays defense with Laura Alleway on the Australian National Team and Sermanni used to be their head coach.

“We’ve got a great relationship,” Kennedy said. “So, I’m excited to play for him.”

Kennedy felt pretty good after her first day of training, despite her jet lag. Now, it’s just about taking care of business and preparing for the season. 

“It’s just a lot of really friendly vibes around here, makes you feel right at home,” Kennedy said. “I’ve enjoyed that so far. And I think that everyone’s really behind the team, which is great. It’s just us taking care of our football now.”