Roar sign NPL Queensland ace Rie Kitano

Brisbane Roar has secured another exciting addition for its talented W-League squad with the signing of Japanese midfielder Rie Kitano.

The NPL Queensland star makes the step up after consistently impressing in the state’s top women’s competition, scoring 31 goals in less than three full seasons.

“Roar is the squad that everyone wants to be a part of so I’m really happy to be involved,” Kitano said.

“I wasn’t thinking about it when I came to Australia, but after a year here I started to look for an opportunity to play in the W-League.

“I just can’t wait to get started!”

Kitano played for Okayama Yunogo Belle in Japan’s Nadeshiko League before relocating to Australia in early 2019 to link up with Gold Coast United.

The 29-year-old, who moved on to Souths United this year, got to face her new W-League side as part of the NPL All-Stars team that took on the Roar in an exhibition match last December.

“From my perspective, Rie has been a standout performer in the NPL Women’s competition across the past few seasons,” said Head Coach Garrath McPherson.

“She is a creative midfielder who is exciting to watch from the sideline. She has assisted and scored some amazing goals already this year and I encourage people to get along and watch her in action across the last five rounds.

“I have also been really impressed with Rie’s work rate and effort in defending moments this season.

“She is a competitor who further strengthens our winning mentality in the midfield.

“Like Shea Connors and Mariel Hecher, Rie is another example for players in our NPL Women’s competition of the pathway that exists into the W-League.”