She's one of our next generation or the 'now' generation as coach Rae Dower called them when she coached Canberra United.
Grace Maher returned to the field on Sunday for Canberra Olympic after being on the injured list all winter, netting a screamer from distance in an 8-2 victory over Woden-Weston FC in Canberra’s women’s National Premier League.
It’s been a busy time for Maher since news emerged that she won't be playing for Canberra United in W-League season eleven, in what is likely to be another year of high turnover for the club.
"It's true, I won't be returning to Canberra United," Maher said.
"I was released at the end of June by the club after coming to a mutual agreement that it would be best for me to go elsewhere this season. The club and city mean a lot to me so it's sad, but I'm not going to let it stop me pursuing my football," she said.
It's no surprise that other W-League clubs are pursuing Maher now she is on the open market.
"There is interest from a few clubs. I'm narrowing it down. I'm considering the coaching style, and where and how I want to play, as well as what's going to work off the field."
"I really want to be able to play in midfield in a free way. At Canberra and for Australia recently I've been playing in defensive roles which has been good for me to learn but I lost a lot of enjoyment in the game. I want to play for a team and a coach that wants creativity from their player," Maher said.
Maher is philosophical about changing clubs after returning from the first break since her playing career took off four years ago, having just recovered from compartment syndrome and taking a step back from football for a few months.
"I've been working on recovering, and working on my mindset and why I love football," she said.
"I'm coaching an U13s NPL side in Canberra as well as playing and I’m really enjoying the new challenge from a coaching perspective. I want to encourage girls to play beautiful football and I hope to do that as a player at an elite level for many years to come. I'm under no pressure to get to the top quickly. I consider playing for your country an honour, not a job."
Grace Maher burst onto the W-League as Canberra United's youngest player at 15 in 2014 under coach, Elisabeth Migchelsen, graduating swiftly from being a shining talented junior in local football and as a volunteer at the Canberra United match day merchandise stall.
Maher went on to start in the W-League grand final that season against Perth Glory, leading the team in the central midfield role, and providing the assist to Stephanie Ochs that would set United on their way to the title.