Fremantle City’s Gemma Craine will finally get her chance in the big time after securing a W-League contract with Perth Glory.
The English born midfielder was once part of the Chelsea FC academy and played for the England Under 17s. She also played college football in America for San Diego State University.
The 25-year-old journey woman has now found a home for herself in Australia and will lace up the boots for the upcoming W-League season.
Craine admits there is a lot to look forward too as she embarks on her debut season.
“Being my first W-League season, I'm especially excited to see what the professional league has to offer,” she said. “I've played alongside some of the girls in NPLW and often try to use them as a benchmark for myself.
“Their skill level is second to none and I can't wait to learn and train beside them this season. I'm also very intrigued and open to learning a new coaching style from Alex and Tiana.”
Craine played 12 games this year for Fremantle in what was a curtailed season. This was after coming off a spectacular 2019 season where she won the Football West Premier League Women’s Gold Medal for being the league’s player of the year.
She has also been heavily involved in playing futsal, which she credits for helping her enhance her outfield performance. A devotion to training hard has also prepared her for the professional set-up she now finds herself in.
“The crucial part of my development over the past few years has been my training at Pro Futsal Centre with Eldon Abraham," she said.
"He has taken me under his wing and has shown me the ropes to becoming the best player I can be! Six days a week without fail El has coached me since COVID-19.
“I think another crucial part to my development has been the mindset of never settling for mediocrity. I'm always looking for ways to move a level up everyday and knowing I put in 110% every session really makes the difference.”
Craine is confident her young team will be ready for their season opener against Melbourne Victory on 2 January. She insists new coach Alex Epakis has got the team prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
“Alex has joined the team at a late stage. However, he's done a great job at getting us all working together in a professional manner.
“He has done well to bring a young team up to a competitive and cohesive level! Its great to have such such intense training sessions where each individual brings their own unique experience and knowledge to the table.”
Craine is confident she will come out a better footballer at the end of the season, keeping her goals simple and practical.
She added: “My main ambition for the season is to give each and every training session my best and to always put my best foot forward for the team.
"I aim to finish the season knowing that I got the most out of this experience.”