Adelaide United’s Emily Condon is set to play her 50th W-League game this Sunday when her team faces off against Canberra United at McKellar Park.
The 20-year-old made her debut for Adelaide when she came on as a substitute, aptly enough, in a game against Canberra back in 2014.
At 15 years, four months and four days, Condon was also the youngest ever female player to pull on a Reds jersey. She went on to score her first W-League goal in the following match in a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Condon has been playing proudly for the shirt on her back ever since.
“It’s a really special moment for me, having played 50 games in the W-League,” she said.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to reach W-League standards ever since I started playing. To be able to do that and play my 50th game, especially for Adelaide United, for my home city, is something really special.”
From being a Port Pirie-based teenager doing multiple five-hour roundtrips to Adelaide for training each week, to now an experienced regular starter for the Reds, Condon has come a long way in her football journey.
“I think I’ve matured a lot and became more discipline as a player.”
“Having come into the W-League at such a young age, I’ve always played with older players who’ve had so much more experience. So, to be able to learn and gain experience from them was an amazing opportunity,” she said.
Condon also lauded the increase in professionalism within the league over the years – better venues, more investment, and most recently, having stand-alone Thursday (Hersday) night games.
She attributed these improvements as a result of the successes of the Matildas in recent years.
Along the way, Condon has also managed to catch the eye of Matildas’ head coach Alen Stajcic after a brilliant 2017/18 W-League season. She earned herself a call-up to camp and even better, her first senior international cap in a game against Portugal at the 2018 edition of the Algarve Cup.
Albeit this special achievement in her life being cut short when she copped an ankle injury minutes after coming off the bench for her Matildas debut, it did not ruin the significance of the experience for the youngster at all.
“That was a really special moment, being able to play for the Matildas and represent my country at the highest level in the sport that I love,” she said.
“It was super awesome that I got given the chance to travel with the team to the Algarve Cup, and just being able to get on the park was really special.”
While it was hard to pinpoint a favourite memory, Condon singled out Sam Kerr as her favourite player that she has played with and against, and said that it is nothing like coming up against a world-class player.
Condon has her eyes set on making the Matildas team again soon, and her long-term goals are to be a regular player within the squad and potentially play at a World Cup or even the Olympic Games. She might even venture to Europe for club football one day too.
But for now, Condon is happy playing at home locally, and instead, is focussing on the W-League which has come to the business end of the season.
Adelaide is currently having their best season to date, sitting at third place on the table going into Round 11. They could possibly make their maiden finals series, but Condon said the whole team is not getting ahead of themselves yet.
She does have plenty of praises for her fellow teammates, however.
“I think it’s credit to the calibre of players we have. We’re really gelling well as a team this season and everyone is getting along off the pitch, which has really helped and shown on the pitch as well.”
“It’s our coach Ivan Karlović’s second year with us now, [the continuity] really helped and I think what he’s been able to do with the team has been really good.”
Catch Emily Condon in action as Adelaide United take on Canberra United on Sunday, January 13, at McKellar Park from 4:00PM (local time) - Live on Telstra’s MyFootballApp.