If selected this Saturday, Perth Glory defender Sarah Carroll will be a part of a grand final for the third time in her career.
Carroll was red carded in her teams remarkable 4-4 draw against Canberra in round two and has not started a game since.
She also suffered a slight fracture during the game, and this put her out of action for eight weeks. As she was coming to the end of her rehab from the injury, she suffered another setback when she had a slight quad strain which delayed her return for another two weeks.
"It's such a short season and you want to be playing as much as you can but I’ve been able to watch the girls do their thing and I’m really proud of them, and I could hopefully still be involved for the game on Saturday.”
She admitted to being disappointed at not being selected when she was finally fully fit but recognised the coach’s reasons as to why this was the case.
“I didn’t expect to walk straight back into the squad, or anything like that," Carroll said.
"Bobby didn’t want to change his squad as the girls were playing well and winning so why would you want to change it.
"It crossed my mind that I possibly wouldn’t play again this season, but whilst there was still time, I trained hard and controlled what I could control and just thought let’s see what happens.”
Her hard work paid off with a place on the subs bench for the semifinal win and a cameo appearance as a 114th-minute substitute.
“What a game that was,” she said, “for us to concede in the last few minutes of the game, that was tough, so I think for us to score two in extra time and win it was special.”
Looking forward to the game on Saturday, she feels that those players who have experienced grand final losses in the past could use that as extra motivation.
“I certainly think that will be a bit of a drive for them. To lose two grand finals at home after very consistent seasons hurt a lot.”
For those in the squad who haven’t experienced a grand final before she advised them to “enjoy it, because occasions like this don’t always happen”
In terms of what she expects from her teammates on Saturday, Carroll said Glory will focus on themselves.
Whilst it’s only natural to discuss how much of an influence on the game Sam Kerr and Rachel Hill will have, it could well be that the Glory’s central defenders will hold the key to the game if they are able to keep Caitlin Foord under close wraps.
Carroll spoke about how her defensive teammates have been the unsung heroes of the campaign so far.
“Kim and Katy have been a massive influence. They’re two very good players that probably don’t always get the recognition that they deserve. Obviously, Kim is a former Matilda, and Katy has come in from Chicago. They’re two big centre halves and they work very well together. They’ve been very important for us.”