A second chance sees Larissa Crummer reach Roar milestone

Almost a decade on from when she first pulled on the orange jersey, Larissa Crummer is set to make her 50th appearance for Brisbane Roar this weekend.  

The 26-year-old made her debut for the Queensland-based club against Canberra United in the opening round of the 2013/14 Liberty A-League season. 

It was only the beginning for Crummer, who came on as a substitute for Haley Raso early in the second half. 

Coincidentally, AJ Kelly Park was the same venue where Crummer made her debut and where she will run out for her 50th game in orange.

“I’m quite stoked about it,” she said. “Brisbane has always been somewhere I’ve come back to and it’s my home. 

“Brisbane has always been a tough club, with Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway and everyone they had at the club it was surreal to come back and play with them knowing they were Matildas.”

After two seasons and 23 appearances with the Roar, the Nambour-born athlete would go on to celebrate a Premiership/Championship double with Melbourne City in 2015/16, as well as collecting a Golden Boot and Young Player of the Year awards. 

Alongside those accolades, Crummer went on to be selected as the youngest player in the Matildas squad for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.  

However, her career came to a halt when she broke her lower left leg in two places (tibia and fibula) in a collision with the Adelaide goalkeeper while playing for the Newcastle Jets in 2019.  

The surgeon told Crummer that her injury presented like one that had been sustained in a motor vehicle accident. 

Crummer almost lost her leg during surgery due to compartment syndrome which required her to have fluid and blood drained, spending several weeks in the hospital with an open leg, waiting for the swelling to go down. 

Then a couple of months down the track she suffered a bone infection with surgery needed to have her steel rod removed and replaced. 

Football wasn’t on her mind when Roar came knocking to see if she wanted to play again but Brisbane felt like home and she decided to try.

“Coming back to Brisbane had always been part of my plan and to be back home with my family,” she said.  

Pulling on the orange jersey for a second stint, it had been 758 days since her last A-Leagues match when Crummer entered the pitch as a 72nd-minute substitute.

What would make her return even sweeter was scoring her side’s fourth goal of the day against Perth Glory. 

To be back playing football after a tough and taxing two-year recovery was a surreal experience for Crummer. 

“I think it has made me grow as a person and I’m glad Brisbane gave me a chance over the last couple of years to get back to full fitness and welcome me back to the squad,” she said. 

Since then, Crummer has only gone from strength to strength, playing an integral role in Roar’s attacking third.

She also made her international return for the Matildas earlier this year after being named in Tony Gustavsson’s squad for their matches against Spain and Portugal. 

For Crummer, who has 23 caps to her name, the 2022 FIFA Women’s World Cup is in her sights. 

“I think everyone dreams about going to a World Cup, I’ve already done one but if I could go again, it would be awesome but not just as an extra player, I want to go to give minutes and play well,” she said.

In the meantime, Crummer, who has over 130 appearances across her time in the Liberty A-League, is focussing on how she can continue contributing to her side as they head into the new year.

“I want to be scoring more goals than I am at the moment,” she said.

“I want to work towards the whole team doing well and playing good football, I think we are getting there, we are getting better as a team and I’m excited to finish the season strong,” she added.

Catch Larissa Crummer and the Brisbane Roar as they take on Sydney FC at AJ Kelly Park on Saturday. Tickets are available HERE.