The opportunity to play alongside some of Australia’s finest footballers this Westfield W-League season will be a career highlight for off-season recruit Mariel Hecher.
The Brazilian striker is set for her first season in the Westfield W-League after two sparkling seasons in the NPL QLD Women’s – scoring 22 goals in both campaigns and leading Lions FC to the 2020 championship as well.
Five Westfield Matildas stars will call Brisbane home for the upcoming season with foundation players Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Yallop and Kim Carroll being joined by fellow long-time fan favourites Emily Gielnik and Katrina Gorry.
For the Brazilian, that’s pretty cool.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played alongside such big names, even in Brazil. It’s something pretty exciting, I’ve told my parents and they were saying how cool that is,” Hecher said.
“I can’t really believe it, but it’s something nice to have on the resume, playing with these players.”
Hecher is one of a host of players earning a first crack at the Westfield W-League from the NPL QLD Women’s competition and is enjoying the step up to the national competition.
“It [pre-season] has been exhausting. I thought I was fit, but the conditioning has been difficult,” Hecher continued.
“I feel so welcome though – everyone has been very welcoming and supportive.
“It’s a different system, different everything really but everyone has been working well together, getting on the same page so we can work well together as a team.”
“I’m very excited, just counting down the days now.”
Hecher is calling on all Roar supporters to get down to Dolphin Stadium for next Tuesday’s season opener, which forms part of a double header, against Melbourne City.
“It [the home crowd] is super important. Building that atmosphere really is the 12th player like everyone says,” she added.
“It’s great for us and not so good for the opposition so hopefully we get a great home crowd at this first game.”