Kramer makes her long-awaited Roar debut

After an injury on the eve of the Liberty A-League season, defender Talitha Kramer finally made her debut for the Brisbane Roar against Sydney FC last weekend.

The 32-year-old picked up the knee injury in the week prior to the seasons commencement, requiring keyhole surgery.

Replaced by Teagan Thompson, who is on an eight-week injury contract, Kramer said she spent that time working hard and showed her grit and determination to return to the pitch.

“I’ve been training hard, waiting for this opportunity and to get injured on the last week of pre-season was a bit unlucky, but I’ve been trying to get back fitter and stronger than I was, so to just be on the team sheet was a bonus for me,” said Kramer after Saturday’s match.

The call-up to the squad was unexpected for Kramer after teammate Jessie Rasschaert was ruled out with illness ahead of the match.

With the last-minute change, Kramer was called into the squad on Thursday.

Coming on to the pitch after halftime for Tamar Levin, the former Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers player got a full 45 minutes.

“Hopefully I can just build on that and then when we come back after the bye, I can get a few more minutes and build from that,” she said.

“We’re still working on fitness to get me 90 minutes ready so hopefully the next game I’ll play the same minutes if not a bit more and keep working toward that 90-minute mark.”

Affectionately referred to as ‘Tilly’, Kramer said the team and Roar staff played a crucial role in her rehab by keeping her motivation and spirits high.

“We all stuck by each other and when they saw me doing rehab in the gym, they were all behind me and I was cheering them on, always on the sidelines making them push harder and I was proud of how they played, to start the season with a few wins, I’m super proud of them,” she said.

“I just really lent on our medical staff for support, we’ve got some of the best facilities in the competition so I just got stuck in early on and worked really hard to try be ahead of schedule and to get back within the eight weeks, I’m pumped to be back.”

Roar’s Liberty A-League head coach Garrath McPherson said he was grateful to have the right back available for selection against the Sky Blues.

“She’s great defensively and that’s what we were looking for, some speed and some tackling out in the wide areas,” McPherson said.

“She did really well… so it’s nice to have her back,” he added.

The Roar will face off against Adelaide United at A.J. Kelly Park on Saturday 15 January. Tickets are available HERE.