Brisbane Roar’s breakthrough teenager Mia Bailey has reflected on the widespread support that helped turn pre-debut nerves into post-match pride last weekend.
The 17-year-old goalkeeper made her first professional appearance against Melbourne Victory in Round 5 and came away a winner thanks to the Roar’s rousing comeback.
Bailey, a Junior Matilda from Far North Queensland, was unable to have family in the stands at AAMI Park but was quick to phone home after learning of her impending debut.
“The first thing I did was call my mum,” Bailey said. “I was just so excited and nervous. My heart was racing.
“Mum was pretty impressed. She asked me if she should book a flight to Melbourne! I said probably not with COVID and everything at the moment.
“But we had a whole support crew up in Cairns at my house watching.”
There was plenty of support in the stadium, too, as Bailey’s team-mates and coaches shared encouragement.
She repaid the faith by making notable saves in both halves, including one crucial early stop from MelindaJ Barbieri.
“I think that calmed the nerves a bit,” she said
“All the girls were also really welcoming. I love the team, it’s just a great environment. You always feel safe and secure.
“I remember [goalkeeper coach] Brody [Sams] saying ‘trust yourself and believe in yourself, because you’ve got the ability to do it.’ That’s basically what I did – kept a clear mind.
“As soon as I got back to the hotel I watched the game straight away to see how I played.
“I was so proud of myself.”