Ahead of the upcoming Liberty A-League season, Brisbane Roar is excited to welcome back Young Matildas defender Jamilla Rankin.
The 20-year-old will return to the Roar squad for her fourth season in orange and black having made her debut in March 2020, her only appearance of that campaign.
Since then, the Lismore native has established herself as a first team regular and key figure for the Roar, starting 27 matches and scoring 2 goals over the last 2 seasons.
Last year she made a midseason switch from left back to the centre of defence and barely missed a beat, playing the full 90 minutes in all bar one match.
Her consistency was rewarded with a debut Matildas appearance in a friendly against Spain after joining several training camps with the national team.
With an eye on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Rankin is eager to return to a familiar environment to build a case for inclusion in Tony Gustavsson’s squad.
“I can’t wait to get back to Brisbane to play with players that I know, and that know me. It will give me a good opportunity to put my best foot forward,” Rankin said.
The former member of the QAS and FNSW Institute is expecting that the lessons the Roar team learned during last season will serve them well heading into the 2022/23 campaign.
“We’ve got a lot of returning players, so we all know each other quite well. Last year was a bit of a rebuild phase for us,” she said.
“I think this year we’re coming back stronger and better. We’ve got a lot to work but I think we’ve got a good foundation that we put in place last season and I think we can build on that this season,” she added.
Ahead of commencing preseason with her teammates, Rankin spoke about the optimism she has regarding the prospects of the Roar this season.
“It will be an exciting season. We’ve got a lot of potential – if we set foot on the field every weekend wanting to win, I think we’ll have a good chance.”
Head Coach Garrath McPherson spoke about the important role Rankin played within the team last season.
“I was incredibly proud of the on-field leadership displayed by Jamilla across our 2021-2022 season,” he said.
“At just 18 years old she was the mainstay of our defence and grew to be the leader of it which speaks volumes to the potential she has. Adding this quality to her explosiveness and technical ability it is not a surprise that she is helping our country win football matches after call-ups to the Young Matildas and senior training camps.
“I am grateful that Jamilla has entrusted the club with her football growth and development for another season,” McPherson added.
CONFIRMED ROAR 2022/23 LIBERTY A-LEAGUE SQUAD
Eash Norrie (Lions FC)
Hollie Palmer (Capalaba FC)
Shea Connors (APIA Leichhardt)
Larissa Crummer (Capalaba FC)
Sharn Freier (Moreton Bay United)
Mariel Hecher (Lions FC)
Holly McQueen (Future Matildas)
Katrina Gorry (Vittsjo GK)
Georgia Beaumont (Moreton Bay United)
Talitha Kramer (Capalaba FC)
Isabella Shuttleworth (Moreton Bay United)
Jamilla Rankin (Blacktown Spartans)