Mature Roestbakken ready to propel Canberra United to Westfield W-League glory

Getting Canberra United back to the top of the Westfield W-League would cap off what’s been a “crazy” year so far for impressive young defender Karly Roestbakken.

She may be just 18 years of age but Roestbakken is already a leader of Garriock’s side heading into the 2019/20 Season.

And she hopes to lead United back to the finals this season after failing to make the top four in each of the last two campaigns.

Despite a promising start, the Green Machine finished eighth in 2018/19 but with a new-look squad Roestbakken is predicting big improvements this season.

“Last season wasn’t our season but I think this coming season we’re going to be ready,” she told w-league.com.au.

“We all want to do a lot better than last season. We’re all excited, we’re all ready to give it our best go and we definitely want to improve.

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“It’s going to be a more mature side. We’ve got more experienced players than last season and I think our depth within the team is going to be really good.

“I just really want to do well for our team, I want Canberra United to make the finals and I want us to take home that trophy.”

It might sound an outlandish statement but Roestbakken has confidence in the squad Garriock has assembled.

Players like Katie Stengel, Simone Charley, Patricia Charalambous and Kaleigh Kurtz bring quality and experience to the United squad.

But it’s the return of Elise Thorsnes that has Roestbakken most excited.

“She’s a very big signing for us and I think she’s definitely going to help this squad achieve what we want to achieve.

“She’s going to be a big force to be reckoned with, having her down the wing or wherever we’re going to play her. She’s going to be a really good striking force for us, and definitely a good player to learn off for the younger players.

“I know Elise quite well.  Elise is very chilled and very relaxed but she’s also very hard working.

“I think having that Norwegian connection with her I definitely became quite close with her, I know my dad did. She’s a very down to Earth person and she just wants what is best for the team.”

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Thorsnes
Roestbakken is excited by the return of Elise Thorsnes

While Canberra United’s results last season weren’t what Roestbakken had envisaged, on a personal note things couldn’t have gone much better.

She earned a late call-up to the Westfield Matilda’s 2019 FIFA World Cup squad, making her senior international debut off the bench in the memorable win over Brazil.

Roestbakken then started her first game for the Westfield Matildas in the final group game against Jamaica.

“This year has been crazy and so much has happened, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve definitely had to mature on the field and off the field,” she said.

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“I’ve had to pick up information on the field quite quickly, so I think that has definitely helped me develop as a person as well.

“I definitely think I’ve gained more experience, I know I’ve got a long way to go but I’ve gained a lot more experience and maturity from it.

“To play against internationals but also fantastic players from home soil, you’re playing against the best players in the country essentially. It has helped me immensely to get to where I want to be, without that I don’t think I’d be where I am today.

Roestbakken delighted at world cup call up
Karly Roestbakken made her Westfield Matildas debut at this year's Women's World Cup

“Getting the call up to go to the World Cup was an unbelievable experience for me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve, playing for the Matildas and get my debut.

“To get it at the World Cup against a world-class side, that is just something I’ll hold with me forever.”

As well as helping Canberra United get back to the top, Roestbakken wants another big Westfield W-League season to push her claims for a possible berth at next year’s Olympic Games.

“That’s what I’m aiming for. It would be awesome, that’s what I’m working towards,” she said.

“I’ve had a little taste of [the Westfield Matildas] and I want to have more of that, I really want to try and make that squad.“

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