When the W-League season gets underway this weekend, new Western Sydney Wanderers signing Georgia Plessas will be a little more than 8,000 kilometres away.
Plessas is part of the 23-player Young Matildas squad who will play two qualifiers in Nanjing, China for the 2017 AFC under-19s women’s championships.
Australia will take on the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday followed by a clash with Jordan on Sunday.
The top team after the round robin matches advances to the Asian Cup tournament scheduled for October next year. The Asian Cup also doubles as the qualifiers for the FIFA under-20s women’s World Cup in 2018.
Plessas, from Carlton, tipped Western Sydney to have a good season, with the Wanderers’ opening match against Perth Glory in Western Australia on Sunday night.
“I feel good about [this season]. I think we’ve got a good team. We’ve been working hard at training. We’re looking good,” she said.
“We all bond and gel together. No one has big egos or think they’re higher than one another. I reckon we’ll do really well. Pre-season has been hard but good, a lot of fitness and learning how to play together.
“We’ve played games every week and we’ve done pretty well.”
It has been a busy time for Plessas who has had to juggle HSC commitments at Endeavour Sports High School with two Young Matildas training camps and preparations for the new W-League season with Western Sydney.
Plessas was at Sydney FC for the last two seasons and made two W-League appearances for the Sky Blues including her debut as a 15-year-old in 2014.
The now 18-year-old left winger or left back said she hoped moving across Sydney would offer more time on the pitch.
“I was only 15 when I made my debut [and it was] just nerve wracking. It was exciting too. The intensity was so different to normal football,” she said.
“If I keep training well I’m hopeful of getting a lot of minutes and make the starting 11. Hopefully we can get into the semi-finals.
“It wasn’t too hard [changing clubs]. I’m happy I went to Wanderers. I feel like it’s a better club for me. The girls get along, they make you feel welcome. And the training is really good. I’m looking forward to it. I think we can beat Sydney FC.”
Sydney FC start their W-League campaign when they face Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
The Sky Blues will also host their round 4 W-League match against Adelaide United at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda on November 27.