Gielnik: 'It was the most devastation I’ve ever felt in my career'
Westfield Matildas winger Emily Gielnik knows just how brutal football’s fine margins can be.
As a promising 23-year-old with a Westfield W-League Premiership (2012/13) and Championship (2010/11) already under her belt, the then-Brisbane Roar starlet did not make the cut for Australia's 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad.
A year later, she faced agony again, missing out on Australia’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games campaign by one spot.
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“It was the most devastation I’ve ever felt in my career,” Gielnik recalls.
“I knew that feeling, and I knew I didn’t ever want to have it again. I think that left a big desire in my heart, and that’s what I’m chasing.”
Gielnik has had to make sacrifices in a bid to make her dreams of representing Australia at football's biggest event come true.
She took on the challenge of moving south to Melbourne Victory for the 2018/19 campaign, and was a pivotal player in guiding Jeff Hopkins' side to a maiden Westfield W-League Premiership.
Her persistence and courage was rewarded on Monday – her 27th birthday – with a welcome phone call from Westfield Matildas Team Manager Vito Basile.
Watch her reaction to that call in the video at the top of the page.