Perth Glory’s defensive cornerstone Kim Carroll has been key to the team’s success after a stellar season which she puts down to being invigorated by the move west.
The Queenslander boasts a CV that would be the envy of many. A nine-year career with the Westfield Matildas includes 55 caps and a Women’s World Cup appearance.
The central defender can also look back on 77 Westfield W-League appearances, including three Grand Finals – more than any of her Glory teammates.
That doesn’t include a run out in the final Grand Final of the former National Women’s Soccer League way back in 2004.
Such a legend is Carroll she even has the local football ground in her hometown of Tully named in her honour!
All this and she is still only 29, and playing with a real spring in the step.
Now Perth have the opportunity to win a maiden title as reigning champions Melbourne City visit.
The Glory have established a happy and harmonious group this season, and Carroll says not only is she thriving in that environment, but so too is the team.
In her second season since a move from Brisbane Roar, Carroll is thriving on and off the field in Perth.
“I thought this might be my last (season) but after the season we have had and the environment here, I have really enjoyed playing again,” Carroll said.
“I’m just taking it as it is and enjoying it really.”
For now though the aim is winning a maiden championship, and helping erase memories of a Grand Final loss for the club two years ago on home soil.
“We have a really good team environment,” says Carroll. “We have said all season that as long as we enjoy ourselves, we will play our best football.
“The girls will be really hungry for the title, and hopefully we can perform like we have been all season.
“Those girls from two seasons don’t want that feeling again. We want the trophy to top off the season we have had.
“We have had good support from the club off the field and it would be nice to have the trophy to show for all of that.”
The Glory can lay claim to playing some of the most dynamic attacking football in the competition this season.
No game has stood out more than the Glory’s epic 3-2 away win over City – a result which should buoy the home side ahead of Sunday’s decider.
“A 5-1 win (against Sydney FC) in the semi we didn’t expect though we were expecting the win. It is good to get some goals in the net and some extra confidence.
“We won last time (against City) but that was a while ago now, so we definitely won’t be relying on what they or us were like last time. They will be hungry to get their back-to-back title."
The coming days provides an opportunity to soak the atmosphere of a Grand Final week which, Carroll knows better than most, is not something to be taken for granted.
And the Glory players are mobilising to get as many fans to nib Stadium as possible on Sunday.
“Everyone was pretty chirpy at the recovery session on Sunday,” Carroll said. “I think everyone will be excited this week.
“We want as many supporters as we can. Everyone has been active on social media trying to get as many along as possible.
“The crowds have been quite good in the past two games, really getting into it, which really builds the atmosphere.
“When the crowd gets loud and rowdy it really helps.”
Westfield W-League Grand Final
Perth Glory v Melbourne City
Sunday 12 February 2017
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off 4:30pm Local, 7:30pm AEDT
Tickets on sale at www.w-league.com.au/tickets from Tuesday, 7 Feb at 9am Local, 12 midday AEDT
The best is yet to come! #WLeagueFinals #BeRemarkable
The Westfield W-League 2017 Grand Final will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports and ABC TV.