Elise Kellond-Knight never could have imagined what she could have achieved when she set out on her footballing journey in the Westfield W-League a decade ago.
As an 18-year-old getting her start with Brisbane Roar, ‘KK’ – as she is affectionately known – just played “for the love of the game”.
But this kid from Southport in Queensland immediately showed her talent and had a dream start to life in the Westfield W-League.
In the same season she helped the club win the Championship-Premiership double, Kellond-Knight also took out the Westfield W-League NAB Young Footballer of the Year award in 2009.
“As a young player I think it’s fantastic. To get acknowledgment and know people have been watching you and they really rate the way you are playing and the type of player you are is a really, really important confidence boost,” Kellond-Knight said of being awarded the prize.
“It’s the first stepping stone, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are definitely going to make it but it’s a really important process and people do start to look at you and watch you and follow your career after that.”
And Kellond-Knight has certainly enjoyed a fantastic time of it in the 10 years since.
Not only did she win another title with the Roar in 2010/11, she has also enjoyed a successful career abroad, playing in countries like Denmark, Japan and Germany.
“As soon as the W-League came in it was a chance to play top-level football consistently. That’s when you started to see players like myself and that generation come through because we did have that top-level league to play,” Kellond-Knight explains.
“[Then] I decided I needed a new challenge. Something to develop me more and that’s why I got the bug to travel and since then it’s been hard to stop.
“The [last] nine years has really blown past but the journey has been unbelievable and I made so many memories in that time.”
Many of those memories have come with the Westfield Matildas, where Kellond-Knight has played at two FIFA Women’s World Cups as well as one Olympic Games.
She also recently reached the incredible milestone of playing 100 games for the national team, although she wasn’t aware she was approaching the impressive feat.
“I just play for the love of the game and just to help the team. I’m never counting caps or goals,” Kellond-Knight said.
“It’s definitely something special and definitely has to be treasured but at the end of the day it was never my goal or ambition.
“I always set the ambition just to achieve what I can, it’s just an extra bonus I’ve been able to get to 100 games.”