NAB young footballer of the year nominee: Ellie Carpenter
After making the move to Canberra United in the off-season, 17-year-old Ellie Carpenter was ear-marked for big things by those in the know.
A defender by trade, Carpenter started ten times from a possible 12 in Canberra United colours in the 2017/18 as they narrowly missed out on finals football.
It was a season which saw her named the club and supporter player of the year, so it comes as no surprise Carpenter is one of the front-runners for the W-League NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.
Her eye-catching form in the W-League earned Carpenter a move to Portland Thorns in the United States’ NSWL competition, who she’ll link up with when she turns 18 on the 28th of April.
BY THE NUMBERS
Carpenter had a good return at the front-end of the pitch in her role as an attacking full-back, scoring two and setting up two goals.
One of those was a spectacular solo run against the Newcastle Jets in round 13, which seen her start the move inside her own half and finish it off in the opposition box.
The 17-year-old’s passing was another strong point, with 73.8% of her attempted passes successful and more than a third made went up the pitch.
WHY SHE SHOULD WIN
Carpenter moved from Western Sydney Wanderers at the beginning of the season in search of opportunity and took it with both hands at Canberra United.
Her spectacular form seen her cement her position in the Westfield Matildas’ starting line-up, and Carpenter has started all three of the side’s group matches.
She’s impressed coaches home and abroad, with Canberra United boss Heather Garriock describing her as ‘the most professional teenager she’d ever seen’ and Portland Thorns chief Mark Parsons praised her ‘winning mentality’.