THE Monaro Panthers may not have secured the result they wanted in last Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Belconnen United in the Women’s Premier League grand final.
But the club could take plenty of consolation after witnessing the arrival of 15-year-old defender Olivia Moore as a potential future star of the game.
The Julie Murray Medal winner as player of the match in a beaten side, Moore was tasked by coach Angelo Maralit with stopping Matildas striker Michelle Heyman.
And for 115 minutes, Moore did just that as the teenager refused to be overawed by the task or the occasion.
And while Heyman eventually grabbed a late brace deep into extra-time to secure the win for Belconnen, there were no question marks as to the quality of Moore’s performance in shutting down the former W-League player of the year.
Having cemented her position in the Panthers’ backline this season, Moore’s rapid Premier League rise this year has been all the more remarkable given she is in her first season of senior competition.
The ACT representative player only joined Monaro from the Cootamundra Junior Football Club this year.
“I had just been playing for my club side back in Cootamundra which is boys and girls so that’s helped me build up my strength against these girls,” Moore said.
“I thought a few of the older girls at Monaro would have the upper hand on me [in terms of selection] this year but I must have just fit in.”
More, who has made no secret of her desire to play at highest level, was selected in Capital Football’s Emerging United squad earlier this year as one of the best under-14s/15s players in the region.
And she did her future representative hopes no harm after putting in a five-star performance on Sunday in front of Matildas coach Hesterine le Reus and Canberra United coach Lisbeth Migchelsen.
“Angelo said to me before that game that he had a surprise for me if I played well,” Moore said.
“And then after the game he said that was the surprise, that the Matildas coach was watching. I was just like, wow.
“Angelo’s helped me a lot this season and then being part of the emerging side as well, that’s opened even more doors. People are watching all the time so I just have to play my best.”
“It’s always been my dream to [play W-League] and I’ve always wanted to play on TV.”