Having moved from Sydney FC earlier this year, Nicola Bolger has made a seamless transition into the tight-knit Glory squad.
After enjoying a goalscoring debut, her classy performances in midfield have helped drive the side to the top of the Westfield W-League ladder.
And the 24-year-old, who began her professional career with the Sky Blues in 2008, says she has been relishing her time in the West so far following a dream start against Melbourne City in the opening round of the season.
“For me personally it’s been a big change coming over here on and off the field, but I’m in a super-good place,” she said. The lifestyle over here is awesome. Perth really encompasses Australia as a whole in my opinion, because it’s got a bit of everything, the coast is great and so are the people.”
While the Westmead local has been enjoying life in WA, she seems to be just as happy out there on the park. Bolger’s defence-splitting ball through to Sam Kerr against Melbourne Victory was her first assist in a purple shirt, but the former Newcastle player insists she’s more focused on the team’s results than personal statistics.
“It was a nice moment,” she said, “but I tend to reflect on my performances on the way the team has played and what we get out of the match. I’m fairly happy with how I’ve been playing so far this season, but there are definitely areas I still need to work on and improve, which is an exciting prospect.”
While Bolger heaped praise on the way the team is performing and the culture within the playing group, she was also quick to acknowledge the efforts of the staff.
“Bobby [Despotovski] and Jessine [Bonzas] have been so great to work with from the first day I arrived at the club at the beginning of pre-season,” she said.
“I can’t speak highly enough of how they are with the team, the way they run the training sessions and the rest of the staff work really well together. I think that’s been translating to the positive results on the pitch so far.”
Glory is Bolger’s third W-League club and she’s seen the league grow in an “enormous” fashion since its inception in 2008.
“The calibre of players in the league and the quality of the football being played has transformed dramatically,” she said. I was a youngster at the start, so I’ve been lucky enough to see it grow, but it’s really nice to see a lot of players that have been here from season one still in the competition. There’s a lot of Matildas stars that began their careers in this league and they’re still here, which I think speaks volumes about its quality.”
The six-time capped Matilda firmly also believes that the form of the national team has played a pivotal role in improving the domestic game.
“I think it’s been a steady incline and I really think the development has been on the back of the success of the Matildas,” she said. “From winning the Asian Cup in 2010, to a successful World Cup campaign in Canada, to winning the recent Tournament of Nations, they’ve been amazing and have helped put Australian women’s football on the map. They continue to draw media attention and new fans to the league and that can only benefit the competition.”
With the hard-fought 1-0 win over Western Sydney in Round 6 marking the half-way point of the season, Glory enjoyed the bye last weekend, which is usually used as a time to refresh before approaching the pointy end of the campaign.
But that certainly was not the case for Nicola.
“Funnily enough I was going to stay in Perth this weekend, but my family are actually going to be on Family Feud,” she revealed.
“Mum kept joking that she was going to sign us up for it, but then she got the e-mail the other day and filming happens to be this weekend, so I’m flying over for it.
“We had a strong week of training, but it’ll be nice to link up with the family and have a bit of downtime, just on national television this time!”
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on exactly when you can catch the Bolger clan on Family Feud with Grant Denyer in the near future!