Glory snap up exciting attacker


Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Jacynta Galabadaarachchi has signed for the club’s Westfield W-League side.

The Young Matildas representative will head to the West having started her senior career with Melbourne City before spending much of last year training with a number of prominent clubs in England.

And the exciting attacking midfielder is now relishing the challenge of forcing her way into Bobby Despotovski’s side as they look to make a major impact during the upcoming 2018/19 campaign.

“This season, I just want to get on the pitch and play as much as possible,” she said.
“I want to prove myself, maybe score a couple of goals and just keep getting better. 
“The quality of the players at Perth, especially in the front line, is amazing and I really think I can learn a lot from them.
“I know [Head Coach] Bobby Despotovski was an attacking player as well and I’m sure he’ll be great to work with.
“He can teach me things that will really add to my game.”

On the subject of her recent time in England, meanwhile, Galabadaarachchi revealed that several leading sides there were keen to acquire her services.

“I’ve been going back and forth to England since I was about nine because I have an auntie who lives there,” she explained.
“Most recently I went over to train with Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal and all three clubs offered me the opportunity to sign, but because I’m still under 18, it’s not possible for me to sign a pro contract there yet.
“It was a really good experience seeing how the women play over there, though.”

The 17-year-old also felt that she took plenty of positives from her maiden W-League campaign with Melbourne City in 2016/17.

“That season was one of the first in which I’ve actually played with women because I’ve always played with boys since I was six years old,” she explained.
“So it was a different environment and there were differences in the way the women trained.
“Obviously I wanted to get on the pitch and prove myself, but given the high quality of the players in the squad and the fact that I was only 15 at the time, I understood that it was difficult for them to consider putting me on the pitch.
“But I was glad that I did get at least some game time.”

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi

Despite her limited opportunities with City, the youngster’s precocious talent did not escape the attention of Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic who selected her for an international camp ahead of the 2017 Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal.

“I was so shocked by the call-up that I didn’t know how to react!” she recalled.
“It was a great opportunity to experience the professionalism and intensity that the Matildas have and I felt very lucky to be involved.
“They all made me feel very welcome, especially the girls that have been in the squad a bit longer.”

Returning to domestic matters and the season ahead, Galabadaarachchi’s dribbling abilities and creative flair seems certain to make her a big hit with her new fans here in the West and Despotovski is certainly looking forward to seeing her showcase her talents in the famous purple.

“Jacynta is a very exciting up-and-coming player and we’re hopeful that she’ll make a big impact with us,” he said.
“She found her opportunities limited at Melbourne City due to the star-studded squad they have there and opted to try her luck in the UK, but when that didn’t work out, we snapped her up and it’s great to have her on board.
“Like Lexie [Moreno], there’s no doubt in my mind that she is a future Matildas player and hopefully we as a club can play our part in her development along that path.”

Further major W-League signing announcements are expected in the very near future.