Perth Glory is delighted to announce that midfielder Lexie Moreno has signed on for the upcoming Westfield W-League season.
The 16-year-old Young Matildas representative announced herself on the W-League scene by scoring on debut against Canberra United last year, before going on to make several further substitute appearances.
And after moving from a scholarship to a full contract, she’s now determined to take her game to the next level.
“Last season I was lucky enough to get four games off the bench,” she said, “so I got a taste of what the W-League is like and it’s a big step up from the local league here.
“The pace of the game is one of the big differences, plus just the quality of the players around you.
“For example, when I came on against Sydney FC, I looked around and there’s Chloe Logarzo, Caitlin Foord and Lisa De Vanna, three Westfield Matildas players right there.
“To share the pitch with players like that made me really proud and determined to try and reach the level that they are at right now.
“Getting that taste made me hungrier to want to continue to get more games for Glory and to learn from the players around me.
“This year, my aim is to make the teamsheet more regularly, week-in, week-out, work hard and make an impact off the bench if I get put on.
“Hopefully I can work my way into the starting line-up.
“It’s going to be tough this year because we have a very strong squad, but I’ll just put my head down and keep working hard and hopefully it’ll pay off.”
That hard work actually began several months ago for Moreno who threw herself into what was essentially a pre-pre-season program almost as soon as the W-League campaign came to an end.
“I decided to join the Glory NPL Under-18s full-time,” she explained, “which meant three sessions a week with them, plus gym and sprint programs as well.
“Obviously playing with the boys is always going to benefit you both physically and mentally because it’s a different environment and you have to be more independent in a way; you have to earn their respect.
“The training has been really good.
“Callum [Salmon] is a very good coach and I can’t thank him enough for all the support and advice that he’s given me.
“He’s really pushed me and that’s allowed me to prepare for the pre-season which starts next week and I’m really excited about getting into it.
“We both agree that I’ve probably made more progress over the last four or five months training with the boys than I have in a long time.
“Thinking about where I was 12 months ago to where I am now, I’m really happy.”
The commitment that the youngster has shown during the off-season has also not gone unnoticed by Head Coach, Bobby Despotovski.
“We’ve been very impressed by the effort Lexie has put in,” he said.
“She’s an extraordinary talent, but she knows that she needs to get her fitness up to the level required for the W-League and she’s been working really hard to do that.
“Lexie definitely has the ability to be a future Matilda and we are keen to play our part in her development.”
Further major W-League signing announcements will be made in the near future.