More than five years since she made her Westfield W-League debut, Isobel Dalton took the long route to her first start in Brisbane Roar colours.
The young Queenslander debuted for the Roar back in November 2014, coming off the bench in a 3-0 win over Adelaide United, before journeying across the world with stints in both the United States and England.
The 22-year-old returned to her hometown Club in the off-season, featuring on the bench in the opening two games before earning her spot in the starting XI for last Thursday’s victory in Canberra.
“It’s been a long-time coming [the win] – we’ve been putting in work but not getting the results. To finally get the win was definitely deserved,” Dalton said.
“It [a spot in the starting XI] was slightly surprising, but I was looking forward to it, I was ready and I was prepared.
“I had Meeks & Mini in front of me which makes it easier & I was just excited more than anything.”
Conditions couldn’t be more opposing between Brisbane & Dalton’s most recent home in Nottingham, where temperatures are currently struggling to crack single digits.
Despite returning to sweltering Queensland summers, having her family & friends in the stands each week has been a huge boost for the young midfielder.
“It’s been a hot one, but it’s been a good one. There’s a lot of talent in the [Westfield] W-League and it’s only getting better,” Dalton said.
“My parents are always at the game & so are my friends so it’s nice to have a good support group.
“The playing style is a lot different overseas. In America, it’s very fitness-based with lots of running, but it’s different wherever I go & I think that helps me because I’m used to plenty of different styles.”
The Roar Women return home to Lions Stadium this week & are eyeing back-to-back victories in Saturday afternoon’s clash against the Reds – the Roar Women’s last on home soil before Christmas.
“The message [from Head Coach Jake Goodship] is to do what we did last week. We need to come out & play for 90 minutes, not just 20-minute spurts. We just need to be competitive, work together and take a good mentality going into it – be positive in everything we do,” Dalton continued.
“It’ll be a massive boost if we can get back-to-back wins and get some momentum rolling coming into a busy period.”
Westfield W-League 2019/20 Round 5: Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
Lions Stadium, Richlands
Saturday, 14 December (4:30pm KO)