Retiring Brisbane Roar W-League striker Lana Harch was given a special goodbye by her club and teammates at this morning’s training session.
Retiring Brisbane Roar W-League striker Lana Harch was given a special goodbye by her club and teammates at this morning-s training session.
A week before the Westfield W-League 2013/14 campaign kicks off, Head Coach Belinda Wilson put her squad through an internal 11 v 11 match with the competition-s inaugural Player of the Year invited as a special guest, wearing the orange jersey for the final time.
“I definitely feel it-s the right time to retire,” the 28-year-old said.
“You always love to play so it-s always hard when you know it-s your last game.
“It took three or four months to make the decision and Belinda was so helpful in that process.
“I feel like it-s the right time to step aside and let some younger players come through and to use my experience in a different way.
“I-ve achieved what I-ve wanted to achieve and I-ve loved the journey.”
Harch was a member of the inaugural Queensland Roar team in the Westfield W-League-s first season in the 2008/09 campaign and was one of the first players to reach 50 appearances for the club.
She also won the Player of the Match award in the competition-s first Grand Final, which the Roar won 2-0 with Harch scoring the first goal for the Roar.
“For me personally and for the team, I can-t really go past that first season,” Harch said.
“That first season was so exciting, no one knew what to expect and how the team was going to go and to have such a great season where we only lost one game.
“To score a goal in the Grand Final, to win as a team at home, you can-t wish for anything else.
“I was also really humbled by the award at the end of the season because I wasn-t expecting it.”
Harch was full of thanks for the club, the fans, her teammates and gave special mention to Wilson and the coaches she-s played under throughout her career.
Brisbane Roar-s Hyundai A-League coach Mike Mulvey and Foxtel National Youth League coach Jeff Hopkins were both former coaches of Harch.
“I-ve had some great coaches all the way through my career,” she said.
“They-ve all put a lot of time into me, giving me the skills, helping me develop and believing in me as a player.
“Mike gave me a chance as a 15-year-old to play in the old national league, it-s stemmed from there and it-s great to have had coaches who have believed in my capabilities.”
A teacher at Westside Christian College, Harch said she was looking forward to a break from playing duties but she would remain part of the club as a passionate supporter.
“You can-t be a part of a club for so long and just disappear,” she said.
“I-ll always be part of this club and I know they-ve have a great season this year.”
Brisbane Roar kick off their Westfield W-League 2013/14 campaign next Saturday, 9 November at AJ Kelly Park. Kick off against Canberra United is at 3pm.