Box Hill United have re-signed determined centre-back Maia Heysen for the 2019 NPLW season, and the youngster has hailed the club’s ‘community atmosphere’ in an exclusive interview with our media team.
Heysen joined the Box Hill ranks with the U/14s and was progressing steadily when an ACL injury proved to be an untimely obstacle. But after 16 months on the sideline and a full recovery later, she is keen to put those injury woes behind her.
Describing how her love for the game made this journey through tougher times easier, the former Diamond Valley defender said, “I am excited to start playing soccer again. I have just come back from injury, and [I want] to really get into it.
“[It was] a bit longer than usual, but I was suffering from other illnesses, so I couldn’t start my recovery as early as I had hoped.
“At the start I was scared. I didn’t want to go to games because I was sad about the fact that I couldn’t play anymore. But I realised soccer is what I am about, and I really enjoy it. I don’t think I would be able to have a life without it.”
The 20-year-old from the Eastern suburbs added she is happy to find several former Box Hill teammates adding depth to the current squad – the likes of Emma Hubbard and Hayley Geurts – and is now herself willing to play a senior role in the team.
“[It] definitely puts things into perspective – when I was younger and looking [up to] the older girls – and now being one of the older girls is exciting. The fact that we have got some great young girls here [in the team], we are all role models to [them].
“We need to keep in mind [that] it helps the younger players to lift their standards, [which is] important for the club. We have come together [quite] well, considering that we are a newly-formed squad. A lot of past relationships as well, which also helps to provide a community atmosphere.”
Heysen is enthusiastic about adapting to the team’s quick-paced style of play and said how the arrival of English-Japanese midfield duo of Saphri Lines and Asuka Kakazu has added sheen to it, “They have got something else to offer. Australia is a multi-cultural country and it’s important to have that through soccer as well – not just play in an Australian way but also have international standards.”