Promising youngster Melanie Martinez has been promoted to the Box Hill United senior women’s team for the 2019 season, and the midfielder said she feels welcomed in a ‘family club’.
The 17-year-old joined Box Hill’s youth ranks two seasons ago and has impressed with her close control and vision in the centre of the park, prompting her steady rise to the senior team this term.
Martinez, who has had youth stints with Southern United, Casey Comets and Casey Panthers, was adjudged Box Hill’s U/19s Best & Fairest Player (female) in 2018.
She made her senior debut with us last season and was also part of the senior women’s squad who finished as the 2018 Team App Cup runners-up.
Martinez, from Berwick, is enjoying her learning curve with the ladies’ squad, and said, “It has been really good so far. I was a bit nervous at the start because I am younger, [and it’s a] big jump from the U/19s.
“I have still a lot to work on, but it feels good to be part of the squad and for Brian (senior women’s head coach) to give me the chance to step up and show what I can do. So, I am excited for the season.
“At every club, it’s been a different experience. I feel like Box Hill United is more like a family-club, and you feel welcome.”
Although the lift in standards is evident to her, the young gun is not fazed and is committed to keep progressing. She reasoned, “It’s a lot quicker [at the senior level] and I have a lot less time on the ball, and I have realised that I need to work on my movement and passing quicker. That’s probably the biggest difference.
“It’s good having older players in the team because they can help you a lot better and they know what you are going through. But playing against them, you have to think that: ‘I am in the squad just as you, I have worked [to be] here.’”
Martinez, who can play both in midfield and in defence, revealed her brothers played a key role in her taking up the sport, “Mainly my brothers have pushed me the most to keep playing, and they gave me the love for football.”
And what would be her advice to aspiring young footballers in the women’s game? “Just keep working hard – if you have your mind set, just keep working at it, and hopefully you’ll achieve it,” was her reply.
Well said Melanie! Good luck with the season ahead.