Box Hill United U/19 girls’ wide player Laura Pickett made her senior bow in both the NPLW and the Nike FC Cup, and spoke about an “exciting” recent few weeks.
The youngster was first called into action in the NPLW Round 13 against Alamein FC at the HA Smith Reserve, following which she featured in the Nike FC Cup quarter-final clash against the Eltham Redbacks’ ladies at Wembley Park.
Pickett then added to her tally of league appearances last weekend, as a substitute against Senior NTC at the Knox Regional Football Centre.
If clocking valuable minutes with the senior women’s squad was not enough, the 15-year-old impressed by punching above her weight with tireless displays down the right flank.
As her reputation continues to grow within the seniors’ fold, Pickett said, “It’s been really exciting. It’s been a great opportunity for me, something I had been waiting for a long time. So, for it to be happening so quickly and early, it’s exciting.
“It was really nerve-wracking [as well], but once you start playing, it comes naturally. It gives me a lot of confidence – for [the coaches] to have that trust in me.”
Currently into her fourth season with Box Hill, Pickett had role models to emulate. United’s U/19s goalkeeper Gabriella Eggleton and midfield enforcer Melanie Martinez have already been promoted to the senior squad this term.
Describing how she found inspiration from her colleagues’ progress, Pickett added, “Training with [them] gave me the confidence that I could do it too, and to follow in [their] footsteps.”
Pickett, who plied her youth football days with Boroondara Eagles, revealed how she motivated herself to fit right into the scheme of things at the senior level, despite the obvious differences.
“Training with the seniors gave me a good feeling at first. I had to get used to it and grow with it once I got on the field,” she said. “The intensity is much higher, [and so are] the expectations. Just seeing everyone around me training so intensely – I knew that I had to do it too, to fit in with the seniors.”
So, what would be her message to other aspiring youngsters, who are working hard towards a regular senior team reckoning?
“I’d say confidence is the most important thing – just be confident in your abilities, because other people have confidence in you too. That is the reason you are there,” said Pickett.