When Charlotte McLean walks out at Leichhardt Oval against Canberra United on Wednesday night, it will be a full circle moment for the centre back.
While applying her trade at Sydney FC for a number of years now, the 23 year old has been to most venues and travelled overseas to play most recently, but this Wednesday night will be such a special occasion for her.
The defender used to attend W-League matches as a teenager with her Mum and Dad and recalls being inspired at the very first game she watched which involved Sydney FC and Canberra United at Leichhardt Oval.
“I remember my first ever game that I watched was Sydney and Canberra at Leichhardt Oval,” she reminisced.
“Michelle Heyman and Teresa Polias were both on the field that day and I find it so cool that now I get to mark Michelle and Teresa was my captain for a few years.
“It’s so nostalgic and I think it’s such a beautiful field and such a cool story.
There are so many girls who are going to come and watch and maybe their story could be my story in a few years which makes me so excited and I just hope everyone comes.
Despite playing more than 50 Liberty A-League games, Charlotte also admits that she still respects the aura around Michelle Heyman in the league.
“When I mark her, I find that really cool because she is such a pioneer of women’s sport. So cool and talented and it really is a pinch yourself moment for me.
“I obviously have a job to do and I focus on that but I think that is such a great aspect of the game and something that I am always grateful for and often think about,” she said.
Defensively this season, Charlotte and the rest of the back five have been imperious, conceding the least amount of goals and boasting four clean sheets in the opening eight games. The defender, believes this is down to not just the defenders though.
“We don’t look at it just as a defence but more a whole team philosophy and all 11 players have a responsibility to defend.
“Jada [Whyman] and I are pretty strict on it to make sure everyone is accountable but the whole team does a job and so far it has been a really good one at that.”
Also, despite Canberra sitting at the foot of the table, she believes that they are ones to be wary of.
“Where they are sitting I think is not a reflection of the football they have been playing at the moment.
“Michelle Heyman is an absolute gun and one of the best strikers consistently in the league, plus is think Vesna [Milivojević] is one of the best players in the whole league so they are harbouring absolute threats.
“They are going to be a really tough test and we need to be defensively strong and take our chances on Wednesday.”
Finally, she urged plenty to come to watch the reigning Champions.
“Everyone should come down to Leichhardt on Wednesday night, it will be great,” she concluded.
Sydney FC v Canberra United
Liberty A-League Round Four
Wednesday 3rd January 2024
Leichhardt Oval, Leichhardt, NSW
Kick Off: 7:00pm AEDT
Gates Open: 6:00pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Play
Tickets: Click Here