Sydney FC Westfield W-League youngster Taylor Ray says she can’t explain how excited she is to be back playing in a Semi-Final after she missed the 2018/2019 Finals series through injury.
Ray burst back on the scene in January after a 12-month stint on the sideline following a horrific knee injury, and now, having started every game since her return, Ray is happier than ever to be back on the pitch ahead of Saturdays #BigBlue.
“I am very very excited and I actually have no words to explain it, it’s just such a good feeling to get back out there,” she said.
“Unfortunately I was injured for last year’s Semi-Final so for me it’s been such a big goal of mine and something I’ve been looking forward to throughout my whole injury process.
“It has been a long time coming and there’s been so many emotions rolled into one but I’m just so proud of my teammates and myself to be back out there.
“I think it’s a big reward from all the hard work I put in last year during my recovery. Even though I wasn’t training consistently with the team but doing my rehabilitation, prehabilitation and gym sessions it just shows that if you put in all that work you’ll get something out of it,” she continued.
The 18-year-old has filled the shoes of Westfield Matildas’ midfielder, and former Sky Blue, Chloe Logarzo and Ray says the now Bristol City midfielder has been a big part of her development as a player.
“I look up to Chloe [Logarzo] so much as she’s been such an inspiration of mine,” she said.
“We both play a very similar game and she’s actually been like another coach to me so I’m glad with her help I can actually provide some assistance for the team.
“Ever since I came to Sydney FC Chloe [Logarzo] has been my mentor in the midfield as well as Teresa Polias.
“With the help of them I’ve developed so much as a player.”
The Sky Blues’ last game was a defeat to this weekend’s opponents in Melbourne Victory, but Ray is determined to turn the loss around and show the competition what the side can do.
“I’m just hoping that we can play our own football and prove to everyone why we were Champions last year and that we are just as strong no matter what we have,” she said.
“We need to get back out there and prove to ourselves that we can play the way we can with Melbourne [Victory] already beating us.
“[The loss] It helped us realise our weaknesses that they exploited so we’ve just been training how we normally train but specialising in areas we can abuse to hopefully break them down.
“It’s going to be a tough match, they shape up very similar to us. They have some very key players but so do we.”
Sydney FC face Melbourne Victory in a Westfield W-League Semi-Final at Epping Stadium on Saturday (kick off 2pm AEDT). Tune in LIVE on Fox Sports of ABC TV to catch your Sky Blues in action.