Courtney Newbon could hardly believe her eyes as she walked out on to Bankwest Stadium for her Wanderers Westfield W-League debut last month.
It was a special moment for the girl from Tasmania as she took her place in goals for the game against Perth Glory, which the Wanderers eventually won 3-1.
To play her first senior game for the Red & Black was a special achievement in itself, but, as she put it “to do it at a Stadium like Bankwest was amazing”.
“It was a bit nerve racking, but exciting just the same,” said Newbon.
“I was stoked to do it at Bankwest because it is such an amazing stadium.
“I remember a couple of years of years ago I was at the Wanderers on a short term injury replacement contract and we walked out on to ANZ Stadium and I was like ‘wow.’
“Then to have my debut at Bankwest and to get all three points … that was something else and nothing to complain about!”
With the Red & Black having signed quality American goalkeeper Abby Smith, Newbon didn’t expect to get her opportunity to play in the starting eleven so quickly.
But when Smith injured her knee, head coach Dean Heffernan had no qualms elevating Newbon into the role for the Perth game and she responded with a quality performance.
Newbon, who came to Sydney from Tasmania with her family at a very young age and is a product of the Sutherland Shire, paid tribute to the injured Smith, saying the American had been a huge influence on her.
“She has been a great help to me,” said Newbon.
“We tend to bounce off each other. So if something comes up in training she might see it one way and I might see it another.
“So we kind of bounce it around and kind of come to something that might work better. For sure she has been an influence.”
Newbon’s second stint at the Wanderers came about after she was invited to trial with the club last year following a good season with Sydney University.
“(Assistant Wanderers coach) Cath (Cannuli) contacted me and said they would like me to have a trial,” said Newbon.
“So I gladly took the opportunity and the rest is history.”
Newbon has thrived in the wonderful environment at the Wanderers.
“It’s just fantastic here. I am super happy to be part of this team. The environment and atmosphere is just amazing,” added Newbon.
“The set up here is incredible … The facilities, the staff, you couldn’t ask for anything better.
“The support is just fantastic.”