27/02/2024

Danielle Steer in action for Western United. (Photo: Supplied; Design: Will Cuckson)

Joining an already dominant Western United attack, Canadian Danielle Steer has helped continue United’s dominance during the side’s inaugural season in the A-League Women competition.

Steer has proved to be a force in the Western United attacking end, helping to fill the void left by International and inaugural Western United player Jess McDonald who departed the club late last month.

Before making the move to Australia and the A-League, Steer had a successful five-year stint at the UC Thunderbirds which included a championship back in 2019 and taking out the 2022 Canada West Player of the Year.

Speaking to The Inner Sanctum, Steer spoke about what she took away from her five-year stint in Canada and how she’s enjoying her time in Australia.

“I thought it was really important that the team environment and the team culture is a really positive place because turning soccer into a career you want to make your life as comfortable and positive as possible,” Steer told The Inner Sanctum.

“I think just fostering that kind of culture back home and being able to understand how to work on that and place myself into a new environment here that’s one thing I can take.

“Definitely being a part of bigger games. Going to [the] national championships back in Canada I think I was able to understand how to hold myself against the pressure against new opponents that’s definitely something I’m taking to account here in the A-Leagues.

“I’ve never faced these teams, never seen these players so just being open-minded.”

Receiving the 2022 Canada West Player of the Year award was a great way to close out Steer’s chapter at the Thunderbirds, with Canada West among one of the best women’s soccer programs across Canada.

“It was exciting, that season for me was really important. Everything I kind of worked for over those five years really came to a point there and it was a team effort, it wasn’t just me,” Steer said.

“I’m really honoured to earn that because Canada West and U Sports, in general, is one of the highest places you can go for women’s soccer in Canada so it was huge for me.” 

UBC Thunderbirds v University of Victoria during U Sports Canada West action at UBC in Vancouver, BC, September, 1, 2022. (Rich Lam/UBC Athletics Photo)

Steer’s contract at Western United is her first professional soccer contract which is a massive milestone in her career, and is something that looking back and reflecting on is something she is really proud of.

“It feels really good, I’m really proud of myself first of all. I think that’s one thing, I can take a step back and be proud of myself for the things that I’ve done to get here,” she said.

“It’s not every day you can come out of university and straight into a pro contract but I think I’ve got a really good support system behind me. My family, they’re there for me and really happy for me.”

It was only a month ago that the 23-year-old walked into the doors of Western United for the first time after making the move halfway across the world. A transition made easy by the environment that Western United has created. 

“It wasn’t that long ago, I was nervous but I was thankful that the girls were just ready to go right in the morning, having fun and they were doing all that good stuff. You could tell everyone was just friends and that made me feel a lot more comfortable.”

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Steer made her debut in Round 10 in Western United’s 2-0 win over Sydney FC in what was a top-of-the-table clash. Steer said it was a great feeling to pull on the green and black for the first time.

“It was really good, it was really fun. Everyone was rooting for me when I went on,” she said.

“I just felt that they made it really easy and they didn’t make it seem like I was under a lot of pressure, it was a very positive experience overall.”

Western United has had a successful start to its time in the Liberty A-League, sitting on top of the ladder with nine wins and two losses. Already a quarter of the way through the season, Steer has seen first-hand what the club has created which is now one of the powerhouse teams in the competition. 

“I definitely think they’ve done a good job, a lot of the girls played together in the NPL, so the team has already gelled really well,” Steer said.

“I think we’ve had a successful first half of the season and I’m just excited to be a part of that success going forward.” 

Steer and Western United will look to bounce back after going down to Perth Glory 3-1 in Ballarat when they take on the Newcastle Jets at Morshead Park at 3 pm on Wednesday.

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