Bianca Galic has traded her green kit for red and black in the 2021-22 W-League season. (Photo: Canberra United)

"Canberra’s always going to have a special role in my career, because it is where I got my first chance."

COVID has a way of changing life plans for all of us, and even professional athletes aren’t immune.

In just her second season in the W-League, 22-year-old midfielder Bianca Galic has made the switch from Canberra United to the Western Sydney Wanderers. She was recently joined by defender Clare Hunt in what was been a big off-season at Wanderland.

But ask her what she’ll miss about her old side, and Galic will speak of Vicki Linton’s Canberra team like a second home.

It will always have a “special role in [her] career,” she explains, the first side to take a punt on her at Australia’s highest level. It was faith that she wouldn’t take for granted, becoming a crucial cog in the United line-up as both an impactful substitute and a starting midfielder.

Studying a physiotherapy degree alongside her football career, Galic couldn’t commit to the move away from Sydney for another season at the top flight.

It’s just another road bump in what has been a career founded off hard work and determination, but it certainly won’t stop her from returning to her 2020-21 form.

She earned Player of the Game honours in a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory, while also scoring her first ever W-League goal in a comprehensive thrashing of Brisbane Roar.

Speaking to The Inner Sanctum, Galic spoke on the exciting new opportunity that lays ahead of her at the Western Sydney Wanderers. It’s a club she already has a small level of familiarity with.

“The next stage for this club is to keep going up and up,” Galic said.

“There is a little bit of crossover with the girls that I trained on with a couple of years ago and the ones that are there now. Then again, there’s also quite a few fresh faces which is really good as well.

“I love meeting new people, because life would be boring without meeting new people. If we have the same team every year, [it’s a] nothing changes if nothing changes sort of vibe.

“Having familiar faces around is definitely good as well, because you’re coming into an environment where you are… going to be that little bit more comfortable.”

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One of those handy familiar faces is none other than coach Catherine Cannuli, who Galic learned under when she was an assistant coach during her time training on with the Wanderers previously.

Cannuli reached out to Galic, already having been impressed with what she could do. The young midfielder was more than happy to hear her new coach out.

“I think everyone knows where Cath can go, not just with her coaching in a personal aspect but also where she can take the club and what she can do with us as players,” Galic said.

“I definitely saw that growing when I was training with her as an assistant coach. For her to get the head role now, it’s really exciting for her.

“I think that she’s only just beginning what she can put out into the game and into the young players.”

New head coach Catherine Cannuli is putting together a strong W-League side. (Photo: Western Sydney Wanderers)

Taking lessons from last season

Learning under the wings of experienced campaigner Kendall Fletcher, Galic got more out of one season of W-League than most.

Playing 11 games, four as a sub and seven starting, she says that extra push coming off the bench inspired her to work even harder towards her goal of becoming a starting XI midfielder.

“I think that is one of the main aspects of why I enjoyed [being at] Canberra last year, because I really did start from the bottom,” Galic said.

“I worked as hard as I could in pre-season, and then at the end of pre-season I wasn’t the top choice for the midfield.

“Just because at that moment in time you’re not the one that is chosen, doesn’t mean that you stop working.

“One of the coaches kept saying to me ‘just keep working, because when you get the chance you have to take it and keep going from there.’”

Galic playing against Brisbane Roar in the 2020-21 season. (Photo: Western Sydney Wanderers)

Finally earning that first start in mid-February in the 2-1 loss to Adelaide United, it only spurred Galic further on.

“I didn’t want to lose it after that, I just kept pushing after that and did everything I could for the team on the field and off the field.

“What helped me get there was just thinking about the end goal of where I wanted to end up.

“Last year was definitely one of the years in my career I have grown the most. It’s not just what you do on the pitch, but also what you do at home, what happens mentally as well.

“Adding all those factors together, I was pretty happy by the end of the season because I gave it my all.”

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