Not many teenagers can boast five years of W-League experience but that is exactly what Emily Condon possesses.

A 2017/18 season bordering on ‘breakout’ has been a timely reminder of the talent and poise that Condon carries.

On Sunday she was Adelaide’s best and wreaked havoc on Brisbane’s international calibre defence on the way to her first goal of the campaign and this assist:

 

Last week was not just an anomaly though. The midfielder has shone bright for the struggling Adelaide United this year, cementing her spot on the left wing in Ivan Karlovic’s preferred eleven.

“I feel confident, I’ve had good moments,” said Condon.

“There are a lot of things I personally need to work on if I want to be able to make the Matildas or teams overseas, but I’m happy with how I’ve been going this season.

“It’s been quite challenging to come back from last year when I was sick and didn’t play at all, but I’ve been doing alright.”

These recent successes have long been in the works for Condon.

Embed from Getty Images

A dream trip to China representing the Young Matildas in 2016 with fellow Reds Alex Chidiac and Grace Abbey and should have laid the platform for the playmaker to take the next step.

Instead it destroyed the staircase.

“I came back with rhinovirus and so did Alex and Grace, but they got over it a lot quicker than I did.

“It really just wiped me out for four months.

“I missed the whole W-League season. I attended one training session and made it halfway through before I felt really faint and had to pull out of training.

“It all went downhill from there.”

Just like that, a season that offered so much for the South Australian never eventuated.

Embed from Getty Images

“It was so disheartening. I was at my peak fitness, my peak playing ability,” said Condon.

“It was hard.”

In the meantime, Chidiac and Abbey had career years with the former earning three Matildas caps after a huge W-League season.

This could have easily been a salt-in-the-wound moment for Condon, but the classy Port Pirie local has no time for comparisons.

“Good on them for everything they’ve done, I support everything they do.

“I don’t compare myself to anyone, I just want to be the best player I can be.

“But it’s good to have someone who’s been there to see the level you need to be at; what the team’s like and what the environment is like.”

Despite the detour, Condon’s target of national honours – a dream of hers since her days at St Mark’s College in Port Pirie – is surely now just a matter of when rather than if.

Embed from Getty Images

But every footballing journey has its sacrifices.

“Back in school I used to travel up and back to Adelaide three or four times a week for trainings and game days,” said Condon, drifting past the tiny shred of information that a round trip from Port Pirie to Adelaide is an eye-watering 500km, five-hour journey.

“Credit to my parents for putting in all the hours, we’ve definitely clocked up a few kilometres, that’s for sure.”

And as a healthy Emily Condon terrorises the W-League whilst still in her teenage years, this “few kilometres” has already justified itself as worth its weight in gold; both for Condon and her country.

SHARE
Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.