W-League | Boureille making the most of her time in green

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American imports are nothing new to the W-League, but the W-League is a whole new experience for Celeste Boureille.

The California native has already had an impressive career up and down America’s west coast, but was looking for a new challenge when she signed for Canberra United.

“I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now and of course soccer here I’ve heard is amazing so I wanted to just keep playing, improving my game and help the team win a championship,” Boureille said.

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Having never been to Australia before, Boureille could easily have taken a holiday in the off-season from her club Portland Thorns.

Instead she chose to lend her talents to Canberra, forsaking an afternoon on the beach for training in 30 degree plus heat.

A decision her coach Rae Dower couldn’t be happier with.

“She’s one of the picks of the season across the whole league, she’s an unbelievable athlete for a start,” Dower said when asked what she brings to the table.

“I’ve watched a fair bit of her college stuff and the games she played in the NWSL.”

With United having built a formidable attacking force over the past seasons, Dower was convinced she needed someone to complement their top-heavy approach.

Enter Boureille.

“She certainly looked to me like she could really play that number six role for us which  was pretty important for all the other attacking players that we were assembling,” explained Dower.

“I really needed somebody who looked disciplined and had a great work ethic.

“She’s left-footed, right-footed, good in the air, she just seems to be able to get those big, long legs in and disturb the other team’s build-up which is really crucial.”

Despite her career having never taken her to Australia before, the 22-year old midfielder was quick to point out both similarities and differences between the W-league and soccer back home.

“It’s definitely the same physical game in both leagues but I think in terms of the style of play in the Australian league we definitely try to keep possession of the ball and do all the basics,” Boureille explained.

While she was used to playing in front of bigger crowds stateside, the Californian was full of praise for the Australian variant.

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“Definitely at Portland we do get quite a few fans, it’s quite an amazing experience but we still get a good amount of fans [here], I think last game we had over 1000 so I think it’s growing but definitely in the States it’s big.”

When asked if she would consider a second stint in the nation’s capital, Boureille was quick to answer.

“That would be great, if Canberra would love to have me back.

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So would those in green I’d wager.

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Dominic Unwin
Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.

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