Gielnik faces “worst month of stress and anxiety” before Europe move

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After enduring the most emotional and stressful month of her career, Brisbane Roar striker Emily Gielnik says she is gutted to be missing her side’s finals campaign.

Whilst “gutted” about missing the Roar’s upcoming finals campaign, it was a fitting farewell for Gielnik, who finished her W-League season with a goal in the 3-0 win over Newcastle Jets.

A home-final awaits the Roar after the dominant display but the side will be forced to play without the star forward and club captain Clare Polkinghorne, who are off to Vittsjo GIK.

Gielnik was relieved to secure the win before heading to Sweden, after enduring the tensest month in her career thus far.

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“It was the longest and worst month of stress and anxiety in my footballing career to be honest,” Gielnik said.

“It is bittersweet; I really wanted to be here for the finals. That was my intentions as soon as I started.”

Despite finishing on the highest of notes, the Matilda star was devastated her move to the Swedish outfit had to play out this way.

“None of this was meant to happen, none of this was meant to be up in the air,” she said.

“It is just real bittersweet and an unfortunate circumstance. Unfortunately, finals football is really what I am gutted missing out on.”

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Although it’s disappointing the striker will not feature in the W-League finals, her form throughout the season made up for it.

Gielnik is set to finish the season as the Golden Boot winner having scored 13 goals this season.

The forward said it was her goal to finish the campaign as the league’s leading goal scorer.

“It is something I didn’t want to say out loud, and it wasn’t the biggest focus of mine, but it was definitely my goal for the season,” Gielnik said.

“I feel good about it because I haven’t made brave goals like that in the past, and I felt good coming off the season I had in Sweden, scoring eight goals over there.”

Golden Boot Gielnik did struggle initially, failing to fire in the Roar’s first four W-League games this season.

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Gielnik admits self doubt did creep in during the opening matches of the campaign.

“I think those first four games, it had me doubting myself a little bit. I never doubted the team, just a bit of self-doubt; I just needed to get the ball rolling,” she said.

“But in that moment, in that Victory game, it was either going to go one way or the other for me.”

The Matilda star chose the right path, praising a positive attitude for turning her fortunes around.

“I tried to have more of a positive influence on it, so the tables turned for me and I just got momentum from then on,” Gielnik said.

“It was really a choice; I just forced myself to turn things around and stuck to my positive ways and then things really fell into place for me.”

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Whilst the Roar have relied on Gielnik for goals this season, she has “money on all of them” to fill the goal scoring void.

“To be honest, I think it is some of the girls who have just been having their chances all season but not finishing them,” she said.

“All those girls up front, and obviously now we have got Tameka Yallop leading the line, I think it will all click.”

Whilst the Roar will miss the striker’s presence, both Gielnik and Polkinghorne will be cheering from afar.

“I don’t care what time of the morning it is overseas. I haven’t done the math yet in terms of times, I have to wait for the draw to come out, but I definitely will be watching it,” Gielnik said.

“Polks and I will be getting together on a couch somewhere and definitely be putting it on the TV for sure.”

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Whilst on the other side of the world, Gielnik is set for more stress as she watches her teammates play finals football without her.

Feature image credit: Albert Perez

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Matthew Tsimpikas
Sports lover studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. Covering Brisbane Roar FC in the 2020/21 A-League and W-League.
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