Why Glory defender Kim Carroll is not ready to bow out just yet

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As Kim Carroll begins another pre-season with Perth Glory, the 34-year-old is under no illusions that each new season could be her last.

The veteran defender has amassed over 150 A-League Women appearances in the 13 years since the competition’s inception.

She made her A-League Women debut for Brisbane Roar back in 2008, spending six seasons at the club before making the move west to Perth Glory in 2015.

Now in her second spell at the club following a return to Brisbane last year, Carroll is enjoying her first pre-season under coach Alex Epakis.

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“It’s been pretty difficult, but that’s like any pre-season. We’ve been training hard together as a team and as a squad,” Carroll said.

Deciding when to hang up the boots can be a tough decision for many players, however, Carroll is sure she will know when the time is right.

“It’s often a thought that potentially it is the last pre-season, but I’ve always said, as long as I’m enjoying it and my body can keep up, I’ll continue,” she said.

“As I get older, it’s definitely harder to continue to play at such a high level. The older you get, the body reacts different, recovers differently.

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“Outside of that, I’ve got work and everything else that also becomes more demanding.”

Off the football pitch, Carroll works as an operations manager for Veritas Engineering.

While balancing these professions can be a challenge, she has found ways to manage.

“I think I probably try to just relax a bit when I can nowadays, when I get a second to,” Carroll said.

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Managing her body has also played a key part in prolonging her career.

“The staff as well are good at helping us manage. We do daily check ins, and they check how we’re feeling, how we’ve recovered,” she said.

“There’s a lot more sports science than there was when I initially started playing.”

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She made over 60 appearances during her first spell at the club, including the heartbreak of two grand final losses in 2017 and 2019.

This experience will be invaluable for a Glory side that features Young Matildas Hana Lowry, Tijan McKenna and Isabella Wallhead.

Guiding these players and providing leadership will be key to Glory’s success this season.

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“I think just talking at training and trying to guide players while on the field is my role. Trying to get an understanding of how Alex [Epakis] wants us to play and then sort of being that voice on the field,” Carroll said.

“The young girls have got their own talent individually, and then it’s sort of just trying to give them some guidance around that.”

Feature Image Credit: Perth Glory

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Lachlan Allen
Journalism student at Curtin University, covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-league season

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