THE PRIDE OF THE REGION
Bundaberg player makes the move to higher level
I’m looking forward to the quality down here because I want to be able to make the next step and better my football.
Bundaberg’s Ashley Commens will be surrounded by familiar faces when she takes the next step in her footballing career.
The former United Park Eagle has joined Ipswich-based Nationals Women’s Premier League side the Western Pride after finishing her education at St Luke’s Anglican School last year.
The teenager will joined at the club by a fellow Wide Bay recruit, Hervey Bay’s Victoria Merrick, with former Matilda and Fraser Coast resident Belinda Kitching the coach.
The trio previously came together at the Wide Bay Revolution in 2013 when the side was in the NPL.
Commens and Merrick celebrated the reunion with a 2-0 win on Saturday in a pre-season friendly against Logan Lightning.
Commens said the move had been great so far and praised Kitching’s coaching.
She made 15 appearances for the Eagles in the Wide Bay League last year.
“I’ve only been playing at Pride for three weeks under her now and I’ve already learned so much,” she said.
“Belinda’s sides were a lot more organised than us,” Commens said.
The defender said joining the Pride was perfect for her future career.
Commens said she was keen to develop as much as possible at the Pride before moving to the US college system at the tail end of the season.
“I’m moving to America to play soccer,” Commens said.
“I’m joining Pride to get as much experience under Kitch as I can before I head to America in August.”
At just 17 years of age, Merrick was looking forward to learning as much as she could in a more competitive league.
“I’m looking forward to the quality down here because I want to be able to make the next step and better my football,” she said.
“It’s pretty tough here but we just have to work that extra bit harder, especially coming from a rural area where we didn’t have any pathways to the NPL.”
The Pride starts its campaign this Saturday against the South West Queensland Thunder in Toowoomba.
GOING WEST: Bundaberg's Ashley Commens in her Western Pride jersey.