Above: Alana Jancevski – one of Perth Glory’s young attacking weapons who is a star in the making. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.
Alana Jancevski has long been thought of as one of the most talented teenagers in the Australian women’s game. She’s in her first season in the A-League Women with Perth Glory and has caught the headlines already. Alana spoke to Impetus’ editor Ben Gilby, especially for this week’s #MidweekDub feature (2/2/22).
Alana Jancevski began playing football at the age of five, as she takes up the story. “I started playing for Bundoora United where I was a part of boys’ teams until the age of 12 where I then moved on to play for NTC (National Training Centre) in Victoria. I played there for five years. In that time period, I was also a part of the W-League squad at Melbourne Victory as a train-on for three years and the Junior Matildas (U17s) squad in 2018/2019.
“I then moved on to play for FC Bulleen Lions in the 2021 NPLW season. After the 2021 season, I was then contracted to play for Perth Glory in the current A-League Women’s season. I also received national exposure through KICK TV Series on ABC ME which documented my journey in football.”
Alana has been on the radar of many Australian women’s football fans since scoring an incredible goal in 2018 for the Young Matildas against Thailand. That was a memorable moment in her embryonic career.
“Being a part of the U17 Junior Matildas squad was an amazing experience that I’ll forever cherish. Being able to represent your country is something truly special and to do it with a group of girls that became family is the key memory I’ll take away. Being able to play for your country let alone get on the score sheet in an Asian Cup was certainly a dream of mine and for it to come true was a surreal feeling.”
The 18-year-old has developed a bit of a name for herself when it comes to scoring stunning long-range goals. She emphasized the importance of training to further hone her undoubted skill in this part of her game.
“I think the key to scoring is getting the basics right first and continually practicing different techniques from within close range which will allow you to develop confidence in your ability to then try them from long range.”
Ahead of the 2021/22 A-League Women season, Alana took the life-changing decision to move from Victoria to Western Australia. She took us through the process and how the prospect of being coached by Alex Epakis was a key fact in joining the club.
“Making the move from Melbourne to Perth was a challenging one, but one that I am glad I made. The environment that Alex had created here in the West was something that caught my attention. His style of coaching and the goals and ambitions he has in place for two to three seasons expressed the true commitment he has to make Perth Glory a championship-winning side. It has exceeded my expectations and I am loving every minute with a talented group of girls and an amazing group of staff.
“Alex is a great person who happens to be a talented football coach. His drive and determination to give 110% to everything he does is something that stands out. He doesn’t accept nor drive low standards and continually wants to improve as a coach every day.
“Having a coach that continually wants to grow individually highlights his commitments to make each and every player the best versions of themselves to add their unique qualities to the greater good of the squad.
“He has pushed me like no other coach has; he has made me not only physically a better footballer but has allowed me to become mentally stronger in tough moments which is something that I needed to develop in order to take the next step in my footballing journey. I look forward to continually working with Alex to take more leaps in the near future.”
A late arrival in the Glory team ahead of the season opener was Matildas legend Lisa De Vanna, someone Alana is delighted to be learning from.
“Lisa is a great addition to the squad. I remember meeting her as a 13-year-old at school and being starstruck. I have grown up watching her brilliance as a fan and to now get to play alongside her is a dream.
“I got to train with Lisa last year at Melbourne Victory and I now have the privilege to play with her. She has already taught me so many things and her approach to helping young players never goes unnoticed and I’m sure I will continue to learn from her in the upcoming season.”
Whilst, due to COVID related border issues, Perth Glory have spent the last five or six weeks being based in a North Sydney hub. The club has also suffered injuries to key offensive players such as Demi Koulizakis, Cyera Hintzen, and Susan Phonsongkham. Despite all of these major challenges, Perth remain well placed for a tilt at Finals football.
Alana has played her part in their great start by scoring her first-ever A-League Women’s goal to seal a late win in Brisbane. “It was a surreal feeling! I have dreamt of that moment for my entire life and to be able to live it is something I will forever cherish. For it to be in the later stages of the game to clinch the three points made it even more special as I was able to help my teammates.”
Alana’s goal sealed Perth’s second successive win at the end of a match, and the striker is clear about why they were able to do it.
“Our team culture is something that is special and something I have never experienced before. The amount of heart and passion we put into everything we do goes to show how we play week in week out. Throughout both those matches, this is something that has stood out as we fought until the end in both fixtures which allowed us to win those games.”
With this being Alana’s first season in senior football, she has set herself a few aims for the campaign.
“I want to be able to showcase my abilities and hopefully be involved in more score involvements whether that be goals or assists. I also want to work on my defensive attributes as this is an area I can continue to improve. I also want to grow as a young leader within the squad.
The teenager has high hopes for her Perth Glory team this season as well.
“Being a footballer, you have to have the competitive nature to win at all costs. As a group, a successful season is winning as many games as possible to make the top four and try to go all the way.”