by Kieran Yap (1/2/23)
Above: Danielle Steer (9) jumps for joy after scoring one of her record-breaking goals for the University of British Columbia. Photo: UBC Athletics.
Danielle Steer has adjusted instantly to life as a Western United player. It took the Canadian striker only five minutes to score in the 5-0 win over Canberra United.
Angie Beard’s run and cross from the left was headed into the net by Steer from close range. It was a goal created by two of Mark Torcaso’s newest signings and the perfect start to life after Jess McDonald for the club.
“I think getting that first goal, especially quite early on and being here, I feel a lot of more comfortable and a lot more settled on the field,” Steel told the media ahead of the match against Perth Glory.
“It also just showed my coaches and my teammates that they can trust me when I’m on the field. That’s something that I worry about sometimes, when you’re a new player you’re not really sure how to play with other people, the relationships aren’t there.
“But getting that goal, showed a lot of people on my team as well as on opposition teams that I can be someone who can be clinical in the box.”
Steer has arrived at Western United after a record-breaking college career in Canada. The forward has contributed 71 goals in five years through assists and scoring herself. It is a run of form that she is looking to bring to the A-League Women’s.
Whilst United’s new signing was unfamiliar with the league, she has family in Australia. It has helped her make the transition to the new country and competition, although her ability I the final third probably has as much to do with it.
“I think the ALW definitely challenges me at a more technical level,” said Steer of the differences between Canada and Australia. “It’s not like the levels are completely different…it’s more pressure to do well and to compete and be efficient and effective in your game.
“You don’t see mistakes happening as often. I’d say the major different between the levels here in the A-League Women and back home is that this is a job, this is what people want to do.
“At school, some people are playing soccer just to get them through university for the next four years and then they’re done. For me, I wanted more than that, and that’s why I’m here. I think that the girls that are here understand that a little more.”
Steer was another surprise signing for a club that has developed a reputation for strong recruiting. Like teammate Hannah Keane and the players from Victoria’s NPLW, Western United represents the next stage in a promising career.
“Coming to Australia or just being overseas in general was always sort of my plan. I always envisioned myself playing professionally. As you know there’s no domestic professional leagues in Canada, which is unfortunate.
“What led me to Australia is, I do have my Australian passport, it became easier to make the process and change over here. Having family in general and having already been to the country numerous times, I’ve felt like it was a more comfortable move, coming over here.”
Western United travel to Ballarat this weekend to face Perth Glory. Both sides have won their previous match, although Perth’s was more than two weeks ago. Western United have scored twice as many goals as the struggling Glory and conceded half as many.
If it already seemed like a difficult task for the Glory, it is one that has been made tougher by the arrival of leading scorer in Canada West women’s soccer history.