Canberra’s own Karly Roestbakken is the latest local prodigy to wave goodbye to the nation’s capital and pursue their sporting dreams on the world stage.
In Karly’s case, she’ll be kicking on in Europe.
She was scheduled to leave the ACT next week, but as coronavirus has rapidly spread across the world and travel restrictions have been implemented across Europe, she might be staying in Australia a little longer than she anticipated.
Nevertheless, the Canberran will be pursuing her football career in Norway after signing with LSK Kvinner FK. The team competes in the country’s top division of women’s football and also the Champions League.
Roestbakken lived in Norway with her family during her younger years and still has relatives there as well as former teammates at the club, so she will not be walking into unfamiliar territory.
After bursting on to the scene for United in the W-League in 2016, fans quickly fell in love with her attitude towards the game and her obvious qualities as a leader at such a young age. She became co-captain of the club at just 18 heading into the 2019-20 W-League season.
The region has seen her grow from a 10-year-old junior at the Monaro Panthers and blossom into a Matilda at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
She also helped the Australians cement their place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games and there is no doubt the 19-year-old will be sorely missed.
The former Panthers junior is ecstatic to make the jump across to Europe to live out a life-long dream and though she knew the path she needed to take to get to Europe, it was all about leaving Canberra when she was most comfortable.
“I’m so excited, it is something I have wanted to do for a long time but I just needed to pick the right time to go,” Roestbakken said. “I was very fortunate enough to sign with a very good club who wanted me. To be able to play in Norway where my family is, it’s going to be amazing.”
The pressures and expectations that come along with playing for an outfit with seven league titles are aspects Roestbakken is looking forward to, as well as taking part in the best women’s league in Norway.
“Over in Norway it’s definitely going to be challenging in terms of the tactical approach to games,” Roestbakken mentioned. “I just have to try adapt and learn how they play and grow as a footballer.”