Monash University Student Succeeds on and off the Field

Original story credit to the Herald Sun, read the full story here:

SITTING  in the change rooms before training, Jessica Au prepared as she had for nearly every session since her first trial with Melbourne Victory.

Au warms up during a training session with Victory. Pictures: Mark Avellino.

However, with the 2014-15 ­W-League season on the horizon, this was to be the session the speedy winger would never forget.

The 19-year-old had arrived early, expecting she would have to continue pushing her case for a ­contract with the reigning W-League champion.

Au continues to mix her sporting and university commitments, studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University.

She is just as committed to achieving her goals off the field as she is to making a success of her time with the Victory.

That means juggling five days a week of study as she chases her sporting dream and eyes a post-grad degree in medicine.

“I want to be a paediatrician and travel around the world doing volunteer work. That’s still the plan,” she said.

It takes serious determination — something Au has in spades — to crack into a squad which only months before her promotion had secured the W-League championship.

As her preparations for the session continued, Victory coach Joe Montemurro approached Au and delivered the news she had waited years to hear.

“One day I got to training early, I was sitting in the change rooms and he’s like, ‘I just thought I’d let you know that your hard work has paid off, we’ve decided to offer you a contract’,” Au said.

The right-winger first trialled with Victory as a 16-year-old and spent time at the National Training Centre honing her skills.

But this was the day she had dreamt of and vindicated years of juggling study commitments with soccer training and matches.

“It was tough because there’s so many great players, especially when we get quality internationals coming in,” she said. “To finally make it in, I was speechless when I found out.”

Au warms up during a training session with Victory. Pictures: Mark Avellino.
While she missed her club’s grand final win over Heidelberg United due to the conditions of her Victory contract, Au reflects fondly on the team and individual success she has achieved this year.

“Last year we were minor premiers as well, we went to the grand final and unfortunately we lost in the 90th minute,” she said.

“This year we said, ‘That’s not going to happen, we’re going to go all the way’.
“The last few months we bonded really closely together, worked really well as a team and went all the way.”

While she is ready to make the most of the chance when it comes, Au is happy to bide her time and learn from the more experienced members of the Victory squad.

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