Returning star has unfinished business

Among the new recruits drafted in by Glory Head Coach Bobby Despotovski for the new Westfield W-League season is a very familiar face.

Marianna Tabain did, of course, spend the first seven years of her career here in the West before upping sticks to join Melbourne City in 2015.

And she duly became a key figure in the star-studded Victorian side’s charge to back-to-back titles.

So why exactly has the 24-year-old decided to return to where it all began for her?

We decided to find out.

Perth Glory Online: Welcome back, Marianna! Everyone’s thrilled that you’re back on board, but what was the thinking behind your decision to leave that all-conquering City side?

Marianna Tabain: I think I was just ready to be back home.

I had an incredible experience at City and am very thankful for the two seasons I spent there, but I felt it was time to put the purple shirt back on and play for my home-state team again. 

PGO: You’ve been on the winning side in the last two Westfield W-League Grand Finals having lost in your first one with Glory.

So is there an element of you feeling that you have unfinished business at the club?

MT: Of course!

I've had a taste of winning finals and it would be amazing to do that with a club I've spent years in the past playing for. 

Perth have come close numerous times and I'd love to be a part of bigger things with the club.

PGO: Have you set any personal targets ahead of the new season?

MT: My goal is simply to help Perth Glory win the Premiership.

The club had a good season last year and I'd love to do what I can to help them achieve more this year. 

PGO: Sam Kerr has been in amazing form in recent times and is likely to be a key figure for Glory again this season.

How much are you looking forward to linking up with her again?

MT: I really am. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun! 

She's an incredible player with a lot of experience and is still very young. We've been kicking a ball around together since we were 12, so it will be nice to get back to our old ways on and off the pitch.

PGO: Even though you’re still only 24, you’ve managed to chalk up more than 100 W-League appearances.

How has the league changed from when you started out?

MT: There has definitely been an improvement.

I believe clubs are beginning to focus on the women's side more than they did previously, so that's good to see. Clubs are recruiting better and showing more of an appreciation for the women's game than before. 

There is still a long way to go, but it's moving in a positive direction.

PGO: With the investment that they have made over the last couple of years, do you feel that Melbourne City have raised standards across the league as a whole?

MT: Yes, I strongly think so. The club is very professional and driven to achieve big things. When other clubs and players see this, it's appealing and it becomes a club other players want to play for, or to win against. 

PGO: And finally, how much would it mean to you to force your way back into the Matildas squad at what appears to be a very exciting time for the national side?

MT: To be honest, I'm okay with whatever happens.

If I get a call-up, great and if I don't, that's fine too.

My focus is to do well with Perth Glory this season and enjoy my football again.

That's a big thing for me at the moment.