Creative midfielder Marianna Tabain is loving life back home in Perth, with the two-time Westfield W-League champion relishing the opportunity to play alongside those she rose through the ranks with.
The 25-year-old began her professional career with Glory in the competition's inaugural season of 2008 and went on to score 17 goals in 63 appearances over a seven-year period before making the move over east to Melbourne City.
“I was definitely sad to leave Perth in 2015," she said, "but it was an exciting time for me. It was something I felt I needed to do for myself to grow as a person by getting out of my comfort zone.
“It’s great to see how much the club has developed since I left, the infrastructure and quality of players is really exciting.”
Success seems to follow the National Training Centre (NTC) product around as, after playing a crucial role in Perth’s first ever Premiership in 2014, Tabain secured further silverware with City in the form of back-to-back league and Grand Final titles.
“It’s been amazing," she said. "It’s something you dream of as a young player, to be able to be a part of teams filled with so many quality players, which has been the case throughout my career.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside the likes of Sam Kerr and Jess Fishlock for a number of years now, which has been great fun.”
Following her two seasons with City, which saw the 2009 Goal of the Year winner net 10 times in 27 matches, Tabain insists she couldn’t be happier to be back home.
“It’s a special experience to be playing in your home state for your hometown club," she said, "and it’s something that means the world to me. To be able to play in front of friends and family again is a huge bonus.
“My time over east was an opportunity I needed to take, but the decision to return to Glory I feel was the correct one as Bobby [Despotovski] and Jessine [Bonzas] have been great. There’s been a lot of adjusting, but the girls and the entire coaching staff have made the transition that much easier for me and I can’t thank them enough.”
The versatile local is a prime example of the Western Australian football pathway in action having honed her skills as a youngster in the development programs.
“It’s certainly very rewarding to have all those years of hard work with the state programs result in a professional career," she said. "It really shows that the pathway is there and it does work.
“When you’ve put in so many hours to reach this level, it’s quite fulfilling to be able to represent the club on a weekly basis.”
With just three regular-season games to go, Tabain believes that despite recent form, the current squad does have the capacity to bring silverware back to Perth.
“We’ve got so many versatile players that can play in multiple positions across the park and each individual brings a unique set of skills to the team," she said. "I think we need to concentrate on executing our gameplan more effectively across 90 minutes if we want to climb back up the ladder.
“We’ve had so many away games, so we’re buzzing to be home and hopefully we can recapture some of our early-season form to take into the finals. This squad can do anything on its day, so we’ve still got high aspirations and titles very much at the top of our minds.”
You can catch Tabain and the rest of the women’s team in action this Sunday night at Dorrien Gardens when they face Sydney FC at 7 PM.