Grigg’s whirlwind A-League debut

It has been a whirlwind few days for teenage footballer Miley Grigg.

On Thursday the Trinity College student trained in the morning then made her way to school before finding out she had been signed to a youth development contract by Adelaide United.

By Saturday she was making her Liberty A-League debut as the Reds went down to Western United at Marden Sports Complex.

Still refusing to believe she was going to play, Grigg did not tell many of her friends of her impending milestone.

But after entering the play in the 65th minute, the teen realised a dream, and in doing so became Adelaide United’s youngest ever player in either the A-League men’s or women’s competitions.

“It was crazy!” Grigg said on Tuesday after having a couple of days to reflect.

“I definitely didn’t expect it all happened so quickly, like I was training and then afterwards got an email about getting signed.

“And then a couple days later said that I might be benching or on the emergency list and then the emails came out and I was on the emergency list and then got moved to be playing on bench I couldn’t believe it.”

Standing on the sideline after being called to warm-up, Grigg was not nervous.

She thinks she was still in disbelief at what was happening.

“It took a while for it to actually kick in that I was where I was, and then about when (assistant coach) Michele (Lastella) said to me that I’m going on in 10 to 15 minutes, it was like ‘this is actually happening’.
“(Coach Adrian Stenta) Stents just told me he wanted like 20 to 25 minutes of just all the energy I have and just to press when I can.”

As she ran on there was a loud cheer from the small crowd at Marden Sports Complex that had braved the torrential rain.

“(My) family came – grandma, mum, brothers,” Grigg explained, although there were not many friends in attendance.

“I try and explain it to them. I don’t really get it. But I’m one of them. She gets in. She’s really happy with me and stuff. And then a couple of them were mad that I didn’t tell him that I was benching. And so yeah, but yeah, tell them no, because I wasn’t sure if I would be playing. So I didn’t want them not to come down. And then I’m not getting any minutes.”

While she seemed comfortable at the level, Grigg admitted it was a step up from the WNPL level, where she had impressed with the Football SA NTC program in recent years.

The MetroStars junior had some composed touches and showcased her pace and power while trying to help the Reds get back in the game.

“It’s definitely a step above what NPL is like that next higher level and just with the pressure and the game pace, and the (quality of the opposition) girls,” she said.

“Hopefully, I can just keep training well, doing what I can to hopefully get on the bench more, but it just depends.”

At 15 years and 54 days old, Grigg broke the record set by teammate Emily Condon as the youngest player to represent Adelaide United.
Condon was 15 years and 126 days when she made her debut in a two-nil win over Canberra United on the 5th of January 2014, and scored her first goal six days later.

Grigg revealed Condon had given her some words of advice.

“I did know about being the youngest female, but not about (being younger than the) males as well, but yeah, it’s crazy, that’s for sure.
“It’s good having a lot of older girls out there to kind of push me and tell me what things I can do next and better things to do, which is really good.

“Emily Condon told me I need to score next game because she scored in her second game, so that was good.”

Grigg will be hoping to do just that when the Reds face Wellington Phoenix at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday evening from 5:00pm.

Tickets for the game are available HERE.

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