Former Football NSW Institute and Northern Tigers young gun defender Greta Kraszula will call Richmond Virginia home as the 19-year-old recently scored herself an exciting 4-year scholarship at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Coming through the player development system in NSW and gaining valuable experience in the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s top tier competition, Kraszula won her scholarship thanks to the assistance of her school Loreto Normanhurst as well as the Player Pathway USA process.
“I had heard about student/athletes pursuing their goals in the U.S. and was always encouraged through my high-school Loreto Normanhurst to balance football and education. This led to starting my recruitment process with Player Pathway USA. They were unbelievable in supporting and guiding me through the process, which predominantly was through contacting coaches with game footage and academic transcripts.
“This ultimately resulted in a 4-year scholarship at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in Richmond Virginia.
“I chose VCU as it opened up the opportunity to pursue both academics and football in a competitive environment and at the highest level in the NCAA Division 1.
“I am very excited to begin my journey at VCU. I believe it’s so important to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and I am confident this experience will allow me to grow as a person and player.”
With the world coping with COVID, Kraszula eventually made her way to the States following various strict protocols before kicking off pre-season with her new club on Monday.
“In terms of travel to the U.S. after receiving my travel exemption, vaccination and COVID test, I was allowed to leave for the pursuit of study with a student visa. Masks were mandatory on all flights, and after arriving the restrictions are limited if you have been vaccinated.
“Pre-season officially kicked off on Monday, with classes commencing on the 24th.
“Currently, I am one of five internationals in the VCU Women’s Soccer squad and I am amazed at the facilities and resources available to student-athletes.
“Competing in the Atlantic 10 Conference, our first official game is on August 19th against James Madison University.”
Coming through the ranks in Sydney, Kraszula enjoyed her time coming through the ranks, highlighting her selection into last year’s inaugural NSW Senior State Team squad that took part in the 2020 State Of Origin clash against Queensland as a major achievement amongst many others.
“My time at the Football NSW Institute was invaluable as I was exposed to many opportunities to develop as a player, through various NTC tournaments and Future Matildas trainings. The constant challenge each week of coming up against older and more experienced players definitely pushed my player development.
“Transitioning to the Northern Tigers in First Grade was seamless and formed some of my most enjoyable football memories.
“The Northern Tigers team culture is hardworking, supportive, and positive and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the team. I am hoping that they can get back on the pitch soon and take out the 2021 Premiership.
“I was also very grateful for the opportunity to play defensive midfielder for NSW last year in the state squad, and to play alongside some of the best NPL players and coaches in NSW. It definitely showed the incredible amount of depth in Australian women’s football and I look forward to this state rivalry becoming a regular event on the football calendar.”
Ear marked as a future Matildas star, the former Institute skipper and Futsal star, like many of us, has been watching the progress of our Women’s team doing the nation proud at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Now based in the States and with the Bronze medal match scheduled for Thursday, Kraszula is hoping that the Matildas can spring the major upset to ignite the banter with her new U.S. teammates.
“It has been inspiring to watch the Matildas in the Olympics and to see the growing support for female football in Australia has been fantastic.
“I can’t wait for the Matildas to take on the U.S. – a win and bronze medal will definitely mean bragging rights with my new team.”
Greta joins a long list of young promising Australian female footballers hoping to further their careers abroad, flying the Aussie flag proudly as well as promoting what fantastic talent NSW has to the rest of the world.