The National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s competition has played a pivotal role in promising young gun Tegan Bertolissio’s football development that saw the 17-year-old earn herself an A-League Women’s contract with Canberra United following a successful season with the Macarthur Rams.
A regular feature in Stephen Peters’ squad this season, the versatile defender starred in what was a breakout year for the former Junior and now Young Matilda as she paid full credit to the NPL NSW Women’s competition.
“I believe the NPL NSW Women’s competition has had a massive impact on my development,” Bertolissio stated to Football NSW.
“This year was my first time playing in the women’s first grade competition and looking back at my performance from round 1 to the last round of the season, I feel I have grown and progressed as a footballer.
“Being able to learn from and play with and against a lot of experienced first grade players has played a big role in my development.”
Finishing runners-up to APIA Leichhardt FC for the Premiership, the Rams hit another gear in the finals series which saw them clinch a second successive Championship following a 2-0 victory over the Bulls FC Academy in the Final.
Bertolissio played a massive role in the Rams’ pursuit for silverware in 2023 so much so, she also earned herself a spot in this year’s NPL NSW Women’s ‘Team of the Year’ following her consistent performances that caught the attention of many, including Canberra United.
Not bad for a youngster that made the sudden jump from reserve grade football this season.
“The whole year for me has been one to remember.
“Coming from playing reserve grade all last year, to then making a big step up and playing my first season in first grade has been a time of transition and development for me.
“I had to work extremely hard to earn to the respect from my new teammates coming into the team and contest against quality players to earn my starting spot in the team at Macarthur Rams.”
Speaking on how the Canberra United offer came about, Bertolissio stated that it was thanks to the NPL she had the exposure to showcase her talent which caught the attention of Head Coach Njegosh Popovich.
“It all came about thanks to a midweek NPL NSW Women’s match with the Rams when I remembered seeing Njegosh watching.
“The following day my Dad got a phone call and it all started from there.”
Set for a massive A-League Women’s season, Tegan has also been ultra proud of her brother Joel, who too, has gained national attention thanks to the NPL following a huge year with the Bulls FC Academy which earned him a spot in Mile Sterjovski’s A-League side.
It’s been that competitive nature that has certainly spurred the Bertolissio siblings at home to reach new heights as Tegan further explained.
“It’s a very competitive household but Joel and I push each other to be better.
“We can both relate to each other’s football experiences, and we help each other through the highs and lows of football.
“When he watches my games, he is not afraid to critique me on how I can improve my game.
“As much as I hate him telling me what to do, I respect what he says because he is a very intelligent footballer.
“Having Joel has definitely helped me to develop as a young footballer.”