Kirsten Veeren.
Kirsten Veeren. Chris Simpson

Veeren roaring to Pride return

FORMER Western Pride captain Kirsten Veeren may be in line for a quick return to Briggs Rd when Brisbane Roar's new NPL Women's team plays Pride tomorrow night.

Veeren joined Roar at the start of their Premiership- winning W-League season but saw her involvement limited to a handful of unused substitute appearances.

However, Veeren's move was always with an eye to the future with 15-cap Matildas keeper Mackenzie Arnold holding down the number one jersey.

Instead Veeren is in line to play for Roar's new NPL Women's team where she will add experience and leadership to a squad otherwise made up of Roar's up-and-coming youngsters.

Veeren said she was excited to be at Roar during their successful W-League season.

"It's been a pretty good experience and a lot of hard work but the team is so great,” Veeren said.

"We finished on top of the table so it's pretty insane.”

Veeren said training alongside Arnold was benefiting her development.

"For me Mackenzie is the best 'keeper in Australia without a doubt',” Veeren said. "I'm learning from her every day.”

Roar's W-League season finished on Sunday with a semi-final defeat to Melbourne City.

It remains to be seen if Veeren will slot immediately into the NPLW side in tomorrow night's clash with Pride.

Veeren said she had mixed feelings playing against her former teammates but was looking forward to the game.

"It'll be strange but I'm happy continuing with the Roar and having that opportunity,” Veeren said.

"I'll be there until the next W-League season and we'll see how that goes but I'm keen to stay on board.”

Tomorrow night's clash will pit Veeren against her former mentor Belinda Kitching, who she credits with fine-turning her game.

"Belinda has made a lot of small tweaks to my game - things I thought maybe I was good at or maybe I didn't need to work at that much,” Veeren said.

"I thought I had other things to work on when really tweaking things a little bit made such a big difference.”

Veeren also credits Kitching with helping her with leadership and communication.

"I didn't get that opportunity to lead at my previous clubs because I grew up with those girls, whereas at Pride I was a more senior player and had to be a leader,” Veeren said.

"Working with the likes of Gabor (Ganzcer) and Belinda on my goalkeeping coaching has also been awesome and improved the tactical side of my game as well.”

Roar should field another ex-Pride youngster in Holly McQueen at Briggs Rd tomorrow night.

The Springfield-based youngster started last Friday when Roar were narrowly defeated by heavyweights The Gap.

Pride have won both their opening games to the season and will hoping to continue their momentum against Roar.



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