Youth in focus: Daniela Galic
The A-League Women has provided some exciting competition for football fans looking to escape from the wild mornings of the World Cup so far. Each matchday has seen fast, intense, and physical football, with all 11 teams showing glimpses of world-class ability. The season's intriguing start has left many new and old fans craving more action. The competition provides a unique experience, as many players coming through are surprisingly young, showing football IQ and game management beyond their years. Last week Front Page Football took a closer look at Sarah Hunter, who personifies enthusiasm and composure. However, 16-year-old Daniela Galic is showing similar promise at a very premature age.
Galic receives her Player of the Match award against Costa Rica at the U20 Women's World Cup. (Twitter: @FootballAUS)
Galic in action during Melbourne City's Round 1 clash against Wellington Phoenix. (Getty Images)
Melbourne City has enjoyed an equally strong start to the A-League Women season to their male colleagues, thumping Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar 4-1 and 3-0, respectively. In their possession-based system, now orchestrated by former Socceroo Dario Vidosic, composure in the midfield has been key to the Citizens' early success this season. This style isn't unexpected as City takes pride in dominating proceedings weekly, both in the Men's and Women's competitions. However, young Galic has been key to that process, showing maturity and elegance in the City midfield this campaign.
Technically gifted and poised, Galic starred for the Young Matildas at the U20 Women's World Cup in August. She started every match for the side that competed against world-class football nations, including eventual champions Spain. Standing at 1.67m, Galic is a physical presence in the Melbourne City midfield, winning four tackles per game and 50% of her defensive duels. However, as a number 10, strength in defence is impartial to her attacking prowess. Instead, Galic has an extensive passing range and can find space for her teammates in tight areas of the pitch. So far, Galic has provided two assists in as many games for City whilst also making three key passes in 71 minutes per match this season. She has also completed 82% of her passes, with a 79% completion rate in the opposing team's half.
Galic's ability to get into good areas in the final third has been displayed this season. Last week she had two shots on target, only denied by some quality goalkeeping from Brisbane's Hensley Hancuff. On more than one occasion this season, Galic has found herself in good scoring positions without putting the ball in the back of the net. She has attempted 1.5 shots per game, with one being on target. Her positional sense is reminiscent of a prime Emily van Egmond who, on her day, is a significant scoring threat from the penalty area and edge of the box. However, Galic's physical presence and ability to hold the ball under pressure suggest she could play a more advanced role behind a more direct striker. This relationship would be similar to the combination of Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr for the Matildas.
After City's 3-0 victory over Brisbane, manager Dario Vidosic spoke to KeepUp's Anna Harrington. Vidosic, a former number 10 himself, relishes his role in Galic's development.
"[I] wouldn't be upset if she was in the Matildas; she's one that could put her hand up," he said.
"I've got 15 years of experience in that midfield as a number 10 myself, but she's got her own qualities, and she's only going to get better and better."
Galic's rise to prominence in professional football at such a young age is something to be admired. She shows no fear and is relentless on the pitch, a mentality only a few possess.
Statistics sourced from SofaScore.
Click here to read our last A-League Women 'Youth In Focus' on Sydney FC midfielder Sarah Hunter.