Canberra United's Jessie Rasschaert raring for W-League redemption on return

Jessie Rasschaert's eyes watered as she carried her two-year-old son Tristan out to the roar of McKellar Park moments before making her W-League debut.

Few could imagine making their professional debut as a 32-year-old with a toddler in tow but the Canberra United defender says she's just hitting her peak.

Canberra United defender Jessie Rasschaert carries her son Tristan onto the field before her W-League debut. Picture: Michael Daniel Photography

Canberra United defender Jessie Rasschaert carries her son Tristan onto the field before her W-League debut. Picture: Michael Daniel Photography

Rasschaert kicked off her W-League career to a dream start with a 2-0 win over Perth Glory, but it was the sight of her son waiting for her at the end of the tunnel which brought tears to her eyes.

"It hit home how special this whole experience is," Rasschaert said.

"It was really nice to have him out there with me and realising what an achievement it is to have a two-year-old son, hit the peak in my career and play W-League was just unreal. I don't really have the words for it."

But Rasschaert's debut was marred with a foot injury which has kept her out of action for two weeks.

She managed to play 80 minutes in their round-two loss against Melbourne City but the pain in her heel worsened after the match.

Rasschaert, who is also a physiotherapist, is now set to make her comeback and play her first away fixture when Canberra face the winless Glory at Dorrien Gardens on Friday night.

"It's still sore but it's heaps better than it was. It helps being a physiotherapist because I can self-diagnose and treat myself, which made it a speedy recovery, " Rasschaert said.

"I think playing against a team we've already faced will really help and work in my favor. It's more familiar so confidence comes with it as well because it's not a team I don't know well.

"[Perth] will be tough. It's their homeground and they're going to come out all guns blazing. It could be anyone's game but we're a close knit group and I think we'll come out with a win."

Canberra have won two of their first four matches while Perth sit at the bottom of the table with three losses.

The dungeon dwellers will be eager to turn their season around with the inclusion of Spanish international Celia Jiménez Delgado, Mexican defender Ari Romero, as well as American imports Crystal Thomas and Morgan Andrews.

Rasschaert will test herself against Jiménez Delgado at right-back but will be motivated by the chance to seek her own redemption story come Friday night.

The United defender admits she suffered a loss in confidence after giving away the penalty which led to their heartbreaking loss to City extra-time.

"My confidence took a bit of a hit after the City match because taking a penalty in the box during a W-League game is not what anyone wants to do ever," Rasschaert said. "I was really devastated and to have lost the game as well, it really weighed heavily on me for a while.

"It probably affected me a little bit at training as well in getting my confidence back but the girls are really supportive. They don't hold that over me at all, they don't blame me. It was a team effort and we were really unlucky to have lost the game.

"My confidence is back going into this game against Perth. I'm excited to go."

This story Rasschaert ready to redeem shaky start first appeared on The Canberra Times.