Lauren Allan is looking forward to seeing what she can do in a full season of Herald Women’s Premier League.
New Lambton have signed the Kahibah 22-year-old strike weapon as a replacement for former Matilda Joey Burgess, who had a knee reconstruction at the end of last season.
For the past three years, Allan has been limited to eight-game stints for Adamstown in the WPL as she has played college football in the United States and only returned during summer breaks.
The appearances may have been short-lived but her impact was long-lasting. She scored eight goals last year, 16 in 2017 and six in 2016.
In 2015, Allan produced 25 goals in 16 outings for Rosebud. That year Jets player Cassidy Davis was the league’s most prolific scorer with 29 successful strikes in 23 matches.
“I definitely want to give leading goalscorer a run for its money this time, just because I’m back for a full season,” Allan said.
In the US she had two seasons with Butler Community College in Kansas and one with Anderson University in South Carolina, which helped take her game to another level.
“It was a very daunting thing going over there,” Allan said. “I struggled the first year but after that I loved going back. One hundred per cent my game improved while I was over there.”
The move to New Lambton was fuelled by a desire for further development under coach Keelan Hamilton.
“[Adamstown] have done a lot for me, especially while I was in the United States, so it was a hard decision for me but I just couldn’t really see myself progressing as a player, which is what I ultimately want to do,” Allan said.
The Eagles have also re-signed Jets striker and former Matilda Tara Andrews, who produced 17 goals last season, and the pair are likely to complement each other’s playing style.
“[Last year] I’d heard about Lauren previously but hadn’t seen her play,” Hamilton said. “She actually scored in both rounds against us so that’s one way to get in your eyesight.
“She makes really good forward runs off the shoulder of that last defender. She times that really well and her movement off the ball in those forward run spaces is definitely a strength.
“The big thing that’s impressed me though is her desire. She’s only missed one training session since we started nine weeks ago. She’s got a desire to be a footballer, not just to play in the local comp. That’s a huge attraction for me as a coach, to work with players like that.”
New Lambton joined Northern NSW Football’s top-flight women’s competition last year and finished third. They were beaten by Merewether in the semi-finals.
Hamilton has also made key signings in defender Toria Campbell from Warners Bay plus goalkeeper Imogene Tomasone and midfielder Sophie Jones from seasons off.
The WPL season kicks off next month. Mid North Coast and Thornton return to take the competition back to eight teams and 21 rounds.