Numerous Thorns FC players have been spending their NWSL offseason playing on loan in Australia in the W-League. For midfielder Celeste Boureille, this Down Under campaign has seen her Brisbane Roar rocket to the top of the table with a chance to clinch the shield this weekend. We reached out to her to learn more about her time in Australia, playing alongside Portland teammate Hayley Raso in Brisbane as well as playing against other Thorns teammates on other W-League teams.
What has it been like living in Australia this offseason? Is there anything that has really stood out, any experiences either on or off the field?
It has been amazing living in Australia again this offseason. Everyone has been so welcoming and made me feel right at home. It's a nice change of pace spending Christmas in the sun, learning how to play the not-so-entertaining game of cricket, and of course we can't forget driving on the wrong side of the road.
This is your second season playing in Australia, how has your experience this season been different in comparison to your first season?
I have been fortunate enough to play in Australia for two seasons now and it's been a great experience for me both times. I think coming back this year I'm more familiar with the Aussie life and the W-League style of play so it was a quicker transition for me. I believe I've learned different aspects of the game playing on two different teams, playing under two different coaching staffs and of course playing alongside so many world class players. It's allowed me to take in new challenges and to grow as a player.
You scored your first professional goal–a game-winning golazo against the Melbourne Victory, no less. Describe that feeling? What was the response from friends, family, social media? Do you remember the goal and the build up to it happening?
It was an amazing feeling scoring my first goal. I had been patiently waiting to score for a while but I knew it would come eventually when the time was right. My teammates, friends, and family knew it would as well so it was a great feeling knowing everyone had my back. Everyone kept saying it was going to come, it was going to come, and so it was almost an initial feeling of relief to finally be able to score and make them proud.
Brisbane clinched a playoff berth and you are coming off a successful season in Australia in 2016-17 where you helped Canberra win the regular-season title. Last year with Canberra you were so close to the Grand Final, what would it mean to accomplish something like that two seasons in a row and get another opportunity to go for that championship trophy?
It is really exciting Brisbane clinched a playoff spot and that we are fighting to win the shield. It means so much to be in this position yet again and to feel like all our hard work is truly paying off.
You have a few more Thorns teammates playing in Australia this season and of course you and Raso are teamed up again. What has it been like playing against your Thorns teammates? Do you have any funny or cool stories?
It's always great to see more Thorns playing in Australia this season. Playing against each other is always something to look forward to because we all want to win so badly. It's fun being able to hang out in a different country and experience something different. When I speak to Sonn [Emily Sonnett], I think she believes she is fully Australian now just because she uses a bit of the Aussie slang.