Among the 14 players who took to the field and played a role in Saturday’s big Westfield W-League win over Perth Glory was a debutant.
Tessa Tamplin, a product of the Jets Academy has been patiently biding her time this season after signing a scholarship contract back in October.
With injuries to a number of key players ahead of the crucial Round 11 clash, coach Craig Deans chose to put his faith in youth and Tamplin was propelled into the starting XI.
WHAT WE LEARNT: A terrific W-League win
In her 72 minutes of W-League football the 17-year-old played out on the right hand side, the wide player in a 3-5-2 formation, and looked comfortable throughout.
She got on the ball a total of 58 times, completed three crosses, and teed up Jenna Kingsley at the backend of the first-half for a chance which produced a great save from Perth goalkeeper, Eliza Campbell.
It’s fair to say the young winger was pretty taken aback when she was given the nod, though.
“It was a nerve-wracking thing initially when I was told I’d be playing, I was extremely nervous,” Tamplin said.
“Once I got into the game, I felt like I belonged in a way. It was really fun, I enjoyed it a lot, I was really excited just to be out there.
“Almost my entire family was there, it was really good to have their support on Saturday.
“My older brother is like my biggest fan, he was very impressed, and came up to me after the game and was like, ‘Yes, Tess!’, that was pretty cool.”
The winger quickly settled into the match, delighting the crowd with a couple of nice turns and her desire to be involved at every juncture.
Just minutes into the second-half though, her hard work took a toll and Tamplin stopped to throw up, before taking off again and playing another 25 minutes.
“I think it was just that I was so nervous for a lot of the first half, when the second half came around I relaxed a little bit,” Tamplin laughed.
“Everything came up, from exhaustion and nerves and emotions and all of it! [laughs].
“But I got a lot of positive feedback from the girls and from Deansy, which was good.”
Jets W-League boss, Craig Deans was particularly impressed with the youngster’s effort, praising her for her patience in waiting for her shot.
“I thought she was outstanding,” the coach said.
“She’s come through the Academy and I’ve had a few conversations with her about being patient and understanding that the level is not easy, and to work hard and your time will come.
“It’s great for all the Academy kids to see that there’s an opportunity if they have the right work ethic and enough ability. Hopefully, Tess Tamplin can be a bit of an inspiration for a lot of those young girls.”