Indiah-Paige Riley has spoken about the 10 remarkable days which have taken her fledgling football career from the Moreton Bay Region to the cusp of Europe’s biggest stage.
The 18 year old from Murrumba Downs signed a three-year professional contract with Fortuna Hjorring on July 30 and two days later was on her way to the Danish champions.
She has trained with her new team-mates this week and could make her debut tomorrow in the opening round of the 2020-21 Elitedivisionen against Thisted.
“I don’t speak Danish, but everyone here at Fortuna has been so helpful and welcoming,” says Indiah, “they can all speak and understand English, which is a relief.
“I’ve started learning the basics and found it a nice way to bond with teammates, learning about their culture … and laughing because I don’t always pronounce words as they do!”
Speed on the field is one of Indiah’s strengths and that was matched in transfer negotiations to a club which was captained by Alison Forman, the Matildas skipper at the Sydney Olympics.
“My agent (Ryan Oostendorp) reached out and sent through my CV,” says Indiah. “From there they saw my (W-League) Young Footballer of the Year nomination which essentially sparked the interest.
“Fortuna is a very successful club, so when they offered to sign me it was quite an easy decision.
“Everything happened quite quickly due to our first game being on August 8. The contract was finalised on the Thursday and I flew out to Denmark on the Saturday.
“Due to COVID, I wasn’t allowed to train until I had my results back. Every player on each team has to be tested before the season starts, as a precaution.
“I’m excited. I think we have an extremely talented and competitive team. We’re a young team that has a lot to show. I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
With a good start, Indiah could be pushing her claims for a place in Fortuna Hjooring’s squad for the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League.
She will also be at the same club now through to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, in Australia and New Zealand, and hoping to add to her Under 19 caps.
It is a far cry from North Lakes, where her football career began, Brendale where it stepped up to state level and the national W-League with Brisbane Roar.
“Looking back at my former clubs, they’re essentially the backbone of where I am today,” says the former Murrumba Downs State Secondary College student.
“Finally, Brisbane Roar gave me an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m privileged to have started my professional career at such a successful club.
“Each team I’ve played in have taught me something I will bring with me for the rest of my career.”
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