FV Emerging stars earn A-League contracts

Football Victoria would like to congratulate two FV Emerging players; Caitlin Karic and Leia Varley, on signing with A-League Women’s teams for the upcoming 2021-2022 season.

Caitlin Karic will stay in Victoria after signing for Melbourne City, with Leia Varley moving to South Australia to join Adelaide United.

The youngest of the two, 16-year-old Karic impressed in her first season at senior level – making her debut in the NPLW for FV Emerging in 2021. An exciting attacking prospect, Karic was a shining light across the competition – renowned for her strength and speed, and ability to create and score goals from forward positions. She’ll join Rado Vidosic’s Melbourne City squad for the upcoming campaign.

Karic started her football journey at local club Pascoe Vale, where she played in boys’ teams for several years. She then joined the female pathway with NPLW club Calder United where she continued to develop before being selected into the NTC Program in 2018. She went on to become a Victorian representative at the age of 14, progressing through the program to earn a position in the Emerging Matildas program in 2021 at the age of just 15.

Caitlin Karic said: “I’m really looking forward to playing in a professional environment and playing alongside and learning from the experienced players. Rado’s an experienced coach who I think I can learn a lot from, so I’m very excited to play under him.”

19-year-old Leia Varley, a regional product from Shepparton will join Adrian Stenta’s Adelaide United in 2021/22. Varley is a central defender whose defensive qualities are coupled with her ability to control possession and build attacks from defensive positions.

19 year-old Leia Varley's form has caught attention, earning her a move to Adelaide United.

Varley’s football started locally in Shepparton where she represented local clubs and associations prior to joining Goulburn Valley Suns as part of the newly formed NPL Junior Boys competition. Also a Victorian representative at junior level, Varley was part of the NTC Program before spending time at NPLW Clubs Box Hill United and South Melbourne. In 2021, Varley joined Emerging Matildas where she had many impressive performances forming a strong partnership in defence with Claudia Mihocic, who has signed for Perth Glory.

Following her decision to move to the Club, Varley said: “I’m excited to have signed with Adelaide United. This is a fantastic chance to test myself playing against the best female footballers in the country and I can’t wait to begin training with my new teammates and working under Adrian (Stenta).”

Both players played key roles in the 2021 season in the FV Emerging team. Trials are currently underway for the FV Emerging Matildas Program this week at Darebin International Sports Centre. 

Former NTC Player Grace Taranto will join Varley at Adelaide United for season 2021/22.

Football Victoria would also like to congratulate former NTC Players, Annabel Haffenden, Grace Taranto, and Annabel Martin who have also signed A-League Women contracts for the upcoming season. Taranto will join Varley at Adelaide United, with Haffenden and Martin signing for Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix respectively. 

FV would like to extend its congratulations to another five former NTC and FV Emerging Victorian Players, and wish them all the best for the upcoming A-League Women season.