Wauchope's Rhali Dobson signs with Melbourne City for upcoming W-League season

New beginnings: Former Wauchope junior Rhali Dobson will play for Melbourne City in the upcoming W-League season. Photo: Dion Fountas
New beginnings: Former Wauchope junior Rhali Dobson will play for Melbourne City in the upcoming W-League season. Photo: Dion Fountas

IT is the whirlwind fortnight that has forced Rhali Dobson to move more than 1000 kilometres.

The midfielder, who has spent the past nine years at Newcastle Jets, planned to take a year off.

So, along with partner Matt Stonham, they finally bought a house two weeks ago.

But within four days of receiving the keys to their new home in East Maitland, the 25-year-old Wauchope junior was on her way to defending W-League champions Melbourne City.

“It was a little bit heartbreaking to buy my first home with my boyfriend, but he’s been an absolute support throughout it all and encouraged me all the way,” Dobson said.

“It’s a brand new challenge and for me, to be the best player you can possibly be, you need to play with the best players and in the most professional environment possible.”

The attacking midfielder believed her new club was on a similar level in the women’s league to what Barcelona is in the men’s.

“In Australia we don’t have a Barcelona, but Melbourne City is basically that in the women’s game here,” she said.

It’s a brand new challenge and for me, to be the best player you can possibly be, you need to play with the best players and in the most professional environment possible.

Rhali Dobson

“For me it was just time to really spread my wings, challenge myself and really look forward to the season ahead.

“You would never turn down an opportunity like this.”

While the new challenge in the southern capital was an exciting one, Dobson hasn’t forgotten where her football journey started.

“I’m always in contact with Wauchope Soccer Club,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be here without them and their ongoing support for the last 20 years so I’m very grateful for everything they’ve done.

I wouldn’t be here without Wauchope Soccer Club and their ongoing support for the last 20 years.

Rhali Dobson

“They’re always putting the word out there for whatever club I’m playing for and for the women’s game.”

Dobson said she also had kept an eye on the club’s women’s grand final success in the northern state league.

“It was good for the girls to do that because they had never beaten the teams above them and they went through every elimination game to get there,” she said.

“It shows a lot of courage and heart from the girls.”

While Dobson is moving further south she was still looking at returning to the Mid-North Coast whenever her schedule allowed.

“Wauchope is already rejoicing with my signing down here, so it’s lovely to have that home town support still,” she said.

“I’m hoping to get back, although it’s likely to be closer to Christmas, but some time at home is better than no time at home.”