In the same article she said that she was aiming to become a Matilda. Six months later, the 19 year old fullback is well on her way to achieving both those aims.
The 2020/21 season saw the fleet-footed defender play 11 games, starting 10 times for Adelaide in the clubs best ever season. They narrowly missed out on the finals on goal difference but her fast paced attacking style was typical of the side.
Now at FC Rosengård in Sweden she is hoping to improve as a player and break into the senior Matildas lineup.
It was a round four game against Perth that announced to the competition that she was ready to explode. On her first start after recovering from injury she earned comparisons with Ellie Carpenter with her barnstorming runs and full speed dribbling from right back.
“I do remember that game because it was my first starting game after having a hamstring injury for a couple of months,” says Grant from her new home in Malmö. “I was just raring to go and really wanted to cement my spot in the starting 11. I definitely had a lot of fire in my belly (that day).
“During the game I always just focus on what I can do next to help the team, not until after the game I review what I have done.”
Adelaide’s season ended on a mixed note. In front of a W-League record crowd at Hindmarsh they won 3-1 over Western Sydney in a thriller but fell just short of a top four position.
“It was a great season, it was disappointing not to make the finals,” she says reflecting on the clubs great run of form.
“Part of it was keeping the core group together. It was just a matter of time before we all clicked. New staff brought in helped instill more belief in us and instill that winning mentality.”
One of Adelaide’s other stars last season was Maria “Cote” Rojas. Grant relished the opportunity to learn how to defend the hard way against the Chilean trickster.
“She’s amazing. I’m so glad she was on our team because it would have been difficult defending against her. She’s definitely helped me improve as a defender that’s for sure.”
Grant’s ability to cover the flank for 90 minutes is a testament to her athletic ability and commitment. The fact that she can do it on either side of the ground makes her doubly valuable to coaches.
“I love both positions, at the moment I prefer the left (side) but it changes. I played a bit as a winger as a junior and a bit of midfield but I found my way in defense.”
Like most great fullbacks her defensive abilities are matched by the capacity to damage the opposition going forward. The involvement in both aspects of the game is something she relishes.
To watch her play is to see somebody occupying two positions on the same wing, a blur of feet and the streak of a red shirt racing along the touchline.
“We were doing these athletics carnivals quite young as kids at school,” she recalls with a laugh. “I was always so competitive and I always just wanted to win. I was racing against some of the boys and beating them.”
It is an attribute that all of her coaches are looking to harness. There is continuity in how Adelaide, FC Rosengård, and The Matildas looking to utilise her skills in the most effective manner.
“My role hasn’t changed much, they want to use me in an attacking way so that’s helped me transition between the clubs and camps.
“It was such a high intensity at Rosengård, a very similar environment to the Matildas being at a quick pace, so I felt like I was comfortable. There were also a lot of tactics at Rosengård which has been different getting used to.”
Grant was called into the Australia camp for the friendlies against Denmark and Sweden. After coming up through the ranks with the Future Matildas Program it was a big moment to be included as one of Australia’s best players.
“It was an amazing experience being there, its something I’ve always dreamed of. I felt honoured to be part of that camp…for it to come now feels very rewarding, so hopefully I can cement my spot in the squad.
“The Future Matildas definitely helped me, they offered a lot of tactics and technical work, but also mental and nutritional. They both helped me develop as a player and as a person. Being around high-quality coaches and players all the time, helped me to make that transition smoothly.”
As a fullback, comparisons with Ellie Carpenter and Steph Catley are inevitable and what many would consider to be justified.
“I’ve always looked up to Ellie and Steph, they are both such incredible players, to be able to train with them was a dream come true, I definitely noticed they are so confident in themselves in their decision making. That’s definitely something I want to add to my game.”
Yet Grant’s role models aren’t restricted to football. When asked who else she aspires to emulate her answer is perhaps unexpected, deviating from football.
“Sally Fitzgibbons (Australian surfing champion), my mum got me a book on her… about her lifestyle, how hard working she is and the sacrifices and choices she had to make. That really inspired me to continue to do the same and follow in her footsteps a little bit.
“It was more reassurance, like how she doesn’t drink. That’s something I’ve always not done because I want to be the best player I can.
“She (Fitzgibbons) does a lot of stretching each day… that’s something I’ve tried to implement into my daily routine.”
Grant has taken the book, entitled Live Like Sally with her to Sweden.
It is a lifestyle guide intended to help people get the best out of their physical and mental potential. Grant has settled to the new surroundings that she describes as almost as convenient and comfortable as home.
“I’m loving Sweden, the girls have been really welcoming, the city is quite small, so I just ride my bike everywhere. It’s been a really good experience, I just don’t like cleaning up after my cooking.”
Charlotte Grant is a rising star with her feet on the ground. She is one of the emerging Matildas showing that the future of Australian football is as exciting as one of her runs down the wing.
Image Supplied: Matildas