Off the back of a stellar season in the W-League for Adelaide United, and signing with FC Rosengård in the off-season, Charlotte Grant is eager to represent Australia at her first Olympics.
Charlotte ‘Charli’ Grant began her football journey in South Australia, the only current member of the Matildas squad to hail from the state. The young defender started her football career at Emmaus Catholic Primary School as a six-year-old.
Charli played as a junior for Cumberland United Women’s Football Club, before joining the NTC SA program from 2014-2018. This program, run by Football South Australia, has helped develop the skills of other national representatives including Socceroo Awer Mabil, which is focused on skills development for South Australian players with national team potential.
Grant impressed while representing Football SA NTC, winning both the Player of the Year and Female Rising Star in 2018. This season saw the young player score eight goals in 20 appearances, providing the team with an attacking midfield option.
After her successful season in the WNPL, she signed her first professional contract at age 16 with her home club, Adelaide United.
After putting pen to paper for the deal with Adelaide, Grant was announced for the Young Matildas team which travelled to Lebanon for the 2019 AFC U-19 Women's Championship qualifiers.
Her debut for the Young Matildas came against Mongolia where she played the full 90 minutes.
Her debut season in the W-League saw her make 11 appearances and named the 2018/19 W-League Rising Star of the squad.
Charli spent the off-season after her first stint at Adelaide training with the Future Matildas program in Sydney, led by former Matilda Leah Blayney.
The program, launched in 2018, was designed to help develop the next generation of female footballers, giving Grant the chance to train alongside heroes such as Lisa De Vanna and Emily Gielnik.
Charli moved back to Adelaide at the start of the 2019/2020 season bringing more confidence and experience from her time in Sydney. She began to reach her goal of breaking into the starting line-up, starting 8 out of 12 games.
The off-season took a familiar route for Grant, with her moving back to Sydney to participate in the Future Matildas program. She also signed for local NPLW team Blacktown Spartans, scoring 1 goal in her 5 appearances. The upcoming season would be her most successful yet, playing 11 games with 10 starts and almost helping Adelaide to their first semi-final appearance.
Grant’s breakout season saw her attract interest from overseas clubs, eventually signing with Swedish side FC Rosengård. Grant joined fellow Australians, Elise Kellond-Knight, Clare Polkinghorne, Emily Gielnik and Adelaide United teammate Dylan Holmes competing in the Damallsvenskan.
Grant is yet to debut with the senior Matildas side but will certainly be looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the squad and to build chemistry on and off the field with her new teammates, something head coach Tony Gustavsson encourages.
Charli has been promoted to the Olympic squad since the International Olympic Committee has allowed four players to be added to the new 22-player squad.
Due to the updated squad and the original team only having the option to choose a jersey number from 1-18, Charli will have some big shoes to fill.
Skipper Sam Kerr, who famously wears the #20 jersey, will wear the #2 during the Olympics, while Grant dons #20 from a choice of the numbers 19-22.