SOCIAL media whirred with excitement with news that Racheal Quigley would be the first Lady Red to reach 50 Westfield W-League appearances.

The buzz was even greater come that afternoon of November 30 as the Lady Reds won their first match for the season, a 3-1 home triumph over the Newcastle Jets.

Racheal said this landmark game in front of a home crowd would be remembered for the rest of her life.

“I was absolutely buzzing for the game and coming away with the win made it even more special,” she said.

“I stepped onto the field with so much pride; hearing all friends, family and supporters cheer me as I took the field gave me an indescribable feeling.”

Acknowledgment of her success came in from across the globe. Quigley’s US team the Kansas City Shock sent their congratulations via Twitter and Facebook and there was massive support and well wishes from the local football community.

“It is a huge accomplishment especially being the first ever Lady Red to make the 50 games!” Racheal said.

“It’s been a long journey but I couldn’t be more proud of this State for the constant push to support the Lady Reds every year.”

Racheal Quigley v Newcastle Jets 30 Nov 13

Dazzling: Racheal in action versus Newcastle in her 50th game for the Lady Reds. Image courtesy Chris Kelly.

Racheal joined her 50th W-League match as a substitute in the 56th minute to a roaring reception from the Burton Park crowd.

She was immediately at the pointy end of several Adelaide United attacks as she searched to mark her milestone match in style.

Racheal said the competitiveness of football fit with her determined spirit.

“Football is honestly what I live for – I’ve never been more passionate about something in my entire life,” she said.

“It gives me a rush that only football players can understand.

“Sharing all these feelings and emotions with a whole team that goes through thick and thin with you builds a family.”

“Knowing you have a whole team backing you on every action you make is more than enough to drive me to success.

“The ability to make my team, family, friends and State proud of me pushes me to strive to be the best that I can be.”

Behind the face of this gritty footballer is an honest, amicable young woman. When not on a football pitch, you’ll find Racheal sporting a cheeky smile at Sports Centre in suburban Adelaide where she works.

“I am a very easy going person, super friendly and I love to make people laugh and smile,” she said.

“I am always up for a chat with every customer that comes in.

“I love to sing and dance and do everything else a 22-year-old loves to do!

“I’m not quite ready to grow up fully just yet!”

So what’s next for Racheal?

“I plan on staying young forever so I have a long journey ahead of me,” she laughs.

Her short term goal is to have a successful W-League season and make a good impression on the national coach.

“My life goal is and always will be to play for my country,” Racheal said.

“I’m a proud Australian and to be a Matilda has been my dream since I found out they existed!”

Racheal will train with Adelaide University after the W-League season before she embarks on another US adventure with Kansas City Shock in the WPSL, which she described as “an incredible experience”.

You can see Racheal in action this Sunday from 3pm on ABC1 when Adelaide United plays Brisbane Roar in Round 5 of the W-League.

Sam Le Gallou ǀ

Main image – Football Federation South Australia CEO Michael Carter acknowledges Racheal’s achievement before the Newcastle Jets game. Image courtesy Adam Butler.