Team of the Decade: Brigette Calabria
The next entry into our Women’s Team of the Decade is midfielder Brigette Calabria!
When Brig made the move from Canberra to Melbourne, we were excited to have acquired an all-too rare asset – a talented and dependable centre half. Little did we know, she would blossom into one of the greatest defensive midfielders to have ever donned the Melbourne Uni jersey.
Brig was a vital part of our 2017 league and grand final winning squad, showing great versatility as she played all across the defence and in the midfield, moving wherever and whenever the team needed her without complaint.
2018, though, was really the breakthrough year for Brig. Having started the season mainly in defence, she was asked to step up to the pivotal number 6 role when Nicole returned to the US. This position is so key to the way we play our game and only the most intelligent footballers can pull it off successfully. With trademark modesty, Brig was initially unconvinced she was up to it, but she absolutely nailed it – becoming the best defensive midfielder in the league and gaining pretty much every best and fairest vote from thereon in from her admiring teammates to secure herself that title for the season.
It’s a sign of true quality when a player always looks like they have time on the ball, so it speaks volumes that Brig often seems to be checking out the city views at Princes Park whilst she strides forward and decides where to distribute the ball. She’s seemingly unaware of, and certainly unconcerned by, frustrated opposition players nipping at her heels trying to win back possession. Combine this with an incredible ability to read the game and always be in the right spot to break up the other team’s attack, and it’s clear why Brig has made this team of the decade.
Picking up where she left off in 2018, Brig continued to pull the strings in the 2019 season, once again playing a huge part in securing a second league and grand final double in her three seasons at the club. Here’s hoping that there are many more titles to come for Brig at MUSC, it is an absolute pleasure to play with such a classy and selfless player.