Young Matildas representative Sheridan Gallagher has become the first Aussie since Sydney’s Emily Doyle to sign for 2018 NAIA Champions William Carey University, adding to an already sizeable international contingent. The Crusaders’ 2019 roster featured just six local players, with the remainder of the 27-player squad hailing from several European and South American countries, as well as New Zealand. The signing of Gallagher could be considered something of a coup for the NAIA side, particularly considering that in 2018, she made 24 of a possible 25 appearances for a FNSW Institute side that featured 12 players who now have W-League experience, including UCLA’s Rachel Lowe, Western Sydney Wanderers duo Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin, and Sydney FC pair Angelique Hristodoulou and Taylor Ray. That side also featured Jayme Millard, who recently signed with NCAA Division II powerhouse Concord.
A Young Matildas representative, Gallagher made her debut for the national Under 20s side against Thailand at Leichhardt Oval in 2018 alongside Lowe, Millard, and Stanford’s Amy Sayer. At club level, Gallagher has been a long-time member of the Football NSW Institute first team, making 57 appearances since making her debut in 2017. A powerful winger, Gallagher has more recently added consistent goalscoring to her cache of weapons, scoring the first goal of her NPL first team career in 2019, and going on to score five for the campaign.
Gallagher’s signing makes the freshman the first player to ply her trade in Mississippi since Aimee Medwin’s lone season at the University of Mississippi in 2019. The Sydneysider will also have plenty of opportunity to contend for national championships at William Carey. The Crusaders have reached the semi-finals or better in each of the last three NAIA Tournaments, and there is little reason to think they won’t do the same again in 2020.