It will take her more than 20 hours of travel to reach her final destination, but Prince Albert’s Kalli Cowles is excited for the next step in her soccer career in Brisbane, Australia.
Cowles, a former University of Saskatchewan Huskie, has signed with Queensland Lions FC of the Women’s National Premier League and will be traveling across the globe to compete.
Cowles says she has been training since she returned from the AMF Futsal World Cup in Colombia in November but wasn’t sure if she would be given an opportunity anywhere.
“I ended up signing with an agency called Sprint Management and they had connections down there and something happened super quick within the first week of January. I was training since I got back from futsal. I was training in PA for about two months, and it was difficult training for something that you don’t really know is going to happen. But I knew January was going to be kind of the spot. If I did get to go somewhere, it would be in January. So, I’m just happy that it happened.”
Cowles competed at the U of S from 2016-2021 starting 41 career games, registering four goals and two assists during her USPORTS career. She graduated with a degree in sociology, with a minor in Psychology in the fall of 2021.
She says she is looking forward to being in a team environment again with the Lions FC.
“I’m just really excited to compete again. I feel like I missed that and having that team atmosphere and they seem like it’s a very good program down there, a good team and a good culture. I’m just excited for something new and fresh and ready to get back on the grind.”
Cowles has spent time training in Prince Albert and has been a guest coach with the Prince Albert Celtics at recent practices. Cowles played for the Celtics program growing up in Prince Albert and says she wants to show young soccer players that their dreams can be possible.
“I get chills even thinking about it. I’ve been to U11, U13, U15 and U17 Celtics practices in the last couple of weeks, just kind of wearing my Canada Jersey. And just to show them that it is possible. I didn’t have a female role model to look up to at that age. I’m just happy I can be that for them and I just want them to know that it’s possible. It’s not that you have to take this route, but just knowing that it’s possible and that it’s an option is a big one for sure.”
Cowles has played at the semi-professional level before spending time in the UWS in the United States during the summertime while she played for the U of S and more recently, with the Oakville Blue Devils just outside of Toronto.
To help with her moving expenses to Australia, her family has started a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $5,000. Cowles says any little bit contributed means a lot to her.
“It was actually my mom’s idea. There’s just quite a lot of expenses to get over there. My flight was three grand one way just because it was such a last-minute flight, all the prices were super, super high. And I mean even just going to play in Toronto and like there’s not a lot of time for me to work. I know everyone’s been super nice with donations. So, anything helps.”
The link to the GoFundMe can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kalli-get-to-the-brisbane-lions-in-australia
Cowles and the NPLW Lions will open their season on Feb. 12 against Michelton FC at Luxury Paints Stadium in Brisbane.