Tathem hopes to spark Roar’s ALW form

George Clarke |

Natalie Tathem ended a year on the sideline by sparking Brisbane Roar’s first win of the A-League Women season and is hoping the victory will be the catalyst for an upturn in the club’s form.

Up until last week’s positive result against Melbourne Victory, the Roar were winless and appeared headed for another loss before  clawing themselves back to 2-2.

Enter Tathem, who came on in the last five minutes to  immediately set up the Roar’s third before they bagged a fourth to snatch a 4-2 win in injury time.

The defender, who was forced to watch the Roar’s patchy start from the sidelines after sustaining an ACL injury, is now preparing to take on Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

She can sense some of the pressure has been lifted.

“You can tell on game days we had been a bit more nervous because we do need to start getting results,” she said.

“It’s been our own fault when the other teams have scored.

“I think (against the Victory) there was a sense of ‘Oh here we go again’.

“But we’ve been good at getting around each other and we know we can be the team that fights to the death.

“I don’t feel like we have been played off the park. There was a bit of pressure because we know we needed to start winning games to make finals.

“Now we’ve won that game and come from 2-0 down, we’ve shown we can win when the odds are against us.”

The return marked exactly 12 months since Tathem’s last game at this level.

The 26-year-old said she would continue to be eased back over the next few weeks, also revealing her time between leaving the Victory and joining the Roar was most testing.

“In the middle phase (of my rehab) when there isn’t much to aim for and I was grinding away, that was the most lonely time,” said Tathem, who linked up with Brisbane club Olympic FC to conduct her rehab.

“The hardest thing was keeping myself accountable and my physio Andy (Shaw) was really good at that. He was always there making sure I was getting it done.”