Harvey’s homegrown heroine
Talented Harvey footballer Larissa Versaci would run off the soccer pitch and straight on to the footy field each week.
After a quick uniform change and a Powerade or two, the dedicated athlete would muster up the energy to play back-to-back.
Her heart was torn between soccer and football and she struggled to choose between the two.
Versaci had been a soccer player for many years, however the Harvey Bulls had unexpectedly captured her attention with the introduction of a women’s side and she had captured theirs in return.
Versaci went on to become one of the best female footballers the Bulls had ever seen.
She finished fourth in the Nola Marino Medal count for the best and fairest in the South West Football League women’s competition in 2017.
She also made the landmark squad and represented the South West.
Versaci was consistent, versatile and had a strong overhead mark. Her ability to read the play and pre-empt passages paired with her courage in each contest were all things that could not be taught.
Her teammates described her as “a natural” and she always put on a show for spectators at the game.
Versaci grew up watching her brother Joseph play football.
“I used to keep his score card and cheer him on,” Versaci said.
She jumped at the opportunity to play football following the introduction of a women’s league and instantly fell in love with the game.
In the first-ever season of women’s football, the Bull made it all the way to the grand final.
The Bulls led the Bulldogs in the final term after Versaci slotted a late goal from a 50m penalty decision.
However, the Bulldogs pushed back and scored a goal to win by three points.
Versaci said she was devastated by the loss.
“We won the premiership that year for soccer and I retired on a high, it would have been a fairy-tale finish to be able to win the premiership with the Bulls girls too,” she said.
Versaci reached a point where she struggled to separate herself from the sport.
I asked myself; ‘is football all I have?’
“So I decided to focus my attention on other things that made me happy.”
She owns her own landscaping business and works on projects throughout the State.
Versaci eventually reached out to WAFLW clubs and managed to gain interest from the East Fremantle Football Club. They liked her ability to read the play and signed her up.
Versaci won a premiership with the Sharks last year. “It took me a while, but in the end I realised winning was not everything,” she said.
Football is more about the friends you make along the way.
Versaci said she hoped to also play a few games for the Bulls if a season gets under way.
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