Sydney FC’s new W-League signing Allira Toby has told The World Game LIVE that her move to Europe was not what she expected and praised Australia’s domestic league for its professionalism in comparison.
Speaking to Nick Stoll and Adrian Arciuli the Sydney striker was discussing her move in late October to one of Portugal’s top women’s clubs – F.C. Famalicão.
However, after less than a month her contract was terminated.
“I was a few weeks in, maybe a month, and they turned around and said, ‘you’re not required here anymore, we’re going to terminate your contract on a clause that’s in there,” she told Samantha Lewis recently.
“But the clause didn’t apply to me because it wasn’t a two-year season contract; I only had a one-year one, so it didn’t apply to me. But they went off the basis that it does.
“They’ve been ignoring communication from my manager. None of them speak English, so it’s been a bit of a fight to even understand what’s going on.
“When it all happened, they didn’t even tell me; they went through the Portuguese agent here who scouted me for the club, so they went through her to tell my agent, and then my agent had to call and tell me.
“Even to this day, the club hasn’t sat me down and explained the situation.”
Sydney FC have taken this opportunity to sign the highly-rated Toby for the upcoming W-League season.
“Yeah, it was pretty crazy. I obviously went over to Portugal with the intention of being successful, I was only there a short time. Which was a shame. In the end, it wasn’t the right fit,” Toby said on TWG LIVE.
“I had a fantastic experience. The football I did play and was involved in was insane and was such a nice experience and it’s different from what we get here in Australia. I was really lucky in terms of that, but obviously, it didn’t work out.”
When asked if she expected the standards of women’s football in Europe to be higher, she said she was surprised at some of the issues she faced.
“I kind of had that lookout as well when I went to Portugal and then I got there and it was completely different.
“The most obvious challenge was that they don’t speak English, there were only a few people that I could have a conversation with which was really difficult.
“The coach didn’t speak a drop of English. I clearly don’t know any Portuguese.
“Behind the scenes what people don’t really understand here in Australia we are very lucky and fortunate - our league is very professional.
“We've got people like the PFA behind players that really support us and do everything that we need so that we are provided with the best conditions and environment possible, as we should.
“Over in Europe, especially Portugal, it’s not quite at that level.
“Here we’re treated as professionals, it was a really big eye-opener for me.”
Sydney FC kick-off their W-League season on Wednesday, December 30 against Melbourne City.