Araujo believes she has benefited from experiencing two different football cultures


Adelaide United Women’s latest addition to the squad, Lais Araujo, says her time playing football in the United States taught her the importance of discipline, while in Europe the emphasis was on tactics.

The Brazilian spent two years at the University of Florida before graduating at the end of 2018 and signing her first professional deal in Norway this year.

She said one of the biggest takeaways from playing collegiality with the Gators was the professionalism and the discipline instilled in her, while balancing academic commitments.

“I was already told before I went to the U.S. if you’re not disciplined enough you can’t make it,” Araujo explained, after notching seven goals and seven assists in 44 college games.

“That was my word always in my mind, was discipline, discipline. How can I be better every day and grow and do what I’m supposed to do, even when we’re losing, and when we’re winning.

“How can I keep my mindset that this is what I want and this is the path that I’m going to take.

“We play and study which is a challenge for anyone because it’s a special way of treating students that play in the U.S.

“So it’s not something that you can just focus on football and forget about your studies, so it was that discipline that just transfers to the field as well.

“You can see from every player, I’m sure you’ve had a lot of U.S players here and they probably showed day by day discipline, being on time and on the field working hard and showing that work ethic.

“So especially that has already impacted my game in the first year I was there.”

However, while the discipline perspective at the Gators helped develop one aspect of her game, her experience at Norwegian club, Arna-Bjørna, improved the tactical aspect.

At Arna-Bjørna, Araujo recorded 21 appearances and scored two goals.

“Moving to Norway I think tactically I got better,” she said.

“There was a lot of tactics every day at training and video stuff and it all adds up, always growing and helping my team the best way I can.

“And I’m sure I can take those experiences and bring them here and go from there as well.”

After one season in the Norwegian top-flight, Araujo was after a fresh challenge.

So when the opportunity presented itself to come to Australia and play in the Westfield W-League the attacking midfielder did not hesitate.

“It was a pretty easy decision because I was looking forward to starting something new,” she revealed.

“And we had a pretty tough season at my team that I was at before and especially because I wanted to be in a competitive environment.

“And once my agent said something about coming to Australia I was just delighted.

“The competitiveness of the league has always been there, so I looked into it with a very good eye and I said this is my chance to step on the big stage.”

The 23-year-old, who also represented Brazil at the U-20 level and trained with National Women’s Soccer League outfit Orlando Pride while with the Gators, hoped to be part of a successful season.

“I hope we can do our best season,” she continued.

“I know last year they got pretty close to making it to the finals, so I hope this year we can set that goal and go from there. It would be really special for  me as well because officially it’s my first year as a professional coming from college.

“So it would be really good to get that experience coming from Norway and then achieving something big with the Club.”

Adelaide United Women face Western Sydney Wanderers Women in Round 1 of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 season on Thursday, 14 November at Marconi Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.