We caught up with the Matildas player on a training break in Portland for a chat so quick you won’t be able to catch your breath.
What football player did you look up to growing up?
I really loved David Beckham when I was younger! Still do!
How does it feel knowing that girls are now looking to you for inspiration for what’s possible in women’s football?
It is humbling and also sometimes still surprising as I see myself just doing what I’ve always done and just loving what I do! I think the most important thing that I could share with them is that you need to develop resilience and self-belief and not rely on others to define your worth.
You’ve spoken in the past about what it was like to leave school in Year 10 to become a full-time footballer. Were your parents and teachers supportive of your decision at the time? What about your friends?
Yes, my parents were 100 per cent behind me. No reservations at all. We have always been a “Give it 100 per cent or not at all” family. It is just the way we do things and it’s not for everyone. My close friends have been super supportive of me and have actually been there the whole time. I don’t see them as often as I would like to. However, the friendship is still the same, if not stronger.
What’s been your top highlight in your career so far?
There’s been many… Standout moments would have to be finding out I had been selected for the Rio Olympics, scoring my first goal for Australia at the 2017 Algarve Cup and most recently being the youngest player to ever score in NWSL history. I never saw any of these things coming so the surprise and elation was so real and in the moment.
What was it like at this year’s Asian Cup, walking onto the pitch in the Nike Australian National Team Kit for the first time?
It was a very special moment, as this was the first time in history the Matildas got to wear [the kit] first on the world stage.
What’s been the toughest moment for you this year?
Moving away by myself with no immediate support network. It has been a rollercoaster and very challenging at times.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
To become more versatile and to learn as much as I can from the experienced players I have around me. Also to improve not only as a player but to learn more about myself as a person.
What would you personally like to focus on in your training (or mindset) in order to get the best place possible at next year’s Women’s World Cup?
My technical ability and also my self belief. To be able to withstand pressure, disappointment and difficult times.
Discover what the Women’s Health initiative WinS is and how you can get involved here.
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