In Australia, more girls are now playing soccer than netball. But with such a large focus on men’s sport, it can be easy to forget that female footballers are doing the country proud- often while still working a nine-to-five.
The Matildas are currently ranked 6th in the world, behind Canada, France, England, Germany, and the United States. Young female footballers in Australia have some impressive role models to look up to, and here are just a few:
Sam Kerr has been playing football for Australia since she was just 15. The striker has gained international attention and is known for her celebratory backflips after scoring a goal.
Sam grew up in Fremantle, but had no interest in football- she planned to play Aussie Rules for the West Coast Eagles. Fortunately, she switched to football, and in July this year, she was the top goalscorer in the Tournament of Nations. Sam was also shortlisted for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, and is the all-time leading scorer in the US women’s soccer league.
Kyah is also a striker and plays for Melbourne City. In 2011, she became the first Indigenous Australian to score a goal in the FIFA World Cup. Growing up, Kyah’s family was all about rugby, but Kyah began playing under 8’s for the Quakers Hill and quickly fell in love with football.
At 15, Kyah was about to earn a scholarship from the NSW Institute of Sport when she broke her leg. But a year later, she joined the Australia women’s national soccer team at just 16. In 2010, Kyah scored the winning goal, leading to the Australian win of the 2010 Asian Cup.
Emily van Egmond
Emily is based in Newcastle and plays as a midfielder for the Matildas. She began playing football at just five years old and is the daughter of Gary van Egmond- a former Socceroo. At just 22 years old, Emily has a massive future ahead of her.
Emily has been playing for the German club FFC Frankfurt, giving her a mental toughness and experience playing in a country known for ruthless training regimes and extreme competition.
Raised in Western Sydney, Alannah plays in midfield or central defence, and has played for Sydney, the Jets, and the Wanderers. She started her professional football career
Alanna currently plays for the Matildas, and first appeared on the scene when she was just 17. Since then, Alannah represented Australia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Alanna’s style of play has been described as “tough elegance.” She debuted in the National Women’s Soccer League last year, playing for the Western New York Flash, and Orlando Pride acquired her on January 19th this year.
These are just a few of the top female footballers in Australia. All come from different backgrounds and began playing at different ages. And all are taking the world by storm, representing Australia and playing for teams around the globe.
This year, we’ve seen the Australian National Women’s Team grow in popularity. Team members have fought hard, using this popularity to leave the sport in a better place for future players. Female footballers in Australia have been given a pay rise, meaning they’ll now earn at least $10,000 for the next season- a huge milestone for women’s football.
Female footballers have been trailblazers for the sport in Australia, and the Matildas will soon enter their 10th season.
Almost 250,000 girls and women play women’s football in Australia. And young female football players have plenty of great role models to look up to.
Is your daughter interested in starting football? We’d love to introduce her to the sport. Get in touch today to learn more.