We put your questions to the U17s Women’s team players, who are currently making their way back from the U16s Asian Championships in China. Elizabeth Ralston (from Camden in Sydney) and Grace Henry (Adelaide), the two starting centre backs from the Japan match, answered on behalf of the team...
We put your questions to the U17s Women-s team players, who are currently making their way back from the U16s Asian Championships in China.
Elizabeth Ralston (from Camden in Sydney) and Grace Henry (Adelaide), the two starting centre backs from the Japan match, answered on behalf of the team.
What keeps you motivated to keep training and playing? How did you go about being selected for the team?
GH: I was selected into the South Australian Sports Institute and from there I was invited to attend U17 National trial camps throughout the year. ER: In 2010 I was selected to be a member of the NSW U15s Metropolitan Girls Team and from there I was fortunate enough to be identified at the National Youth Championships. I was then offered a scholarship at the NSW Institute of Sport and throughout the past year I have been training at the institute and attending trial camps for the U17 Westfield Australian Women-s Team.
Is football your main priority or is school?
GH: I think it is important to maintain a balance between football and school work. ? ER: As above.
What-s it like to play for your country?
GH: To represent and play for Australia is an amazing honor and achievement, which I feel privileged to be a part of. To play with such talented players and against some of the world-s best teams for our age group is an amazing experience, which has developed me as a player. ? ER: Having the opportunity to play with and against such talented players and to learn from some of the most accomplished coaching staff in Australia has been an absolute privilege and honour. I am grateful for and appreciative of the entire experience and opportunity.
Besides lots of hard work, is there anything else you did to get where you are? [we-re taking that as other skills] How do you feel when you get onto the big football stadium field?
GH: I generally feel a bit nervous and excited and very proud of what I have achieved. ER: At first the whole atmosphere was quite overwhelming and surreal. I always feel a little nervous going into such important matches, but at the same time, it is very exciting and a great honour to play for your country.
How does Australia currently compare to other teams in Asia?
GH: The Asian teams are very technical and play a very sharp and fast style of football. Australia is more physical than some of the Asian teams and are working towards matching their skill level. ER: The Asian style of football and outstanding technical ability of many Asian teams always provides for a challenging match; however, I believe that Australian teams have different strengths on the pitch and are capable of competing against such a quality opposition.
Are there any other sports that you have considered pursuing (in addition to football)?
GH: I used to play hockey as well as football; however, I have always wanted to play football for Australia and that is what I have always pursued. ? ER: Growing up I had a real passion for playing futsal; however, playing football for Australia has always been a primary goal.
Favourite moment in China??
GH: Walking out onto the pitch for the first time wearing the green and gold and singing the national anthem for Australia. ER: I agree with Grace, but another major highlight for me was our team performances against both Japan and North Korea, two of the top-placing teams in the tournament, to hold the score at 1-0.