Sally Shipard caught up with Matildas and Brisbane Roar defender Kim Carroll to track her football journey ahead of the new Westfield W-League season.
Sally Shipard (SS) caught up with Matildas and Brisbane Roar defender Kim Carroll (KC) to track her football journey ahead of the new Westfield W-League season.
SS: You grew up in Tully and moved to Brisbane originally for school and football as a 15-year-old, how was that decision made at such a young age?
KC: In the end it was my decision, my parents left it up to me to move down, it was very hard being away from my family and friends at only 15. I wouldn-t change anything though, it helped me grow and become independent so there were a lot of positives that came out of it.
SS: You attended and lived at a boarding school, when did you move off the school grounds - after you-d finished?
KC: I moved out during my second year of grade 12, I completed year 12 over two years. My brother moved down to Brisbane during my last year, we lived near to my school so I was able to walk.
SS: Do you think moving from the country area of Tully to Brisbane really benefited your football in the early years of your development?
KC: When I was in Tully, playing with the boys was crucial for my development. I also had a lot of coaches who believed in my ability, they saw something in me that was unique. I think their support benefited me too. Then moving down of course helped my progression. I faced many challenging experiences, but overall rewarding.
SS: On arriving in Brisbane, you would have trained with some established Matildas, Eeshy Ferguson for example. That must have been an intense training environment. Of the senior players, who did you look up to?
KC: I guess I didn't know much about women-s football at all when I was first moved down, I was a bit naive. I didn't know anyone or anything about the Matildas. Obviously I learnt pretty quickly who people were. Like you said I had Eesh, Heather (Garriock) and Walshy (Sarah Walsh) were all up in Brisbane at the time, all quite established in the Matildas squad, of course I learnt a lot from them.
SS: This is interesting now Kimmy, because you are their age when ‘little Kimmy- arrived on to the scene all those moons ago. Do you consider yourself in a role that can help inspire the young girls?
KC: I hope so. I have been absent in the last little bit because of my injury and different things but I would like to think that I am someone they can aspire to.
SS: Speaking of the different things you've been up to. You have signed with the Macarthur Rams down in Sydney for the remainder of the NSW Premier League season, purely for more game time. Tell us about what a week entails for you at the moment.
KC: It has been a bit different the last two weeks. As we have had mid-week catch up games, I've been flying down and back on Wednesdays and Sundays at the moment. Obviously in a regular week it would only be the Sunday. Flying down and back on the Sunday, catching public transport to where I have to play, playing the game - It ends up being a long day.
SS: How are you managing that time wise, juggling work, training with the Roar, travel time... are you enjoying it?
KC: It is good but at the same it is quite tiring. There is only a few more weeks left, the most important thing for me to focus on is that I am getting some game time and that is what I wanted, so I am just dealing with the travel issues.
SS: In regards to the W-League season, a small group of the Roar girls have gathered to begin strength and fitness training. How is the feeling amongst the girls for you?
KC: Everyone is looking forward to the W-League and can-t wait for the games to begin. Also I think we are looking forward to simply touching the ball, right now it is just fitness. I think the real excitement will kick in once the whole team comes together and hopefully then we do well.
SS: Has Belinda spoken to you about what the next few months look like?
KC: She has spoken to us all about what she has in mind, for example we have a camp soon. She has a clear direction with where she wants us to go. She seems quite organised with our plan leading in to the W-League. I think it will be good.
SS: Are you looking forward to Nadine Angerer coming over from Germany?
KC: Yes, it should be good. Hopefully with the experience she has she can really make a mark with helping our team be successful.
SS: You guys do have a great team, along with that comes expectations. How do you think you-ll go about handling those expectations?
KC: To be honest I think we are probably putting a bit of pressure on ourselves, on paper we have a very good team so obviously we are expected to perform a certain way. But having said that we have enough experience in the team to get through those issues and put it together on the field.
SS: If you were to have a goal in relation to the W-League, you can say you want to win it, that is more than okay (both laugh). But what do you hope the Brisbane Roar squad achieve overall?
KC: I hope that we can live up to the expectations that others have for us but more importantly what we have for ourselves. We want to show that we are capable of producing results with the team that we have. We have the experience and the skill, playing well as a team would be our main goal.
SS: Can you give us the heads up on any young talent we should look out for?
KC: We-ve got a lot of young girls coming through. We have multiple girls in both the U-17 national squad and U-20. For example Sunny (Hughes), Ayesha (Norrie) and even the likes of Affy (McGladrigan) they will all be surely pushing to be future Matildas. They are the three I-ll point out for now. (smiles).
SS: Thanks for your time Kimmy. Safe travels down to Sydney.