Canberra United’s inaugural signing Amy Chapman caught up with CanberraUnited.com.au to discuss the significance of the Westfield W-League and her meteoric rise to the Matildas.
Born in Albury, Amy Chapman moved to the National Capital to further her career with the striker taking up a spot in the former Canberra Eclipse before cementing her spot in the ACT Academy of Sport squad and national team.
Canberra United-s inaugural signing Amy Chapman caught up with CanberraUnited.com.au to discuss the significance of the Westfield W-League and her meteoric rise to the Matildas.
Amy, it-s without a doubt the establishment of a National League is a welcome one by all the national players, but what does a league such as this mean to you who is continually striving for elite competition?
It-s very exciting for all of us girls. All the Matildas are excited about getting back into a competition that-s going to be competitive and it-s not against boys. It will be interesting to see which state will be able to stand up and come through with the goods.
I know its early days yet but are you willing to stick your neck out on the line and take a punt on who-s going to be the toughest competition for Canberra United this season?
It-s really hard to look past the number of Matildas in Queensland have and also Sydney will always put up a good fight but at the moment it-s hard to tell because we-ve got to wait for the make-up of the other teams because there-s still a few week between now and kick off.
Having said that, Canberra United will be difficult competition for opposition this year with a number of quality signings by head coach Robbie [Hooker] for the inaugural year?
It-s fair to say that we-re all pretty excited. At one stage I think it-s fair to say that we weren-t up there with the favorites with only a few of us in the national team but after a few good signings thanks to Hook-s pulling power as Matildas- assistant coach things are a little different. Because we-re a small area, everyone seems to look past us but with our good signings we-re hoping to really prove a point to the rest of the competition.
You must be full of confidence heading into the season with the inclusion of the interstate signings?
Absolutely, it-s not only great for the side but also a fantastic opportunity for those younger girls even thought they might not be involved in the touring side, the experience that they-ll gain from playing and training with some of these senior players we-ve signed is going to be good for everyone.
Is there anyone in particular that you-re excited about lining up with in the green of Canberra United this summer?
The opportunity to play again with Thea [Slatyer] will be great and a couple of the other girls like Sasha McDonnell from Queensland who I played with in Russia during our youth. Sasha is a quality player and her pace will be second to none in this competition. Of course others like Caitlin who I-ve played with a lot before and we work well together and Hayley Crawford. But to play as a team and genuinely care about the result is pretty exciting.
Let-s take a look at your international career, you-re about to jump on another plane to head back to Asia for another tournament, but what does playing for Australia mean to you?
It-s definitely an achievement and a dream come true. It-s been something I-ve been striving towards since I started playing football at about the age of six but it hasn-t been without it-s hiccups along the way but it-s good to be able to get over your injuries. This year has been a real break through, I-ve always been on the fringe, in and out through injury, but to get back to my full fitness and be recognized at the senior level is really exciting and to go on so many tours this year has been priceless.
You mentioned a number of setbacks during your career with injury but things are on the up, at what stage did you know that you-ve finally broken into the senior squad?
It was probably midway through last year when I was coming back from my second knee reconstruction. I started getting my fitness back and Tom started bringing me into a few camps. Prior to my injuries I was on the fringe of the senior Matilda-s squad and then big injuries like that put you out for a couple of years. Last year when I got my first senior cap against New Zealand in Coffs Harbor it gave me an opportunity to prove myself and this year-s there-s been a few opportunities for us young girls after the World Cup to really step up where I was given my chance so I took the opportunity with both hands.
What-s it like travelling around the world with a team of good mates? No doubt there-s a lot of hard work but no doubt there-s some fun along the way?
I guess it-s a bit of a dream job. It can be hard when you-re trying to study and work at the same time but they-re a really good bunch of girls and this year I think I-ve got on about six or seven different countries and I had only been overseas twice before the start of this year so the experience particularly in Asia. Some of us are looking to maybe invest in Asia because we-ve over there so often [said tongue in cheek] but the opportunity to play against some of these teams is unbelievable and to play in such different conditions is pretty cool.
Not only have you had the opportunity to wear the green and old but you-ve managed to put one in the back of the net on home soil against Canada last year, what-s it like to score against a top ranked national in front of a home crowd?
That was definitely very exciting; it was one of my first senior internationals which my family was able to come and watch along with a pretty good crowd. The only other time I-ve scored is against New Zealand and Italy while we were away at the Peace Cup but the goal against Canada was probably the most exciting one for me because my family and friends were there and to beat a team that was ranked higher than us and going to the Olympics was pretty rewarding.
Do you remember the goal clearly or is it a bit of a blur?
I remember it pretty clearly but my mum likes to watch it a lot on YouTube so she won-t let me forget but I remember Caitlin made a good turn and had a shot so it was a rebound but I was a little bit caught in the moment.
What are you hoping to achieve during this Westfield W-League season?
This is a great chance for not only myself but all the Matilda-s, Fringe Players, Promising Matilda-s and Young Matildas to prove themselves by playing at a competitive level and be successful. Canberra United and fans in Canberra will be looking to players like Caitlin [Munoz] and I to really step up and win games for us and we-re really excited to be a part of this team and the women-s national league which should hopefully be going for years to come.
Amy, thank you very much for taking the time out to talk with CanberraUnited.com.au, good luck with the tour overseas coming up and best of luck this coming season on the pitch with Canberra United.
Hopefully the girls keep me well posted with what-s happening back here and I can-t wait to get back for the start of the season. Hopefully we-ll see everyone out at McKellar cheering us on for our home games.