Gotta give new stuff ago yeah? What’s the new thing? It’s my new project “A Footy Rant with…”. We’re talking soccer and telling stories. There are SO many stories out there. Hearing from other people about their crazy, soccer stories is up there as one of my favourite things, it’s up there with eating chocolate. Hopefully this is something you guys will enjoy too.
So first up…
Who’s Taylor? You know those people you know in school, but you’re not really in the same classes so it’s only a few years later, and a many miles in between, when you realise you both love sport and become friends because of this obsession? Yeah that’s me and Taylor. She has a rad blog [over at NotQuiteTaylorMade], so we often celebrate and complain about the perils of blogging together. Also Taylor is hilarious and had me quite literally in stitches for most of this interview, so this interview is quality.
You wanna know more about Taylor and her soccer story? Here it is my friend.
How did you get involved with soccer and what’s your involvement now?
I started by kicking a basketball around my backyard everyday, until three years later Santa finally brought me a real, deal soccer ball. Then I got to play in the under fives. I remember it being absolutely freezing. Some weekends we use to go out to play and it would be snowing. My best friend lived just down the road from me, we played and we were the only girls on the team. Now, some twenty-ish years later, here I am, playing again.
Why do you love soccer?
I honestly don’t know, I just think I always have. It’s just fun. It’s just one of those things I do. It’s like kids whose parents tell them, you have to play piano. They’re either going to end up really liking piano or absolutely hating the piano. There’s not going to be any inbetween.
Also my mum wasn’t a pusher, she was always asking ‘are you having fun kids?’. She made sure everyone was having fun, that everyone had oranges at half time. Even after about fifteen years of watching me play, she is still yet to master the art of understanding the offside rule.
What soccer memory makes you smile the most?
It’s got to be the trips to and from soccer. So many trips!
When I was younger playing rep, my mum had just had my sister, so was dealing with a baby and toddler for those first few years. So I used to travel a lot with a friend and teammate of mine, Hillary. Her mum use to drive us around the countryside pretty much. She was so bad at directions. All the while my friend, a real muso, would sit in the back, with her guitar, taking song requests.
I remember this one time we were driving to a game, we could see the field but we couldn’t get to the carpark. We were stuck. My friend’s mum was like “hold on girls”, and she literally jumped the gutter in the tarago and just drove across the field. It was one of the funniest things. Funny stuff like that just use to happen all the time.
So I definitely say the adventures to and from soccer.
Oh and did I mention the time Lisa DeVanna and Sally Shipard signed my goalie gloves?
*There definitely needs to be a special mention to these sacred keeper gloves*
What has been the hardest thing you’ve faced within the sport and how did you overcome it?
This is so hard. The hardest thing I’ve faced in the sport was actually outside of sport. When I was sixteen I quit playing soccer. I just said “I don’t want to play”. At this time I had moved in with my male elder. Things didn’t go so well. So whilst my world was falling apart, I literally chose to quit the only thing in the world that kept me smiling, just so he couldn’t take credit for my success.
Just before this I had been selected to go back to Football NSW again and trialled for the under 16’s team, I think. Anyway, he showed up to one of my games out west for the Riverina and started bragging about practicing with me, which wasn’t true. That was the first and last game of mine he went to. I was upset and didn’t want to play the game, but my coach insisted. I eventually agreed. Afterwards my coach filled me on that selectors were there to watch me.
I went from literally playing everyday to moving halfway across the country for a “better life” and quitting altogether. At the time I think I knew somewhere in my sad, but still beating little heart that one day when things were better I would play again… And did I ever!
Unknowingly I would also spend four of the next eight years with a broken bone of some description and it would take someone telling me I couldn’t play to get me back on the field again!
Any dreams or hopes for the game?
*Super quick, off the cuff* Oh my god, I just want every f*cker that takes the field to be paid equally!! Women, men, wombats …. Equal pay for all!
Yeah I’ve got a dream. How about we show all the W-League games on freaking SBS free-to-air TV. I don’t want to pay. I swear, if I have to pay for foxtel, to watch one more W-League game and to fork out $50, aka a carton of Coronas minus the limes… It just ignites a fire in my soul.
Best piece of footy advice?
The first voice in my head is my mum “have fun, make sure everyone enjoys themselves”.
I can remember other parents yelling at me because my mum just wouldn’t yell. My mum would be say “go team”, and I’d be reply “mum they scored, what are you doing?”, but she didn’t care, she just wanted to know if everyone had fun. It was so good. Every team needs that one parent like her, especially when all the other parents are so involved. Just one parent who has no idea what’s going on game wise but is all for the team.
It’s the do or die penalty for a finals penalty shoot out. Would you rather be the goalkeeper or the penalty taker?
Ugh I’ve been both. I feel like both are just as traumatic as each other. I’d take goalkeeper anyday. It’s harder, but more rewarding. Also you’re expected to get the goal, you’re not expected to save one every single time. But yeah I’d be goalkeeper any day.