Cortnee Vine is the talk of the town after gaining selection to attend the Matildas training camp with the potential to be part of the final squad for the Asian Cup tournament. The forward spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Impetus for this week’s #MidweekDub feature about her football background, last year’s season-ending injury, and her bright future (12/1/22).
Above: Cortnee Vine leaps highest for Sydney FC against Perth Glory last weekend. Photo: Kris Goman.
Cortnee Vine started her football journey when she was five playing in her brother’s team. From there she played in the age group two years above and began her junior years at Peninsula Power from the U12s to the U15s in the boy’s league.
“At 15, I was advised by my coach that if I wanted to make it to the next level, then I needed to start being exposed in the women’s league. That year I signed for QAS (Queensland Academy of Sport), my first experience of being in an all-girls squad other than representative football for school tournaments. When I turned 16, I became a train-on for Brisbane Roar and soon after received my first W-League contract.”
Vine was with Brisbane Roar until she was 18 when, “In that time, I was selected for the Young Matildas and remained in that squad until I was 20.”
A spell with Heidelberg United in the Victoria NPL followed before Vine signed a contract with the Newcastle Jets where she stayed from 19 to 21-years-old, playing for Sydney University as her NPL club.
In 2019, she signed for Western Sydney Wanderers for a year and also changed NPL clubs to Sydney Olympic. The following year, at 22-years-old, she signed with Sydney FC. She’s now in her second year with the table-topping club and is 23-years-old.
In the 2020/21 season, Sydney FC won the Premiership and were runners up in the Grand Final to Melbourne Victory. “Yeah, last year was really fun and I thought I had a decent season along with the rest of my team. I think being around a great bunch of girls that encourage each other as individuals and as a team, really helps you thrive and play with confidence.”
Last season Vine averaged the most incisive passes behind the defence and the most dribbles completed per 90 minutes. She was the only W-League player to dominate in both categories.
“Wow! I didn’t even know that stat, ha ha, I feel like I still have so much to improve on, I’m just starting to get the hang of playing out on the wing with so much space and time on the ball. I think there’s lots to improve on, but some main ones would be beating my defenders one on one more consistently, and obviously, I’m always looking to improve that ‘weaker’ foot.”
The striker suffered a season-ending knee injury in the last game of the regular season in March last year. This caused her to miss the Finals and possibly cost Sydney the Championship. However, she’s back this season stronger than ever.
“I actually injured my MCL last season which I was obviously relieved about when I found out it wasn’t my ACL. My knee is feeling great, I actually forget I’ve injured that knee and always get a bit taken aback when people ask about it! It was a longer recovery than I was expecting but it’s feeling really good now.”
Our interview with Vine was conducted just two days before the Sydney FC star was named in the Matildas training squad for the Asia Cup. At the time we spoke, the 23-year-old was hopeful of the call-up.
“Yeah, look obviously I’d love to get called in, but I say this in every interview, you can’t control the uncontrollables, I can only focus on how I perform at a club level. But it would be an absolute privilege to represent Australia. So fingers crossed.”
Vine’s outstanding form in the A-League Women, which has seen her selected more times than anyone else as our weekly player of the week highlights just how she has earned this call-up.
With Sydney FC the only unbeaten club left in the competition this year, the Sky Blues’ star is well placed to assess the opposition in the competition this year.
“I think that standard is quite high. A lot of clubs have shuffled their players around and are looking quite dangerous. Perth has started off strong, they are definitely a team that we won’t be underestimating. I’m looking forward to versing the other teams from around the country as well.”
Last season’s Grand Final was a real heartbreaker in the way it ended for Sydney as they went down to a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory after conceding a goal from a corner at the end of extra-time. This, plus being hit by injury ahead of the Finals campaign has provided Vine and her teammates with all the necessary motivation to the go one better this year.
“Yeah, I missed out on the Grand Final last year which was devastating for myself, and then the team also going through that heartbreak was very upsetting, being so close to getting that double. It’s definitely motivated us to try and get that double this year, and with the team that we have, I think it’s very possible.
So, there’s a big year ahead for Cortnee Vine. Right now she’s in the United Arab Emirates at the Matildas training camp. She has a good chance of being selected in the final squad to go to India to compete in, and hopefully win, the AFC Asian Cup tournament.
She’ll then be straight back into the home stretch of the Liberty A-League Women’s league with Sydney FC, hoping to get the double this season. After that, the world is her oyster.