Impetus’ Ben Gilby heard from Australia and West Ham United midfielder Tameka Yallop at today’s Matildas media conference from their Townsville training base (6/4/22).
Above: Tameka Yallop and daughter Harley at today’s Matildas media conference. Photo: Football Australia.
Queenslander Tameka Yallop is delighted to be back in her home state. “Yeah, the weather’s certainly a bit different to London” she admitted with a knowing smile.
The West Ham United midfielder reflected on how the team are going into Friday’s game with New Zealand looking to show improvements from the disappointing Asian Cup campaign. “We’ve always got the big picture in mind. We’re collectively building and working on our game, structures, principles, and the way we want to play. Whoever we play against that is always the same.
“Every international match is important and it’s against our rivals and World Cup co-hosts. We’re taking to the field to win, to perform, and play the sort of football we want to play.”
Yallop pointed out that despite the time getting ever shorter between the present and the home World Cup, it is too early for there to be a completely settled and regular squad.
“I think there are always opportunities for new players to come in. There are a lot of up-and-coming players around at the moment and they can come into the squad. Each camp is an opportunity for us to come together as a collective.
“It’s really competitive. We have a good environment with that. We may have some starters, but there’s always people pushing. The majority of the team are playing overseas, plying their trade in different leagues and that makes it even more competitive. They are used to high standards and that’s a great environment to be part of.”
Whilst the Matildas always have to cope with the challenge of players arriving in camp over a period of three or four days, Yallop feels it does not have a negative impact on preparations.
“We’re professional with how we switch from club duties to national team and what you are doing in the jersey. We have everyone in camp, so today will be the first day of getting everyone focused and on the same page. It’s easy for everyone to get into that mindset.
The midfielder was joined at the media conference by 18-month old daughter Harley, who joins team-mate Katrina Gorry’s own youngster Harper in the Matildas camp.
“This is the first camp that we’ve been able to have our little ones in. It’s a big moment for us in Matildas history. We’re the first to have young kids and bring them on tour. It’s a big step forward for women’s sport and women’s sport in Australia.
“To bring our kids into a high-level environment is a big thing and it’s special. It aligns with who we are as a family team and a public team. The Matildas brand is all about ‘What you see is what you get’ and this is it. It’s all about family and community – how you can get the best of each other and support each other.”