Northern NSW Football and Football NSW are pleased to announce that Matildas star Ellie Carpenter has been unveiled as Ambassador and lead mentor in the newly created program to support aspiring young talented female players in the regional areas of NSW.
Following the recent announcement in Albury by the NSW Deputy Premier, Mr John Barilaro, and Acting Minister for Sport, Mr Geoff Lee, Carpenter will join a number of other former Matildas from regional NSW to provide mentoring support and advice to the talented girls set to be part of the program.
Hailing from the small Central West NSW regional town of Cowra, the 20-year-old has had a meteoric rise to the top having already represented the Matildas 42 times as well as playing in the W-League with the likes of Canberra United, Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City.
Speaking from France where she is currently playing with one of the world’s leading women’s football clubs Olympique Lyonnais, Carpenter was delighted to be involved in such a special program very close to her heart.
“’I’m over the moon to be part of this great initiative.
“I have been wanting to align myself with something like this for a long time and put time towards trying to close the gap between opportunities afforded to metro and country-based girls.
“I am really looking forward to seeing many more regional girls realise their dreams in our beloved sport.
“There is no doubt that this funding and the opportunities that it provides will be a massive boost for women’s football in regional NSW. It will also have a positive effect on participation whilst raising the bar with regards to competitiveness throughout all the Associations and their Leagues. It will go a long way to rewarding girls with talent, a hard work ethic and ability whilst giving them the opportunity to succeed and follow their dreams.
“There is so much raw talent unknown out there and I’m on a mission to discover the future generation of women footballers for the game I love.
“My dream is to see many more country girls grow, develop and prosper as footballers so they can continue driving this amazing initiative in years to come.”
In applauding both the NSW Government’s support and Carpenter’s involvement, Football NSW’s Head of Football Peter Hugg and Northern NSW Football’s Head of Football Development Peter Haynes further promoted the importance this initiative would have on the development of the women’s game in regional NSW.
“This program is about continuing and enhancing the talent pipeline of young players from the country that has contributed so many greats to our respective national teams over the past 30 years or so.
“We want to help players that are already on our radar reach their potential but just as importantly we are keen to unearth the next Ellie, Sally Shipard, Gema Simon, Emily van Egmond or Ashleigh Sykes and those youngsters that just need a lucky break and for someone to care.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for these players to be seen and identified and bought into our pathways.
“We are fully aware of the challenges faced by those in our country regions as well as the costs involved, the distances travelled, and the many sacrifices made by parents. Through this government funding we aim to help remove some of the geographical and financial hurdles that these players face.”
One of the many opportunities offered to players involved in the program will be specialised training camps and workshops where they will see and hear from Carpenter first-hand upon her return from Europe.
Further information about the program, its activities and the selection criteria of players to participate will be rolled out over coming weeks.