Heatley hopes for World Cup and beyond

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Despite cementing a starting spot throughout Brisbane Roar’s 2020/21 W-League campaign, Winonah Heatley is not satisfied just yet.

While Heatley is grateful for the faith shown in her by head coach Jake Goodship and the Roar coaching staff this season, the 19-year-old has her eyes on a bigger prize.

With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup approaching, a Matildas call-up is what Heatley envisages for herself as she embarks on a journey she has already dreamt about.

“Playing for the Matildas and playing for Australia in general has been one of my goals since I started playing football,” she said.

“It is definitely something I am really passionate about and want to be there.”

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Getting a Matilda’s call up for the World Cup is not the only goal the Roar youngster has set for herself.

Heatley has also expressed her desire to seek opportunities overseas.

“I definitely would love to have some experience abroad, which is a bit of an uncertain area at the moment because of COVID,” she said.

“I have got goals to play abroad as well as trying to get into that Matildas set up.”

Whilst the 19-year-old is optimistic, she understands spots in the squad would not come easy and was aware there were plenty more opportunities ahead of her.

“I also understand that there is lots of talented players in the mix at the moment, but I will do everything I can to get there,” Heatley said.

“If it so happens I don’t, I’ll just work towards the next thing, just keep on working up to it because I know I’m young.”

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Despite her age, Heatley is already working towards becoming a leader at Brisbane, after learning off experienced teammates and Matilda stars Clare Polkinghorne and Kim Carroll.

“As a team as a whole, we’ve got lots of leaders and I definitely want to think of myself in a few years rising into one of those positions,” she said.

“I think players like Clare and Kim in particular, they are leaders by the way they do things and the fact they just get things done rather than the way they talk.

“It’s more about their actions and that is one of the biggest things I have found, to be a leader, it’s just through your actions and leading by example.”

Heatley has praised Goodship and the Roar coaching staff for the faith in her this campaign, having started in every game so far.

“Honestly, I am so grateful for the faith that the coaches have shown in me,” Heatley said.

“My performances haven’t been flawless but to have the opportunity to work on the different aspects I need to week in week out has been awesome.”

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Heading into the Roar’s final game against Newcastle Jets and her first W-League finals series, Heatley is eager to repay the trust shown in her.

“I am excited for finals football and the prospect of being able to play at that next level,” she said.

“I have never played in a W-League final or semi-final, so I am really looking forward to it.”

Feature Image Credit: Brisbane Roar/Joshua Springfield.

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Matthew Tsimpikas
Sports lover studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. Covering Brisbane Roar FC in the 2020/21 A-League and W-League.
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