Saturday, September 19, 2009

A little look back with Grace Gill

Around this time last year Canberra girl Grace Gill was an ACTAS players who still hoped of getting to the Matildas again (she had been thereabouts before, made the Young Matildas squad for a World Cup but didn't play and only had one Matildas cap), but no real way of getting there.
Fast-forward to this week and in the last 12-months, Gill would have claimed her second Matildas if not for ill-timed ankle injuries and she has been in every senior Matildas camp since the W-League finished.
Not just that, this year the 20-year-old midfielder will be the 'face' of Canberra United that will be on posters and billboards arond Australia.
I caught up with Grace at this week's Canberra United launch.

First of all, as the 'face' of Canberra United, are you excited about that? I'm a bit nervous about it actually, I've seen the huge billboards that they are going to roll out so seeing myself on those is going to be a little bit daunting.

What was the experience like? We did a TV commercial on the first day, just shooting over and over again with all the hair and make-up and everything and then the next day we did the photo shoot. We hair extensions and all this make-up, I'd never worn that much make-up in my life! But it was great fun, it was just tiring actually, you don't realise how much sitting around and waiting you have to do.

So this time last year, you were just hoping to get that second crack at the Matildas, are you happy with where you have come? Last season I just really wanted to play consistently and I hoped that the regular camp call-up would come. Now that it has, I'm not just happy to rest on it, I want to play consistently again so I can ensure I keep getting the call-up. I don't just want to be in and out.

Last year an ankle injury against Sydney FC interrupted your season, how big of a setback was that? It was really disappointing because you get to a point where you are really happy with how everything is going and then to get an injury like that, and then another one [to the other ankle] a few months later. It was very hard to get motivation again and get my fitness right. But touch wood, I think I'm right now and ready to go.

First game up on October 3 is the grand final re-match against Brisbane Roar. Canberra lost 2-0 last year and you were one of the players rushed back in early from injury as there was so many other injuries, needless to say it didn't end well. What about this year? We were a bit scrappy in the final this year and I think we were a bit messed up because we did have so many injuries. Now we will be more settled and I think we can do alright against them.

It's going to much a much younger Canberra United team this year, how do you see it going? It is a far younger team and we have lost a lot of experience, but that said I think Ray [Junna] is getting us to play a different style that these girls are really adaptable too, being so young they can quickly adapt to different styles, so I think it will work out well.

So what can we expect to see from Canberra this year? It's an Arsenal style of play, it's all about maintaining possession and not just kicking it away. It's about lots of small passes and just keeping it moving up the field. It's very different and should be interesting to see how it goes. But it's coming together very well.

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