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I’ve had options to play overseas before, but I’ve not been able to pursue them for different reasons. Now I’ll consider any offer that comes my way. I often feel like a bit of an oldie because we’ve got such a young squad, but I’m only 28 and those opportunities might still be there for me.

 

All I can control is playing well for Sydney and if I only play in the W-League for the remainder of my career, I’d still be happy with that. I was always realistic about the fact that during my career, I might never have the chance to become a full professional.

 

I don’t do this for the money anyway. The great thing about women’s football is that we all play for the love of the game. That’s what has kept me going through those tough times when it all seemed too hard.

 

Even if I never receive the rewards of what we are building in this sport, I still want to do my part for the cause.

 

The tricky thing that I can see coming up is that when the league does go fully pro, many players might be forced to leave the game.

 

If salaries aren’t high enough, a lot of players will be forced to make a financial decision. Do I take a huge pay cut to stay in football fulltime or remain in my other career?

 

But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

 

 

 

WHAT I ADMIRE ABOUT SAM KERR

I’m back at school now and the kids are all asking for tickets to the Grand Final against Perth Glory. Only one of my year five and six students watched the semi-final against Brisbane last weekend but I think a lot more than that will be coming out to Kogarah on Saturday. They’re in for a great game!

 

Perth are a strong team across the park. They’re a united group with some very good youngsters and a dynamic frontline that can cause opponents a lot of problems.

 

They also have a huge weapon. You might have heard of her.

 

Sam Kerr.

 

I still remember when Alen Stajcic recruited Sam for Sydney FC back in 2012. The whole world knows about her now, but even back then when she was 19 years old you could see that she was destined to become a superstar.

 

We got our first real glimpse of that during the 2013 finals series. We’d finished the regular season pretty poorly but turned things around when it mattered. Sam was a huge part of that, causing problems every time she got the ball and a constant threat in the air. She caught everyone’s attention in the Grand Final with a goal off a diving header followed by that iconic backflip.

 

That was the start of something really special for Sam. We’ve watched her kick on with it and reach a level that has surpassed any of our wildest dreams. It’s been lovely to see.

 

 

She’s carried that form into the W-League this season as well. She’s the league’s top goalscorer and she bagged a hat-trick in the Glory’s semi-final against Melbourne Victory like it was easy!

 

For me, the things that really set Sam apart are her leadership qualities and how much love she has for her club and where she comes from. I truly admire that about her.

 

She wants to bring success to her hometown and I connect with that as someone who has been a fan of Sydney FC since the very start of the A-League. I’m living my girlhood dream as well.

 

‘Ultimately, it’s your decision,’ Foti said. ‘Just remember that teaching will always be there for you to fall back on, but you won’t be able to play football forever.’

 

The club does everything it can to make sure we have an incredibly talented squad every season and it’s been no different this year. Sydney FC’s reputation means that players of the highest calibre want to play here and I’ve been blessed to have played with some of the best in the world over the years.

 

This season, our coach Ante Juric has assembled a squad with quite a few Matildas and four top-quality American imports. With big-game players like that, we’re ready for anything on Saturday.

 

It would mean a hell of a lot to be able to lift the trophy in front of our fans and the people who support us most: our families, friends and partners. A win would be for our employers as well, who bend over backwards to make sure we can follow our dreams of playing football at the highest level.

 

This will be my fifth Grand Final for the club and, after one win and three losses, I think I’ve had enough of losing.

 

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