Gill looking to the future

With the Westfield Matildas currently in a training camp ahead of their upcoming game, Sally Shipard talks to teammate Kate Gill about life on and off the field.

With the Westfield Matildas currently in a training camp ahead of their upcoming game, Sally Shipard talks to teammate Kate Gill about life on and off the field.

Congratulations on your recent captaincy appointment. That must be a wonderful feeling to have been appointed one of the leaders of your country? It is very humbling to be regarded in such a light, by both the players and coaching staff. It is a role that I will have to adapt to, but one that I know I will get so much enjoyment in fulfilling.

Although it has only just been announced to the public, you have been fulfilling the role of captaincy for quite some time. How have you been enjoying the role? Given the playing group and staff I have to work with it is a great position to hold. I am sure I speak for Claire in saying that our job is an easy one given the company we keep.

You-ve had many colourful experiences with your football; winning a league title with Malmo in Sweden, being named the AFC-s Female player of the Year, scoring 36 goals for your country. Could you say amongst all this you have a personal highlight? It-s 38! My whole career has been a highlight, I would be lying if I said I hadn-t had more downs than ups but at the end of the day I wouldn-t change a thing, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the decisions I have made and excited by what is to come.

Juggling your education with your football has always been something you-ve done but never made a fuss about it. How important is your education to you? My studies have helped me get to where I am, they have definitely shaped the person that I am and taught me some valuable skills along the way. The most important aspect is that it gives me a balance along with a sense of achievement and enjoyment.

The discipline you possess in approaching your studies? Gilly, spill your secret... No secret, I just enjoy the challenge.

An interesting question that is always posed to female athletes in regards to education, I am interested in your viewpoint here... Would you still choose to study if you earned more money from your football? I would, life-s about learning and improving and the best thing about it is you are never too old to do so. I still have so much to learn and improve upon on the football field and that is exactly how I feel about my education. I can-t wait to put the foundations into practice.

How have you handled the transition now you-re out in the real world having completed all your studies.? Do you miss uni? Nearly there, one more year to go and no more uni, maybe? I have really embraced the opportunities I have been given. A working life style is very different to that of a full time athlete, however in a sense they both complement each other. It has given me the opportunity to grasp what life could potentially be like after football and explore the options I have regarding what I would like to do within the cooperate world.

Since returning home from Sweden, you have chosen to live on the Western side of our wonderful country. Can we anticipate your presence over our side anytime soon? More than just flying in to Canberra every two weeks? You summed it up; the West definitely is the wonderful side. I love it here and wouldn-t dream of moving. I now consider myself a West Aussie!

The last few years you must be enjoying the fact that you can live closer to your family, you have a close relationship with your brothers. Has it been nice to spend more time with your family? That has been the best part about it. I love my family and have a fantastic relationship with both of my younger brothers. I can-t imagine not being able to ring them for a catch up because your family is the one thing that stays with you forever.

You have also been employed by Football West for a while now. You must enjoy being involved with football off the field as well - can you tell us about your role there? I am very fortunate that I have such an understanding and supportive employer and it is a plus that they love football. I-m in charge of the sponsors and make sure that all of our accounts our managed and looked after. It is a role I enjoy, as it is very hands on and the results are pretty much instantaneous, so it is very rewarding knowing that what you are doing is benefiting football in WA.

You have been through an ACL injury, which are very common now. What is your personal opinion on the frequency of such injuries? That-s a tough one, there are so many theories, relating to work load, surface, footwear, and the list goes on. Personally I think it is a case of build up over time for most females and it is one movement or contact that results in the damage. All I can say is that it makes me sick every time I hear about someone needing a reconstruction; it is such horrible injury to have both physically and mentally.

What is the biggest lesson you learned in the time you had away from the game whilst you were repairing/rehabbing? Just how much I missed it and how big a part it was in my life and if that doesn-t make you want to get through your rehab, nothing will!

Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve with the Matildas over the next few years? That-s an easy one, a medal at the WC and Olympics!

And what do you hope to achieve personally? Work wise I want to gain as much experience as I can within the psychology field so that I have a firm understanding of the area I would like to specialise in. At the moment I really enjoy the consulting side of things and being involved with practical projects, implementing strategies and the evaluating their success or need for improvement.

Football, I want to make the most of the time I have left and when that time comes I want to make sure the Matildas have a culture of respect, for themselves and the game. I want young players to aspire to be Matildas and for those that make it, to understand that they are part of a professional, competitive and winning team.