Interview Scott Chipperfield

Winner of the MARSTON MEDAL for his Man-Of-The-Match Performance in the NSL Grandfinal. Winner of a CHAMPIONSHIP MEDAL with the Wollongong Wolves. Winner of the WARREN MEDAL, as Player Of The Year. LG SOCCEROO, with 8 Caps and 2 Goals to his name. It’s been one hell of a year for SCOTT CHIPPERFIELD!

Winner of the MARSTON MEDAL for his Man-Of-The-Match Performance in the NSL Grandfinal. Winner of a CHAMPIONSHIP MEDAL with the Wollongong Wolves. Winner of the WARREN MEDAL, as Player Of The Year. LG SOCCEROO, with 8 Caps and 2 Goals to his name. It-s been one hell of a year for SCOTT CHIPPERFIELD!

Q You-re a well known quantity in the Illawarra Region, but maybe not so much outside of Wollongong - so, who is Scott Chipperfield? A I-m me. A Wollongong product, through and through, born and bred... from when I started at Bellambi Juniors when I was 4 years old, through the Illawarra Junior rep teams, making it through to the State League with the Illawarra Lions, which is where Nick (Theodorakopoulos, Coach of the Wollongong Wolves) picked me up … and I-ve been with the Wolves for four years.

Q Three distinguished Medals … a recall to the LG Socceroos … are you an overnight sensation? A Definitely not … the climb up has been a long one but well worth getting there, let me tell you. Two years ago I had a really good season, which led to my being called into the National Team for the first time, then last year we struggled as a team, and no one really took any notice of us, but this year, it-s been a different story. When the team-s doing well, then you do well, and a lot more people have been taking notice, they-ve been recognizing the players, and one of those players is me. Every boy-s dream is to play for the National team, and I can tell you it-s an unbelievable feeling when you actually do it.

Q Tell us about your call-up, and your re-call to the LG Socceroos. A Well, I played in the Confederations Cup two years ago, but I don-t mention that too often after the unfortunate result … but I did score my first international goal in that series, it was one of the 16 we scored against the Cook Islands, so that was one positive for me. Being re-called for Chile was a nice surprise. I thought I was doing really well, the Wolves were on top of the League, and I thought I was playing as well as I could play at the time. A lot of the local media was talking about it, about the fact they thought I was a good chance of being selected, and I must say that I really enjoyed the tournament. It was my first time with the European based players, and I learned a lot. There really is quite a difference between the locally based and the overseas based players, something which maybe we saw more in the smaller training games, the four Vs four, they were a lot sharper on the ball, a lot stronger, a different standard. Naturally, I was disappointed not to make the squads for Hungary and the Czech Republic, but in not doing so, it made me want to play better, work harder, get back in, and I-ve been called into this squad, so again, the hard work-s paid off.

Q The Marston Medal. A The Marston Medal … what an honour. Although to tell you the truth, I-d spent so much emotion during the Grand Final, that there just about wasn-t anything left when I actually got the medal - I think at the time I was probably more excited about winning the Grand Final with my team-mates rather than man-of-the-match, but on reflection, it really is one of the highest honours I can expect to achieve in the NSL.

Q The Championship Medal. A What can I say about that Grand Final that hasn-t already been said? You know, at half time I thought we could still do it, but we all knew we had to score early. That first half was unbelievable - the crowd was unbelievable, the goals Perth scored were unbelievable, basically, we were looking for somewhere to hide. But we re-grouped, brought Mark Robertson on which added an extra spark, and concentrated on scoring. To tell the truth, I don-t really remember much of the set up of my goal, just that I scored it, that 3-1 was more respectable, and maybe we could come back. They started to fall apart, we picked up on it, after the second goal they started panicking, and then the third goal, the equaliser in the dying minutes, it was just unbelievable. The extra time was hard, but the penalties were even harder - I didn-t really want to take a penalty … I think I took the 7th one and wasn-t too confident, firstly because I don-t like taking them, and then with 43 000 people booing you, plus the fact that two of them had been missed before mine, I was worried I was going for the treble - I can tell you it was a total relief when it went in.

Q The Warren Medal A I was actually surprised when I found out I was nominated for the Players Player of the Year. I knew I-d had a good year, but it-s different when the players vote for you. Those of us who were nominated but going to Tahiti with the National Team were asked to pre-tape acceptance speeches, but I really didn-t think I-d won it when I did that … the first I knew of it was when my girlfriend rang me in Tahiti at about 2.00am to tell me. And I-d just like to say a little thank you to my Wolves team-mate and captain, Matt Horsley, who not only accepted on my behalf, but also thanked my mother and my girlfriend on the night!

Q What-s coming up for Scott Chipperfield? A A month off!! It-s been a long season, considering we started last August, and it-s now almost July and I-m still going. I-m looking forward to recharging the batteries, then it-s time for another year with the Wolves, unless something comes up overseas. I-ve got someone looking after me on that front, but for me to get overseas is a little hard as I-m a pure Australian, and at 24 starting to look at a bit of an age restriction … I-d like to play in England or in Holland, I think my style suits those types of games, but we-ll just have to wait and see.On the National Team front, obviously I-m looking forward to the opportunity of being part of the World Cup set up, there-s no question about that. It-s in camps like this that I need to show Frank I can play at this level, and I need to make the most of every opportunity - I need to play good football, to make it difficult for him to leave me out.I can-t believe the year I-ve had, and I-m not sure if I-ll have another one like it - it was a combination of both Wollongong clicking and me clicking - everything just fell into place … now it-s up to me to get on with it.