Matildas hero Cortnee Vine remains a staunch supporter of A-League football, despite increasing interest in her services from overseas.
The 25-year-old surprised the Australian soccer world when she re-signed with Sydney FC in August, 10 days after scoring the winning penalty against France to take the Matildas to their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final.
Most observers expected Vine to follow her Australia teammates and chase glory overseas.
“I’ve chosen to stay here for multiple reasons but the A-League is a great league,” Vine said on Tuesday.
“It pushes me to be better. I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now if it wasn’t for the A-League.
“It’s just going to continue to get better and better.”
Cortnee Vine hopes the success of the Matildas can help generate interest in women’s football in Australia. Credit: AAP
While she was certainly swept up by the World Cup hype, Vine has become an unofficial ambassador for Australia’s domestic competition in a bid to inspire young girls to come into the A-League.
“I’m walking down the street now and everyone knows who I am and who I play for,” she said.
“It’s something that I couldn’t imagine happening for women’s football in Australia.
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“I have a big smile on my face thinking about how many people came to those games and how many Aussies got around and watched (the World Cup) from home.
“Building up the momentum from the World Cup, we’re hoping that young girls come through and also want to be Matildas and play for Sydney FC.”
Sydney FC on Tuesday launched their Female Football Pathway to help aspiring young players realise their dreams of becoming the next Vine, Sam Kerr or Caitlin Foord.
The pathway provides a link between grassroots football and the professional game for girls aged 11 to 13 years old.
Vine said the plan is to follow the same trajectory as powerhouse leagues overseas, including England’s Women’s Super League and the USA’s National Women’s Soccer League.
Cortnee Vine is a star of the A-League Women’s competition. Credit: AAP
“When I was coming through, I didn’t have a pathway,” Vine said.
“I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know where I could get to, what there was.
“Having a program like this … it shows these girls that they can then become (professional) and follow this program into the A-League.
“There is a clear direct path. I wish I had something like that.
“The sky’s the limit.”
Vine was non-committal on the prospect of testing her talents overseas after the 2023/24 season.
“I’m here for the season upcoming,” the winger said.
“Not sure about the future yet but I wouldn’t be going anywhere (in the A-League) other than Sky Blue.”
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