Playing in one of the most active teams in the Women’s World Cup, it comes as no surprise when Coach Bobby Despotovski goes into reminiscence about the first time when he saw Sam Kerr playing. While watching the young play at his club’s training grounds, his attention was drawn to a bunch of girls practising. He then saw the 13-year old. He remembers noticing the talent that she had, waiting to be developed, her skills, the quickness of her movements astounded him. Now being the head coach of Perth Glory Women, he was then already sure that this young player is going to have a golden future on the soccer field.
Kerr’s Early Career
Australia is known for playing a kind of soccer which differs slightly from that played in the rest of the world. It is a mixture of soccer, and American football often called “Aussie rules” or “footy”. Their professional league is called the Australian Football League. The rules differ in many ways. In “footy” the ball is oval shaped and so is the field. At each end of the area are four posts of which the middle two are considered the goal posts. Kicking the ball between these two posts will get the team 6 points. In this game, players are also allowed to tackle, and the ball is sometimes picked up and hit with the other. This was the game that Sam Kerr grew up in. That was until the age of 12-years old. She had to switch to soccer since the boys against whom they were competing were getting too big. Sam was upset and didn’t like leaving “footy” behind at all. This was, however, not a course on which she would ever have been able to achieve great success and looking back now, she is glad that the switch happened.
Sam Kerr has found her way in soccer and is at the age of 25 playing for two teams. Perth Glory when in the Australian Women’s League and for the Chicago Red Stars when in US National Women’s Soccer League. Her success and powerful influence in the industry was confirmed when Nike signed a $1 million deal with her earlier this year.
So far in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Kerr is behind one of the goals of the Australian Matildas. Her signature celebration after scoring is doing a backflip on the field. Sam Kerr gained the status as the all-time leading scorer in National Women’s Soccer League during the 2018 season. The same year she was also named the 2018 Young Australian of the Year. Kerr has represented Australia in 2010, 2014 and 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cups and has been playing for the Australian Matildas since 2011, representing them at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Judging on her successes thus far, Despotovski seems to have been correct in his predictions that her future is golden.