Last week, Laura Alleway did an interview with Australian radio station Box2Box, during which she spoke about her W-League club Melbourne City, the Matildas appearances at the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, and her first season with the Orlando Pride.
Without a doubt, it has been a strong period of growth for the Australian Women’s National Team, also known as the Matildas. They made it to the Quarterfinals in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, going out 1-0 to Japan, who would go on to place the United States in the Final. They also made it to the Quarterfinals of this year’s Olympic tournament, losing on penalty shootouts to host team Brazil.
Alleway said that players like her and Catley benefitted from the support of their American fan base, who were cheering on the Matildas as well as their own national team. “I think they were proud of us,” Alleway said. “But I don’t think that they quite understood the mentality that we had going into it. We expected a lot more of ourselves, so while we were gutted and super disappointed with how we ended up, other countries more or less thought that we did really well.”
“There were plenty of people who were sending us messages like ‘Oh, we have a day full of football. The American girls play their quarter before us,” Alleway continued. “A lot of people said they were glued to the TV the whole day for both our game and their game.”
The Orlando Pride provided a good platform for Alleway to bounce back after their devastating loss at the Olympics.
“This year with the Olympics, it was heartbreaking to lose, so trying to put it behind you as quickly as you can and within a week I was back in Orlando and finishing off the season there,: Alleway said. “So it’s kind of been a bit of a whirlwind. Looking back, I think we did pretty well but I think quite disappointed that we didn’t do better at the Olympics especially.”
Alleway explained that she didn’t get to see as much of the theme parks and other Orlando activities as she would like to, in part because of the professionalism of training with the Pride. - “We’d go into the club, we’d have breakfast at the club, we’d train together, then we’d have lunch together. So, it was really a full time thing and we didn’t have that many days off. And the days that you did have off you were kind of so exhausted from the Florida heat and the training that you had need of those days to just zonk out and replenish the docks of energy so that you could go for another few days of training,” Alleway said. “We were in a really cool area; a majority of the girls were living in this apartment area so we had a swimming pool and really close to some shopping centers and quite close to training so there was quite a lot of team bonding.”
After finishing the season in Orlando, Alleway moved back to Australia and spent some time with her family before traveling to Melbourne to begin her training with Melbourne City FC. They played their first match over the weekend, and earned 1-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets. You can catch the W-League matches on ESPN3.
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