For 16-year-old Amy Sayer, her first call up to the Matildas’ senior team is a dream come true. The teenage whiz-kid has been selected in Alen Stajcic’s Australian squad for the upcoming 2018 Tournament of Nations.
The humble and grounded teen says that the news comes from countless hours of training and work.
“My call up to the national team is a product of many years of hard work, and the support of a lot of great people around me,” Sayer told FourFourTwo.
In the Australian national team set-up from the age of 14, call ups to the Under-17 and Under-20 national teams were achieved in her first year.
Talking about the system for young girls, the 16-year-old said: “There is a really fantastic set-up and there are so many great players coming through, so it has been a huge part of my learning as a footballer.”
Sayer has been playing football ever since she was five-years-old, falling in love with the game from the first whistle.
“I started playing at Northbridge at grassroots level with all my school friends, and have been back there playing WNPL with the North Shore Mariners this season," the midfielder said.
At the beginning of the 2017/18 W-League season, Canberra United secured her services – signing a first professional contract and snapping up the number 20 shirt.
Giving insight into how it felt, Sayer said: “The moment I received the news of my call-up was amazing – and surreal – I have dreamt of being a Matilda for as long as I can remember so I almost couldn’t believe the news.”
Ironically, Sayer was representing Australia at the AFF Championship with the Young Matildas at the time the call up came.
Finishing off homework while in camp during the tournament, the new Matilda received the news in one of the best ways possible.
“I got the news from my mum, we had been chatting through text messages and she suddenly sent me a message that said ‘OMG you’re in the Matildas!’," Sayer said.
“I checked my email and there was a message from the FFA telling me I had been selected to join the Matildas squad for the Tournament of Nations.
"I was in in shock and just kept re-reading the email over and over until it sunk in that it was true!”
Sayer will join Matildas stars Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Hayley Raso and so many more. However, Australia’s newest bright star has been able to build close connections with Lisa de Vanna, Chloe Logarzo and Alex Chidiac.
“It‘s amazing to have a chance to train and play with all of the great players in the squad, so I hope to learn a lot and do my best to help the team," she said.
“Lisa de Vanna is another one who I look up to; I have trained with her in the last couple of years and really respect her as a player and mentor."
Working under some of Australia’s best when it comes to women’s football – Gary van Egmond, Leah Blayney and current Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic - Sayer is extremely grateful for having the chance to learn how to better her game.
This will be Sayer’s first time in a senior national camp before with the Matildas First Team, however, it will not be the first time she rubs shoulders with some of the Australian stars.
“I have been involved in practice games with the senior players from time-to-time," Sayer said.
“I am a little nervous going into senior camp for the first time, but I plan to work my hardest, listen to the coaches and try to learn as much as I can from the players around me.”
The Matildas will kick off their 2018 Tournament of Nations campaign against Brazil at Children’s Mercy Park on Friday 27 July.