Caitlin Foord, affectionately known as “The Machete” by some for her ability to cut through anything on the pitch with her sublime skills and strength, is on the road to her third World Cup at just 24 years of age.
For Foord, being a Matilda is a rewarding journey of sacrifice, hardwork and dedication. Not just for her, but for her family as well.
“A lot of people in Australia and around the world know that in women's sport, it does take a lot of sacrifices. You don't really receive rewards until you reach the top. So I think it's just a determination of sticking with it,” Foord said.
“It's very easy in Australia to play the game until you're a teenager and then kind of get caught up with other things. To get past that, fall in love with the game and stick with it. I think that's what makes a Matilda.”
There’s possibly no gender difference with the elements of passion, love and distraction in the game, but what is different is downtime.
“I honestly can't remember the last time I've had any time off," Foord said.
“The last time was probably my injury and to be fair I don't really count that as time off. If anything that's more mentally and physically draining, coming back from a major injury.
“It's very difficult, but at the same time, we love playing the game. If I have any longer than a week off, I need to be going and when am I playing?
“There are pros and cons about it. You do see us get to a stage where you break down and have an injury because you are going 24 / 7. So hopefully, as the game grows, we do have an off season as well and I guess that comes with the growth of the game.
Foord comes from a family of strong women and reflects on how they have supported her and each other along the way across her journey.
She added: “Women have been [a strong influence] in my life ever since I was young.