"It's just a feeling of complete unity"

The exploits of runaway leaders Barcelona has made Spanish women's football one of the focal points in women’s football with the Euro’s and World Cup on the horizon. Goad is one of the few Australian players to have encountered them up close.

“They are just unstoppable in La Liga,” she says.

“I think that comes down to a few things. The first is that they really seemed like a team.

“That was something I experienced at Stanford, everybody had each other’s back. When you’re on a team like that you can just feel it.

“It’s just a feeling of complete unity. You can feel that amongst that team, they feel like a very unified team.

“I love watching them.  Playing against them is really difficult.  They break you down because their players are so good.”

She also makes a point that Barcelona have a system set up to develop players from a young age. They can loan them out to other clubs to gain first team experience, and  then bring them back to reintegrate with the senior squad. Her season in La Liga has shown her that Barcelona’s success is no accident.

Goad stresses the importance of team unity in successful sides. It is something that she saw in Barcelona, and something she experienced at Stanford University. She says it can be developed through the difficult and the fun moments alike.

“I think just building this program where you feel really unified with its values and what it wants from you and what you can give the program.

“One thing that brought us together in the US was really tough conditioning sessions, that really brings players together.

“You go through these tough sessions together and look at each other and think ‘wow we really did that together.

“Off the field, it is things like team dinners, team events. It’s easy when you live together on campus.”

"There is really so much it can give you" 

Goad is due to depart Tenerife in the off season. Although her time in La Liga had its challenges, the experience of absorbing another culture and it is football lessons is something she relished.  

“You get to discover a new culture and a new way of living.

“Learning soccer and a different style in a different country is really rewarding.

“You get to feel as though at some point it is reflected in your own game. Your own style becomes a combination of the different experiences.

“I think my relationship to soccer has developed over the years. Earlier on I would have set my mind more to learning the style of football.

“I think as I’ve grown, I’ve realized what is out there other than soccer.

“I’ve understood more the value of being immersed in a different culture as well.”

It has also given her a valuable perspective on the upcoming European Championships. She tips Spain and Germany to do well, but thinks that France has a chance at the title.

At the present time, her next destination is unknown. A move back to Australia is not impossible should the right opportunity arise.

Whoever she signs for will be getting a skillful, multi-positional player with elite experience across four competitions, three continents and almost 10 years of elite football.

Goad believes that the player and person she is now has been shaped by her move to Stanford. She would love to see other young Australians take the same path as herself, Aivi Luik, Tegan Micah and fellow Stanford star Amy Sayer.

“I really hope more girls take the US pathway and fight off any fear of missing home. There’s so much out there.

“There’s really so much it can give you.”

Goad does not pretend her journey was an easy one. She says that her time abroad has taught her that being a well-rounded person is important and can improve you as a player.

“Sometimes it is difficult, you will miss home.

“If you have a part time job or project or hobby that can help.

“We’re so much more than soccer players. We’re strong females with other goals.

“Unfortunately, at this point you really do need a backup plan if you’re a female athlete. Developing those skills and other interests is also important and often overlooked.

“Who are you off the field, and how does that help you on the field?

“Don’t ignore other hobbies. Invest in yourself as a person as well as a player because it will pay off.”


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