Aivi Luik is over the moon her “little sister” Alex Chidiac will be getting a run in the 2018 Asian Cup and has given some insight into how the youngster has developed over the years.
Ahead of the opening game against South Korea, Chidiac spoke to The Women’s Game on Wednesday and said Luik was one of the players she has looked up to since they met in Matildas camp before taking on New Zealand in 2015.
Since then the pair won the 2016 W-League Championship together in Melbourne City colours before Chidiac donned the Adelaide United kit for the past two seasons.
The 19-year-old is really coming into the scene in Alen Stajcic’s squad after being selected in the 2017 and 2018 Algarve Cup squads. Chidiac also netted her maiden goal for Australia in last week’s 5-0 friendly win over Thailand.
Luik revealed it was an emotional moment when Chidiac scored in the send-off game in Perth.
“Laura Alleway was sitting next to me on the bench and she’ll hate me for saying this, but she told me she got a bit teary,” Luik told The Women’s Game.
“That’s how much we love Chidi. It just makes me so happy thinking about the Thailand game when she scored her first goal. She’s such a good person and footballer.
“She’s so passionate about football, this is her love. She works hard, but she loves it too.
“She’s very humble and not one to flaunt everywhere, but you know inside the moment she scored that goal, she’s buzzing.
“I know this is the kick-start in her Matildas career and she’s going to become an even better player and a great leader one day.”
Chidiac told FourFourTwo last year that many people said a career in football could be a mistake when she was just 14.
Luik said she had a great relationship with Chidiac because of their similarities with each other.
“When you get to know her, she can tell it how it is to a certain point, but she’s a big jokester,” she said.
“She’s always cracking me up, whether it’s on the bus, in the hotel or out on the training field juggling the ball around. She keeps things fun.
“We both have an adventurous soul. Our first year at City, we always just wanted to explore and have a bit of fun, she’s very light-hearted, a good person and open-minded.
“I just really like that in a person, it’s funny because there’s a bit of an age gap. She’s 19 and I’m 33, I guess this is why I feel like she’s my little sister. In the last year I think she’s matured a bunch, she still feels like a little sister, but more of a friend.
“In terms of being a mentor… I don’t feel like I’m ever being her mum telling her what to do and that kind of thing, for me I’m less about words and more about actions. If she picks up on anything good that I’m doing, then great.”
Chidiac has dreamt of playing in England, Italy or Spain in the past year and recently there have been talks about a potential European move.
The Reds midfielder said nothing was concrete just yet, but Luik is confident there are big things in store for her.
Luik added: “We’re just seeing the start of what she’s capable of and those seasons she’ll have over in Europe will just create an amazing player that the public will love to watch.”