The football field is Kyra Cooney-Cross’ sanctuary. When she crosses that white line, nothing phases the 17-year-old who is fast becoming a genuine W-League super star.
Talking to the media, Cooney-Cross reminds us all that after all, that she is still just a kid. Shy and timid, and not totally sure what she should say.
Stark contrast that to her performance on the pitch. Her double today, including a spectacular strike from outside the box, will get all the headlines but truth be told, she has been fantastic all season showing wisdom and maturity beyond her years.
Today against the arch enemy in Sydney FC, she played like a veteran. Being in the right spot when needed, going hard at the contest, intelligent decision making and vision as well as the ability to know exactly what was needed from her in key moments.
She had 64 touches today with 40 passes at nearly 80% accuracy to go with her two goals. An excellent contribution for a teenager in the heat of a derby.
Post game, Cooney-Cross remained humble, not wanting to think too far ahead and praising her teammates.
“We are trying to focus on each game, we are making history now, we are happy to just take each game as it comes," she said.
The youngster paid particular tribute to her midfield sisterhood in Amy Harrison, Denise O’Sullivan and Ella Mastrantonio.
“They are great players, huge players, unreal players, love playing with them, I learn a lot from them.
“At training it is high intensity. Every little thing makes you a better player when you play with top players.”
Cooney-Cross come through the much maligned NTC system in Victoria and also the Future Matildas program this year. She was positive about both programs when asked how it helped her development.
“Yeah I think the NTC definitely helped me get on this pathway, it’s a good start for the young players and definitely a good path to get here (to the W League).
“Future Matildas is also good for youth players, definitely helps us to get into the senior Matildas, it’s a good start for us.”
When asked about her own Matildas ambitions and potentially playing for Australia at the 2023 World Cup in Australia, Cooney-Cross wasn’t getting too ahead of herself.
“No I haven’t really thought about it yet,” she admitted.
“It would be amazing for Australia to host a World Cup. It would be good for our Matildas players to experience that, but personally right now I am focusing on this W-League season.”
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