What a magical few months it’s been for Matilda and proud Australian Olympian Kyra Cooney-Cross.
After finishing her W-League season with the Melbourne Victory, the ace midfielder joined the Blacktown Spartans and played five matches in the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s top tier competition before being summoned on international duty representing the Green and Gold at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Currently back in Sydney where the 19-year-old is undertaking the mandatory quarantine following her unforgettable trip to Japan, Cooney-Cross was overawed by the amazing experiences she shared whilst representing her country.
“I had an amazing experience, just being part of the Olympic Games on a whole is something I will never forget.
“I would have to say that my most memorable moments in Tokyo were seeing the Girls beat Great Britain to get into the Semi-Finals and make history.
“Along with that, getting onto that pitch against the U.S.A and getting to see and play against Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe in person was unbelievable.
“I also cannot go past my official Olympics debut against New Zealand in match one as well as the experience of living in the Olympic Village with so many other high-quality athletes.”
Speaking of which, the former Spartans star had the pleasure of seeing a handful of world superstars during her stay at the Olympic Village.
“I really enjoyed being at the Village – it definitely was a really cool experience being around other athletes every day and experiencing what the Olympic Village life was like.
“I saw a handful of stars such as Ash Barty, Sam Stosur, Nyjah Huston, Patty Mills, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Naomi Osaka to name a few.”
As expected, tight restrictions, social distancing, and a whole lot of COVID safe protocols were put in place for each athlete to adhere to in keeping the virus at bay.
“It was definitely at a high level.
“When we were staying at hotels prior to the Village it was pretty strict, we were only allowed outside if we were either going to train or play our warm-up matches so most of the time we were stuck inside.
“We had COVID tests conducted daily, we ate the same foods for weeks, we wore masks everywhere and had to be 1.5m apart.
“We still had strict rules when we entered the Village but we made the most of being outside in the sun while we had some fantastic food options in the dining hall.”
Coming on and playing as a substitute in each of the Matildas’ six matches was a great achievement by the Queenslander who has now earmarked the new W-League season as the next big priority in her football journey before hopefully heading overseas in search of a professional contract.
“I am doing one more W-League season with the Melbourne Victory as I am still under contract and once that’s done, I am certainly thinking of heading overseas.”