VIXENSPORTS AND SOCCER
Join us as we follow the journey of talented midfielder Tameka Butt!! Tameka will be sharing her Soccer experiences right here!!!ABOUT TAMEKA BUTT
Wow what hasn’t happened yet in 2016! The year has just begun and already we have seen amazing feats and momentenous advances. January saw the conclusion of a massive Westfield W-League season with Melbourne City Taking out the championship. Season 8 produced some of the league’s best football to date and welcomed top international players. We saw some devestating injuries and some amazing comebacks. Notably Caitlin Foord who broke her collarbone during the season to come back held together by 4 screws fully fit and as dangerous as ever for the national team.
Post W-League meant an immediate refocus onto the feat of the Matildas qualifying for the Rio Olympics. First hand the build up for the Matildas during February was grueling. The camps were stacked full of training sessions, video sessions and team meetings and time at home with friends and family was scarce. In saying that my time spent with all the Matildas girls, pushing one another until we collapsed was the most empowering time of my life. When we finally got to Japan for our final preparations not only did we know that we had worked as hard as we as we possibly could in every way but we also felt the desire, the passion and the motivation as a team, family and nation to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Olyroos failing to qualify for Rio 2016 and the fact that the Matildas had not achieved Olympics qualification since 2004 (12 years without success) weighed heavily on everyone’s minds. Five games in 11 days came at us!
Japan v Australia 1-3
Australia v Vietnam 9-0
South Korea v Australia 1-2
North Korea v Australia 1-2
Australia v China 1-1
BOOM!!! We had done it, we had actually qualified for the Rio Olympics. Not only were we undefeated we had achieved it by playing the best football of the tournament and we deserved to win. And to add to the excitement it all happened during Women’s Football Week and the qualification decider was on International Women’s Day! If it is respect we have been fighting for as women we went a long way to achieving that both on and off the pitch.
In saying that it’s not all about the women as the men are often our greatest advocates. So thank you to all of the men that have been influential and supportive of us. Those that give their time to coaching and mentoring, those that support their wives and girlfriends, daughters, sisters and the list goes on.
And then the next chapter begins. For me I am off to Sweden to play in their national league before returning to Australia for our Westfield W-League. Our preparations for the Rio Olympics have already begun….. Australia keep an eye on the Matildas it’s a medal we are after.
FIFIA WWC 2015
I’m excited to be back for my second blog on VixenSports.com.au and to share with you my latest footballing experience at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Canada. After having an intense six months of Matildas camps and overseas toursin build up for the WWC it was without a doubt the best preparation an Australian women’s football team has ever had. I was unfortunately battling an injury I had picked up during W-League, which meant my rehab and training schedule was a bit different and slightly secluded from the rest of the team. This made it both mentally and physically tough to prepare myself to first make the Matildas squad of 23 players that would head to the WWC but also to prepare for the massive challenge we faced in the ‘group of death’.
Touching down in Canada was the start of a much-anticipated campaign as the adrenalin kick started and the Matildas family unity and belief in each other exploded. The joy and excitement of being a part of this team was nothing I had ever experienced before and will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Our success in the group stage of the tournament was a testament to the hard work, dedication and sacrifices the team as a whole had put into playing a style offootball that is truly world class.
And then we made history. Not only had we made it out of the ‘group of death’ but were given the challenge of defeating Brazil, a team that previously beat us in the 2011 WWC in Germany. The reception and amount of support from back home in Australian after silencing Brazil in the quarterfinal was something unimaginable. The Matildas have only just started to build a legacy in Australian sport but aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Next up we face the challenge of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics! It’s time to get behind the Matildas…amazing things are coming.
Firstly I’d like to say how excited I am to be blogging on VixenSports!! This is my first time writing, however, I am experienced with video blogging and you can check out my Vlog on my website tamekabutt.com (MnK Blog) or my YouTube channel.
Through my sport I have been blessed with opportunities to travel and live in many different countries and experience their culture and how they live. My last international women’s football league took me to beautiful Japan.
I lived in a little town called Iga about a 2-hour drive from Kyoto with a Matildas and Brisbane Roar team mate Elise Kellond-knight. We got to enjoy learning the many different cultural knick-knacks of the Japanese lifestyle and even received our very own Kimono’s as birthday presents.
Our team was known as Iga FC Kunoichi (meaning ninja), our team mascot was full of life and emulated our team persona on the field with ninja like skills and smarts and a feminine outer shell.
Japan is a beautiful country that is definitely worth exploring and I would encourage any footballer to give their league a go. The Japanese women’s national team is one of the best in the world and having travelled and played in their top women’s league I can say they hold that status for good reason.
For more information about the W-League, please click here http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/wleague/