Jada on a fast track


From the muddy bogs of Wagga; “There were some nights when it was really wet and we destroyed the field,” to the slick synthetics of Sydney; “It’s pretty slippery, hard but good.” It’s a fast track for 15 year old goalkeeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman.

While Wagga has big plans for its own ‘Home of Football’, its latest sporting export is now calling Sydney home on what appears to be her inexorable road to becoming a Matilda.

Embedded in the recent Australian team’s training camp at Valentine Sports Park, Jada was a special guest with a rare talent; “Some of the girls in the team I’ve looked up to since I was a little girl so to train with them is absolutely amazing”, Mathyssen-Whyman said.

Close enough to touch indigenous athlete role models like Kyah Simon; “Every time she does something awesome on the field it gives me goose bumps,” Mathyssen-Whyman said.

Spotted by scouts when only 12, Jada also excelled at AFL but chose to concentrate on football because it offers a career path for young women; “It won’t make her financially rich but emotionally rich and experience rich.” Goalkeeper Coach for the Women’s National Team, Paul Jones said.

Jones has spent the last year mentoring Mathyssen-Whyman at his academy in Canberra. He’s become a father figure and letting her go is a wrench; “I’m personally disappointed she’s not staying in Canberra because I love working with her but she also needs to work with other coaches,” Jones said.

Jada won’t be alone, with her mum, step-dad and three younger siblings all moving to Sydney with her where she’ll attend Westfields Sports High School and play for the Macarthur Rams in the NPL NSW Women’s 1 competition.

W-League clubs Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC are jostling for her services and the Wanderers are front runners right now; “I’ve been talking to Norm Boardman (head coach) and he said I could start training with the Western Sydney Wanderers so hopefully that goes all right,” Mathyssen-Whyman said.

While it seems inevitable Jada Matthyson-Whyman will become a Matilda, it comes with a caveat; “Great athlete, super quick, massive talent but still young and we’ve got to be careful,” Jones said.

-By Mark Chester