Sport

Former Matilda Amy Wilson inducted into ACT Sport Hall of Fame

Amy Wilson retired from football at age 23.
Amy Wilson retired from football at age 23. Photo: Julian Andrews

INDUCTEES

Amy Wilson at Canberra Stadium during the 200 Olympics.
Amy Wilson at Canberra Stadium during the 200 Olympics. 

She was the teenage prodigy who retired at the age of 23, but former Matildas midfielder Amy Wilson has no regrets about hanging up the boots when most athletes are in their prime.

The Canberra footballer was recognised for her short but outstanding career with inclusion in the ACT Sport Hall of Fame on Friday.

Wilson was 15 when she debuted for the Australian women's national team in 1995. The Belnorth junior made 39 appearances for the Matildas before retiring from the game after her second consecutive World Cup appearance in the US in 2003.

Now 34, Wilson is comfortable with the decision to move on from sport and begin university, on her way to becoming a teacher.

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"When I think back on it now, it sounds so young, like when people are just getting into their peak," Wilson said.

"But because I started at a very unusually young age ... I spent eight years with the Matildas. It takes up so much time and commitment that it kind of felt like I was more at the end of my career.

"I wouldn't say burnt out, but I was starting to struggle for that motivation at the end of my career."

Wilson made a comeback with Belconnen United in the Capital Football women's Premier League in 2011, playing three seasons before retiring for a second time last year.

She  also remained involved in the game as a former assistant coach for Canberra United in the W-League.

Wilson is confident the future is bright for women's football in Australia and is hopeful the team can put forward a strong performance at next year's World Cup in Canada.

"I'm really excited about it, so much that I want to go to the World Cup in Canada next year and support the Matildas from a different perspective," Wilson said. "They play such exciting football and they've got so many fast, athletic girls.

AMY WILSON

* Played 39 games for the Matildas from 1995-2003, including two World Cups in 1999 and 2003

* Youngest player to represent the Matildas at age 15 in 1995.