West Pymble junior and former Northern Tigers representative Rachel Lowe is raring to go ahead of her third season of W-League football with Western Sydney Wanderers.
With the Women’s World Cup on the horizon next year, the midfielder is hopeful of earning a seat on the plane to France with a strong W-League campaign.
“That’s probably one of my main aims (for the season),” she said.
“I think if I score a few goals and have a good season there’s no reason why I can’t be in the squad.
“It’s definitely an opportunity I want to take.”
However, wearing the green and gold for the Young Matildas takes precedence this week before she can pull on the red and black of the Wanderers.
The Young Matildas are currently in Lebanon for the first round of qualifiers for next year’s AFC Under-19 Championship, starting tonight against Mongolia before further fixtures against Lebanon and Hong Kong.
Lowe is no stranger to the national set-up, making her a senior debut for the Matildas in the Algarve Cup earlier this year.
“It’s something you think about when you’re younger but you don’t think it will become a reality,” she said.
“It was great to get on the field, especially with the team that was there and the success that they’d had.
“A lot of the players are getting quite a high profile like Sam Kerr and all the girls that are playing in America.
“So being on the field with them and making my debut against strong opposition, it was a privilege.”
The 17-year-old is now one of the experienced older members of the Young Matildas squad, captaining the team in matches against Thailand and Timor-Leste earlier this year.
“I really enjoy it – everybody on the field is a leader, but I think that having that extra responsibility (as captain) you’re more accountable and I think you’ve got to set an example for the younger girls,” she said.
“I used to be one of the youngest in the squad when I first started but now that I’m one the oldest it’s nice to set a good example and know that you’ve got people looking up to you on and off the park.”
Lowe started her football career with West Pymble FC, playing in a mixed team alongside her twin brother before joining Northern Tigers in 2011.
After three seasons with Tigers, the promising youngster joined the Football NSW Institute program and has progressed through the ranks over the past five seasons.
Lowe (front right) with her Northern Tigers teammates in 2012.
Since finishing the NSW NPL season with the Football NSW Institute in August, focus has shifted to another W-League campaign with the Wanderers.
Lowe has already built an impressive record in the national competition, playing 20 of a possible 24 matches over the past two seasons and notching up her first goal against Sam Kerr’s Perth Glory last season.
The new campaign is shaping up nicely for the Wanderers, with a host of experienced signings under new coach Dan Barrett.
“I’m really enjoying this year, the past two years they were good it was a good stepping stone. This year is like a whole other level,” she said.
“The older girls, I’ve actually looked up to quite a few of them growing up because they were big names when I was young.
“Even just watching them in training you learn so much and I think I’ve improved a lot already even in the pre-season, I’m loving it.”
Written by Nick Amies – Northern Suburbs Football Association.
Main photo thanks to Western Sydney Wanderers.