From the Academy to the A-Leagues Women, the Canberra United Academy provides pathways for players to reach the top tier.
In the last five years, 24 ACTAS, Capital Football or Canberra United Academy (CUA) products have been elevated to the A-Leagues Women, or been picked for the Young, Junior and Senior Matildas.
When asking a handful of these players what their experience was like at CUA, they describe it as a vital chapter, that helped them achieve their goals.
Expressions of Interest to trial for CUA are still open and can be found here.
Since 2014, Hawker synthetic has become a second home of mine. As a young footballer, it was very exciting to be involved in a program which provided me the opportunity to grow in both a supportive and challenging environment. Being surrounded by players, coaches and staff who are passionate about football has helped me develop my interpersonal skills and strengthened my love for the game. As a 9-year-old, I saw CUA as a place of growth. But now, as a 16-year-old, it’s much more than that. CUA has provided the stepping stone between my youth and professional career. While fostering both the tactical and technical skills allowing me to compete at youth competitions like NYC and NTC, as well as at national team camps, at the end of the day, CUA is a family. Therefore, after watching countless Canberra United games at McKellar Park, it has been really rewarding to be part of the CU environment knowing that my passion for the game grew at the academy. CUA is a pathway for young players, but it is also an inspiring and motivating community to be a part of.
I grew up playing in Canberra, starting off with Gungahlin United at a young age and then progressing into the Capital Football SAP program. I represented the ACT in the PSSA squads in my youth. From Capital Football I was selected into ACTAS / Canberra United Academy. During this time, I participated in the National Youth Championships and also the National Training Centre Challenge (NTC) for the ACT. From there, I was fortunate enough to be selected into the Westfield U17’s Young Matilda’s squad for the AFC championship qualifiers in Melaka, Malaysia. I then moved up to Sydney to play in the Women’s NPL1 competition. My career highlights to date would probably be playing for the Young Matildas and travelling playing in tournaments overseas. It has always been a goal of mine to represent my home town.
I graduated from the Canberra United Academy in 2019 and from there, signed with Canberra United. CUA set me up, leading up to selection into the A-League Women’s. They pushed us to be better, encouraged us to do conditioning sessions, they made us work hard all the time. With CUA, it’s also such a great opportunity to be coached by an A-Leagues coach. Vicki [Linton] has set out some good ground rules; you have to be at training on time, you have to wear certain uniforms. It sets quite a good standard ahead of entering the professional environment.
CUA set up a good foundation for me as a player. I was part of the Academy for two years before moving to Adelaide. Being a part of the Canberra United Academy, we would always watch the Canberra United games. We had some girls in the Academy who were also in and out of Canberra United, training and playing so they were always girls we looked up to. The environment and atmosphere at the games has always been incredible. The support and unity you feel is like nothing else, and it has always been something I wanted to be a part of.