Player Interview: Servet Uzunlar

Player Interview: Servet Uzunlar

Servet (pictured left) has a glittering CV, being capped 48 times for the Matildas and playing for both Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers in the W-League.

The 28-year-old defender has joined Northern Tigers Women for the remainder of the season. We caught up with Servet to talk to her about her football career and experiences.

How did you first start playing football?

I was the youngest of five siblings, and as a young kid I idolised my brother above me, basically whatever he was doing I just wanted to do. If he was skateboarding I wanted to skateboard, when he started playing football I wanted to play. I lived across the road from a football oval, where my parents still live today, so it was super easy to get involved. When I turned five my mum registered me and I just started playing.

How did you get into the more serious side of football?

I started playing at five and I was one of two girls in the team. I really enjoyed it, I was rather good and I loved playing, so when I was ten I tried out for the Sutherland Sharks rep team. That was mixed but I got in, I was the only girl in that team and basically the whole tournament. I continued playing in that team for under 11s and 12s and I was also starting regularly and word got around I guess, so I got scouted from there to be honest, at age twelve. From there I was put into the pathways as I got older into the Young Matildas and eventually Matildas. I guess Under 11’s, under 12’s was that turning point where I realised I was good enough to make teams and hold my own against the boys.

What is your most memorable football experience?

There’s two that I cannot separate. First was winning the Asian Cup in 2010, that was the first major tournament that the Matildas had ever won. To go to massive tournaments is an achievement in itself but then to win one was massive. It was also my first major tournament so that was amazing. It was in China and we won the final on penalties against North Korea, that was the best feeling I’d ever felt.

From the Asian Cup we qualified for the World Cup in Germany in 2011. Playing in a World Cup is any footballer’s dream, it’s the biggest stage. It was an honour and all my family and siblings came over to watch, so just walking out in front of them and having them there was just fantastic.

How are you enjoying your time with Northern Tigers?

The girls are great, I came to training and it was like I’d been there all season, I felt comfortable and a real part of the team. I knew Heidi (Makrillos) as a familiar face (playing W-League together for Sydney FC) but I’d also played with Jayde and Shayna as well so it was nice to see them there. It’s been fantastic, the club’s wonderful, the coach is great and I really enjoyed my time on the pitch on Sunday.

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