Chloe Logarzo inspires new generation of Matildas

(Original article posted May 24, 2018 4:00 PM via maitlandmercury.com.au, © 2018)

Superlatives such as amazing, incredible and unbelievable regularly punctuate Australian football star Chloe Logarzo’s answers to questions after a training session with girls from the Lochinvar Rovers.

“It’s amazing to see how many girls are here tonight,” the Matildas midfielder who spent two seasons with the Newcastle Jets said.

“It’s so unbelievable to know that when I have kids or these girls right now can aspire to be professional female athletes and footballers.”

Logarzo is living the football dream, travelling the world making a living playing the game she has loved since she was a child.

For her the path was through an all-boys team, in an all-boys competition and the good fortune to be spotted by a talent scout and given an opportunity to play in the NPL girls competition in Sydney.

The young girls at Lochinvar have their own all-girl teams and they are part of an exciting development program which has seen the club become the first in Australia with its Level 3 FFA National Club Accreditation.

“It’s great to be able to tell my story to these girls and make them realise how much of the world they can see as I’ve already played soccer in 14 countries and as I said lived and played in three,” she said.

“To be part of such an iconic team and historic team as the Matildas that’s taken female sport above and beyond what it has been it’s incredible.

“I’m so amazingly proud to be part of it and hopefully it’s a legacy that these girls can carry on.

“Not that long ago it was never thought that we could have a full-time career and make a living out of football.

“That these girls have the opportunities to do that is incredible and inspiring.

“Three years ago we were on less than you would receive through Centrelink.”

Many of the girls shared their excitement with Logarzo about taking the field during Australia’s 3-2 win over Brazil in front of a record crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium in September last year.

“It was amazing, I played for Newcastle for two years and to be able to go back to the stadium where I played and almost sell it out to play for my national team is an unbelievable feeling,” Logarzo said.

“Some of the the girls have already told me that they were there on the night.

One of the best parts of her role as a technical director is to be able to identify stars of the future.

“I’m very excited about one of the girls I saw here today. I can’t wait to talk to and her parents and ask what she wants to do with her football.

“She’s dressed in an all-white Real Madrid kit, so I think it’s pretty clear that she wants to play football.”

Not that different from a young Logarzo whose prized possesions were a LA Galaxy jersey with David Beckham’s number on it and a 2006 world cup football.

“I was a massive (David) Beckham fan, so I had an LA Galaxy jersey,” she said.

“I remember my dad giving it to me one year. He put it inside a massive box along with a 2006 world cup ball. It was the year Italy won I was so excited I slept it with two weeks straight.

“I still have it. That ball has never touched the ground.”

Logarzo is on track to experience a World Cup of her own later this year, however, first is Australia’s defence of the Tournament of Nations in July.

They will be two more career highlights to add to her appearance in green and gold at the 2016 Olympics.

“It was one of the biggest highlights in my career,” she said.

“I’m only 23 and to be able to think about when I sat on the floor watching the athletes at the Olympics and thinking this is what I want to do and then two years ago standing in the stadium surrounded by thousands and thousands of people at the closing ceremony it was an unbelievable feeling.”