Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Interview with Vicki Linton, Tasmanian Institute of Sport women's football coach

Photos (Top to Bottom): TIS Australian under-14 representative Jessie Williams shows her juggling skills; Tasmanian Institute of Sport women's coach, Vicki Linton

Alex Johnston, of Southern Cross Television, and I interviewed women’s football coach at the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, Vicki Linton, on Monday, 6 July 2009.

Here is the complete transcript of the interview:

Alex Johnston: We’ve uncovered a real bright star here in Jessie [Williams]?

Vicki Linton: Yes. It’s really exciting. She’s done so well with the under-14 national team in Vietnam. I think her future is pretty bright.

AJ: To play representative football at this level and to dominate must be a good sign?

VL: Yeah, definitely. It’s the first time Australia has fielded an under-14 national team in these Asian competitions, so it was our first look at where we sit. We did very well as a country and Jessie’s done very well as an individual.

AJ: I guess it’s only early days in her football development, but is as a goalscorer where she’ll play her best football?

VL: Yeah. She’s very clinical in front of goal. She’s also very creative and is able to make goals for others as well. But, she’s got a deadly finish.

AJ: So you think up front is where she’s going to play most of her footie?

VL: It depends on her size in some ways and on the format or system of play that the coaches adopt. But, she’s comfortable anywhere within the front three, or even in behind. She plays as the attacking midfielder and I think a lot of her goals came from there.

AJ: How does the TIS now work to make sure that she gets the best out of her ability?

VL: She’s the youngest player within our squad, so at present she’s still pushed and challenged by our squad. In the future, it may mean doing a few other things for her, but at this stage it’s all going well.

Walter Pless: What’s her next step now? She can’t stay in Tasmania, can she?

Vicki Linton: That’s a good one, Walter. She’s in year 8 at the moment, so it’s early days yet. We’ll see what the next steps are.

WP: But there would be a possibility when she’s a bit older to join an A-League women’s side?

VL: Yeah, the W-League. There’s an age limit on that. They have to be 16 years in the W-League.

WP: You said she’s the youngest in the squad. There are other very talented players in that squad. What national opportunities do they have? Are there other age groups?

VL: Yep, there’s the under-17s and under-20s. We don’t have anyone in that squad as yet, so they’re going to the nationals next week where the possibility of them being identified for the national teams can occur.
WP: Vicki, you have gained an honour as a coach, haven’t you, at a national level?

VL: Yes. I’m the assistant coach with the under-16, under-17 national team and we’re going through our Asian qualifiers or championships in November, which act as the World Cup qualifiers. That’s a nice honour and it’s an enjoyable squad to work with. We’ve got quite a talented squad there.

WP: That’ll take you away from Tassie for a while?

VL: What we do have is four-day camps about every month and the tournament at the end of the year will be a week to two weeks.

WP: Are there any Tassie players on the fringes of any of those squads?

VL: No, not at this point.

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