Exciting time for goalie
By PAUL CHAMBERS
IT IS not only the Socceroos who head overseas to further their football skills and career, the up and coming female players of the game are doing the same.
Erin Herd, a former Orara High School student, has achieved two of her dreams and is setting off to fulfill them both within two hectic weeks.
On Friday the talented goalkeeper heads to a training camp with the Young Matildas, the Australian National Team for the U20's, at the AIS in Canberra.
The following Monday her whole life will change when she flies to the US to start a four year degree, studying a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training at Central Conneticut State University.
Her football prowess has earned her a full scholarship to the university.
The huge benefit of this for her football training is that her coach in the United States is a goalkeeper himself and the best goalkeeping coach in the country, so her own game will reap the rewards.
"My coach is the best keeping coach in the States so I will learn heaps from him that I would not have been able to learn had I chosen a different uni," Herd said.
At such a big stage of her career, Herd finds the whole situation at present very exciting and feels she is being looked after very well at home and in the United States.
"I am really excited at the moment."
Being involved with the young Matilda's is just amazing but it could have been a problem retaining my place in the squad with the timing of me going to the States."
"Both the coaches at the Matilda's and over in the US have been so helpful to me and have sorted it out so that I can study for four month stints over there then come back here and take part in a squad sessions."
Her ultimate goal in football is to play for the Matildas in a Women's World Cup and the road to this goal will hopefully start with her inclusion in the U20's squad at the Youth World Cup in Russia in 2006.
The other option open to Herd is the very lucrative one of playing pro football in the States once she has finished her studies.
"United States women's soccer is amazing because the government pumped in loads of money to make it the same for women as American Football is for the men, so playing pro football there afterwards is definitely an option," she said.
"It is way too early to speak about that yet, I just want to enjoy myself and my football right now and assess the State of US soccer and soccer in Australia when I finish and make up my mind then what I want to do."