At fourteen years old, most of us are only just beginning to find our way in the world. High school has still barely begun, algebra is still new, and driving is still years away.
Young Matilda Rosie McMahon, meanwhile, is already inspiring the next generation. She can’t even visit her local club Currimundi United Football Club without being swarmed by youngsters asking for signatures!
“I have represented my country and not many people in the world will get to experience that,” she said.
“To have these girls run up and ask for a signature makes me delighted that they are so interested and excited to play football.”
When she is not signing autographs or honing her football skills at QAS, McMahon also plays cricket for her state, and finds time for futsal as well.
She speaks glowingly about the role that football has played in her life since starting in 2014, aged 6.
“Football is simply competing and having loads of fun with your friends and teammates,” she explained.
“I love playing football. It has enabled me to make life friends that I have met through football and am still playing with today.”
Football has taught her values that she will carry with her for life.
“Playing football has taught me an endless list of values,” she said.
“Determination. Grit. Passion. If it weren’t for those three simple words, I would never have made it to where I am today.
“There are two things that have shaped me as a person – my parents and football. Football is my outlet away from school, away from my other life, and I am so thankful that I began playing at such a young age.”
Like so many players and fans, McMahon can’t wait to see the CommBank Matildas play at the Women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand in July and August this year.
“I’m looking forward to being able to watch the Matildas live in Australia,” she said.
“I have tickets to a few games and can’t wait to watch Australia play.
“I hope that having the Matildas and all the other top women’s teams from around the world playing here in our World Cup will inspire young girls to start playing football, and to come out and support them.”
If her trajectory so far is anything to go by, those young girls may one day be watching her play in the green and gold.