Sahily Carrero’s footballing journey started like many others. Growing up in Colombia, her family instilled a love of the game from a young age.
“I fell in love with the game from the time my father took me with him to play soccer,” she recalled.
“I remember when I was six years old and I played my first competition. I was so nervous because I was the only woman in the team, but I enjoyed playing and we won the tournament.”
Carrero joined Fawkner SC in the lead-up to the 2021 season after a work accident led to the loss of her arm. There, she found a community that embraced her – but her time was not without challenges.
“I had to wait until the coach thought it was a good time for me to play, to make the starting 11,” she said.
“It was a big obstacle for me, because I was used to playing – and I had to wait.
“I just had to believe in myself. Even if I have one arm, I have all of the conditions to play.”
For all of the challenges, football has provided lessons that Carrero will take with her for the rest of her life.
“Soccer has given me many life lessons,” she explained.
“One of the more important lessons is to never give up, because everything can change in the last minute. It’s also taught me that when you give your best in life, better things will happen.
“Another life lesson is to enjoy life doing what makes you happy.
“Finally, it’s shown me that I can do anything I want in life. I just need time and practice, and I’ll be the best version of myself.”
To Carrero, football is not just a game. It is a place where she can truly be herself.
“I feel like time stops when I’m playing, and all is much happier,” she said.
“I think soccer is more than a game. Soccer is happiness, freedom and peace for me.”
Like many footballers around the country, Carrero is looking forward to the upcoming Women’s World Cup in July. It’s a unique opportunity to watch the best footballers in the world, right here in Australia.
The World Cup is also an opportunity for Australians with roots elsewhere in the world to barrack for their home team on Australian soil.
“I’m looking forward to watching the opening ceremony and the grand final in Sydney – but I’m most excited to go watch my Colombian team play,” she said.
The most exciting part of all? Women’s football has an enormous ceiling that it is a long way off reaching.
“The most exciting thing for me is seeing how the game is growing,” she explained.
“There are more opportunities for women, and more competitions at a high level.”
Sahily Carrero’s time at Fawkner SC reinforces that football truly is a sport for anyone.
You can find your team for the 2023 season at https://www.playfootball.com.au/.