When Shadeene Evans started playing soccer aged nine in remote Borroloola, she didn’t imagine that just a few years later, some would be tipping her to one day represent Australia.
Young Marra woman Shadeene was representing the Northern Territory junior women’s team by age 12 and was playing at the 2015 U/17s Girls National Challenge in Canberra when Matilda’s coach Alen Stajcic noticed her enormous talent.
She was recommended into the New South Wales Institute of Sport Girls’ Football Program at Sydney’s Westfields Sports High School, a pathway to Young Matilda’s representation.
Shadeene says her love of the game is her motivation to get a good education and excel in her field.
“Moving from Borroloola to Sydney was very different and so much busier than what I was used to,” Shadeene said.
“But I have fit in well here and I’m enjoying school and the soccer program. My education is very important to me - as important as soccer.”
Shadeene’s continuing great form led to her selection in a junior Matildas team that played in the United States in November 2016. While we can expect to see Shadeene join fellow Indigenous Australian Kyah Simon in the Matildas side soon, Shadeene is grounded in her future ambitions.
“When I finish school I want to go to university to study nursing, I want to be able to encourage and show other Indigenous children that gaining a good education is important and will make life better,” said Shadeene.