Matildas star Kyah Simon is seeking to create an avenue for promising Indigenous female footballers in the hope of unearthing future national and W-League stars.
By
Greg Prichard

24 Jan 2017 - 3:43 PM  UPDATED 24 Jan 2017 - 3:43 PM

Simon, who plays for W-League side Sydney FC, has been running her self-established football clinics for young females in north-western Sydney for almost a year now and already she is looking to branch out.

Her aim is to make it possible for young females from remote indigenous communities to make trips to Sydney to take part in the clinics at Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood.

Simon said that as a player of indigenous heritage herself it is a cherished ambition.

"What I want to do with my clinics is incorporate an Indigenous scholarship program," Simon told The World Game.

"It's very much a thought at the moment, I need to find some people or organisations that will help me get it across the line, but the aim will be to provide five scholarships for females in indigenous remote communities and then they can come in and attend the two-day clinics.

"That's definitely an aspect I want to incorporate into the clinics, it's just a matter of finding the right people to help make that work."

Simon staying in Australia to fix shoulder problems
Matildas and Sydney FC star Kyah Simon said she decided to withdraw from the second year of her contract at Boston Breakers because of the need to freshen up and possibly clear the way for a shoulder reconstruction.

And to make it work Simon will need not only financial backerd but also key contacts in the remote communities who can be her eyes and ears.

"I can't physically be there to select the girls because of my own football commitments, so whether that's the local association, or the clubs, or independent contacts, something along the lines of that, but that's definitely an avenue I want to explore," she said.

"I'm passionate about my background and helping the Indigenous community. If I can do it that way I think it would definitely open up a whole new window of opportunity for young Indigenous girls."

Simon has so far been juggling her clinics with her Matildas, W-League and US National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) commitments.

She decided to opt out of the second year of her Boston Breakers contract and not return for this year's NWSL, starting in April, to give herself the opportunity to freshen up and possibly have a shoulder reconstruction.

The 25-year-old hopes staying home this year will help her build on the impressive growth her clinics have seen in such a short time.

"I'm really pleased to see how far it has grown, short of a year, so I really hope I can continue to promote that growth," she said.

"Now, being home for a whole year, I plan to run two or three clinics every school holidays and I'm possibly looking at doing a weekly academy thing as well, so there are a few things in the works.

"I hope they can grow to be something great."

Indigenous football community taking ownership and leading the way
The most important part of the inaugural National Indigenous Football Championships is that it was organic, real, came from the community itself and is, unlike many programs past, sustainable.

Simon said the idea for the Kyah Simon Football Clinics (KSFC) came to her after she had been "brain-storming" for a while to try to come up with ways of giving back to the game.

"I wanted to establish a platform from which I could send a positive message to young females who play the game or are interested in getting involved in the game and what better way than hands-on with football clinics," she said.

"Football is something I'm passionate about and something I live, eat and breathe, and I provide holiday football clinics for two days for females aged eight to 18 of any ability.

"They come in and hopefully learn some great football skills and techniques and I have a Q and A and chat to the girls and their parents.

"I hope to empower and inspire them to believe they can wear a Matildas jersey one day or just excel in any area of their life that they choose.

"A huge thing is self-belief and self-confidence for young females, so between the coaches and myself we create an environment in which the girls can feel comfortable and hopefully really flourish.

"A lot of them play in male-dominated teams, so to be able to come in and rub shoulders with other girls who are aspiring to reach greater heights allows them to walk away with a new sense of confidence and belief."