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Everyone wants to jump

If Sam Kerr didn’t already believe she had become a household name Casey Cizikas Authentic Jersey this year, there came a moment in September when there could be no denying it. The Matildas had arrived triumphantly back on home shores, having swept aside USA, Brazil and Japan at the inaugural Tournament of Nations. In Penrith, and then Newcastle, they appeared to a heroes’ welcome, with record home crowds waiting to greet their newfound champions.

In the Pepper Stadium crowd, a male fan, Richard Cuthbert, was spotted sporting a Socceroos jersey with Lucas Neill’s name crossed out and replaced in tape with “Kerr”. Cuthbert had also added a ‘0’ to Neill’s No2 to make Kerr’s No20. The image of this glorious gendered role reversal made its way to Kerr via Twitter, where she retweeted it, eventually tracking Cuthbert down to gift him her own jersey at the next game in Newcastle.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to find this guy,’ not thinking that anything would come of it, just showing how cool it was,” Kerr tells Guardian Australia at the end of a hugely successful year. “[But] someone got a hold of it and sorted it out. I got to meet him and give him tickets to the game.
“He said he couldn’t buy the Matildas jersey with my name on it, that’s why he did it. It was a really cool moment for both of us, I think.”
There is no descriptor too hyperbolic for the year the 24-year-old has had. 2017 will go down as the year Kerr earned the kind of wider recognition very few female footballers have achieved. Some have even touted her as the best in the world – a claim clearly Womens T.J. Ward Jersey in the ballpark after she was named in the women’s world team of the year in mid-December. Earlier in the month she also added the title of Asian footballer of the year to a résumé chock full of such accolades.
When put to her that no less than 91 countries voted for her spot Jason Taylor Authentic Jersey in the world team, Kerr is characteristically humble. “I don’t love talking about myself,” she says, laughing. “But it’s obviously a huge honour. I didn’t know 91 countries had voted. I’ve heard most people are pretty Womens Rhett Ellison Jersey happy with the team, which is quite unusual in the women’s game when there’s a vote.”
Kerr was embroiled in a voting controversy of her own this year, missing out on the three-person shortlist for Fifa women’s player of the year. The omission drew no shortage of negative press; beating Kerr was a teenage student who had not represented her country at senior level. But despite outrage from fans and team-mates on social media, Kerr says the oversight did not faze her.
“I didn’t expect to be in the top three, and I think that’s why it didn’t bother me so much,” she says. “I’ve seen so many people angry at the system, so I wasn’t going to hold my breath. Once you get excited, that’s when you get disappointed.
“But honestly, it just motivates me more. I don’t think people respect the Matildas enough and there’s so many of our players who could be in contention for world player of the year – so it just motivates all of us, really.”
Kerr is acutely aware of what an incredible year it has been for the Matildas, both in terms of their achievements on-field, and the unforeseen levels of public attention they have garnered off it.

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