Hawkins' football philosophy

Australian born Welsh international Carys Hawkins believes the greatest thing about football is the feeling of improvement but is determined not to let it dictate her life.

Australian born Welsh international Carys Hawkins believes the greatest thing about football is the feeling of improvement but is determined not to let it dictate her life.

Hawkins epitomises one who excels in pursuits away from the round ball, complimented by her belief that no matter what amount of money she earned from football, this would not impede her interests away from the game.

Having played in the Swedish League for several years now, her willingness to embrace another culture sees her now reaping rewards. Her football has improved and experiencing life immersed in a different society has only complimented her well rounded self.

In an interview upon making her debut for Wales, Hawkins reflects on her colourful football journey and the future that lies ahead.

Q. Where did you first begin playing football?

A. In Perth, at Wembley Downs Football club. Dad was a big influence - he-s from Belfast and an avid Manchester United fan.

Q. When did you first decide that playing elite football was your desire?

A. It-s always something that I wanted to do, but I was only able to really pursue it once I finished Uni. I set goals in football and athletics and I was overly competitive in general.

Q. What are your interests away from the round ball?

A. I like surfing and cycling. I also work at a bike shop and I studied law at Murdoch University.

Q. An interesting question often posed- If we could earn more money from football, would you still study? Would you?

A. Absolutely, the decision to study wasn-t based on providing a ‘fall-back-plan-, rather, I was interested in it. Even if I made more money with football I can-t see how it would impede my other interests.

Q. In February this year you debuted for Wales at the Algarve Cup. How did that opportunity come about?

A. The coach contacted me in February, after my details were passed on through Carly Telford to Jess Fishlock, (the Welsh Captain). I sent some footage and once my availability was finalised I was invited to the Algarve.

Q. I remember you attending several camps for the Young Matildas, did it feel odd playing for another country or did you feel at home?

A. I only went to a few so I don-t think I was there long enough to feel part of it, as anyone would feel only being part of a team for a very short space of time. So, when I started playing for Wales, I was kindly welcomed which made the transition to the new team easy, I didn-t ever feel out of place.

What was the greatest feeling you had whilst running around on the pitch playing for Wales?

A. When I first came on in the win against Mexico, I just thought ‘I-m an international footballer-. It felt good. I-m only had a few games so far, but that is the highlight to date.

Q. You have played for Perth Glory since the establishment of the Westfield W-League. Do you have intentions to return here come the end of the year?

A. I-m not too sure. There are some games for Wales for WC qualifiers later in the year, so I-ll have to see.

You have had a couple of seasons over in Sweden, what appeals to you about the country and their domestic league?

A. Sweden is really interesting; the people I-ve encountered are mostly kind and passive. I feel the society has a lot of control especially demonstrated through the uniformity within each region; I-ve not experienced anything like it before. In regards to football, the tempo is very high, and games are always a fight and are tough. Training is hard and there-s no room to bludge. I like the professionalism and the commitment that both the clubs and fellow players have.

How does the Swedish League compare to the W-League?

A. Its bigger and as such I think there-s a lot more diversity in the players. It-s technical and very high tempo in general.

What first made you want to play professional in another country?

A. I just wanted to keep playing football and the W-league was only 10 weeks or so, so I had to go overseas. I obviously miss my friends and family but I-ve settled in a lot more now which helps with the homesickness, so it-s not so bad.