Congratulations Tameka Yallop, who's goal was voted by you as the Cadbury Dairy Milk Moment & a Half of the Match!
It's been a whirlwind 18 months for Yallop. “Am I doing enough right now?” was a question that ran through Yallop’s mind constantly. The Matildas were meeting for their first training camp in 400 days, under new coach Tony Gustavsson, and Tameka would not join them. She was at a crossroad in her career. For the first time she was without a club to represent and was mentally struggling from her exclusion from the camp.
Yallop knew she had one opportunity to impress if she ever got back in camp and one chance to convince Gustavsson she was an asset needed in Tokyo. Tameka was training by herself in New Zealand as she eagerly awaited the arrival of her daughter. She would eventually sign for Brisbane Roar at the beginning of the W-League 2020/21 season and knew this was her moment to impress the newly appointed coaching staff.
Tameka was at a pinnacle moment in her life, welcoming new baby Harley with her wife Kirsty. However, she still had a lingering pressure to keep pushing herself in training to get back to her best and secure a ticket to her second Olympic Games.
Her chance back in camp would finally come when she was called in for the June friendlies with Denmark and Sweden. Tameka knew she still had work to do once back in camp to prove herself. “I knew that it was going to be like a pressure cooker,” she said.
Her hard work in camp was rewarded with a spot in the Starting XI against Denmark and then in the Sweden game. Her performance in these two friendlies proved to Gustavsson she was a versatile player, playing in both defensive and attacking position. Tameka was ecstatic with her inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 squad: “It’s a pretty proud moment, and thank God I stuck in there”.
Yallop was given the opportunity to represent her country at her second Olympic Games, and she relished at the opportunity to play New Zealand in the opening match. Her moment to shine would come in the 20th minute, blasting home the opening goal. The celebration to follow was everything to Yallop and her teammates, it inculpated her 18 months of struggle in a single moment in time.