Spotlight On: Sally James

In Round 2 of the CommBank Young Matildas' Spotlight On series, we catch up with 'keeper, Sally James, who gives us some insight into her transformation from quiet and goofy to strong authority between the sticks.

Q1: Tell us about your football journey?

A: My junior football club was Majura Football Club back home in Canberra and I started playing football when I was five. My mum put me into the team after a lot of her friends put their kids into the team.

We're not a sporting family, so it's a bit random that I ended up playing a sport but now I'm with Blacktown Football Club.

Q2: Why 'keeping?

A: At first, I was a nine, I was a striker. Back then, we'd score goals but also let them in, so I thought maybe I could do something about it. I chucked on the gloves one night for fun, it was raining, I was diving around in the mud, but never looked back.

Sally James in the gym
Sally James training with the CommBank Young Matildas in Mexico. (Photo: Ann Odong / Football Australia)

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Q3: How did you make your way into the CommBank Young Matildas?

A: I had been a train-on with Canberra United and one day got a call from Leah (Blayney) asking if I wanted to come up and join the Future Matildas Program, so I moved to Sydney and started training and playing games in the NPLW for Illawarra Stingrays.

From there, I was identified and brought into the Young Matildas.

Q4: How would you describe your playing style?

A: I like to be quite loud and instruct the players around me. I like to get the ball at my feet, especially recently as I've been learning to play out from the back and find options up the top, create attacking chances... Of course, also, to save as many shots as possible.

Melbourne City goalkeeper Sally James gestures during the A-League Womens Preliminary Final match between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park, on March 20, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Q5: How would you describe yourself off the pitch?

A: Probably a bit goofy, a bit silly, haha. I think I used to be quite quiet but I've come out of my shell a lot. 

Q6: What's your footballing goal or dream?

A: Hopefully to play overseas and make the National Team one day, but also to just keep having fun. As you get older, the standards and expectations, of course, are going to increase, but I want to make sure I never lose my love for the game.