With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ commencing, we set our sights on our star players who are set to take the field. This week, we take a look at Matildas attacking midfielder Tameka Yallop (nee Butt).
From a young age, where she was the youngest child in a large family, Tameka Yallop was primed to excel in a team sport. Born in Orange, New South Wales, Yallop and her family moved to the Gold Coast for family reasons when she was five. It was there that she began to play football as a six-year-old.
From the very beginning she thrived in the team environment that came with the sport. From the age of six all the way through to Under 13's she played with the boys and occasionally the open aged women. Playing alongside and against the boys allowed her to build on her aggression and competitive edge from the very start.
A move to the Queensland Academy of Sport then followed, before Yallop made her debut for the Matildas and then joined Brisbane Roar in the W-League as a 16-year-old.
Following a decorated decade playing for Brisbane Roar, Tameka Yallop embarked on a fresh challenge in the Westfield W-League, joining three-time champions Melbourne City ahead of the 2018/19 season. Like teammate and good friend, Elise Kellond-Knight, Yallop completed an internship during her time in Melbourne. Her internship with Seven Consulting came after she completed a double masters degree in business and marketing at Griffith University.
At just 27, the Matildas attacking midfielder has compiled an impressive résumé for both club and country. Her 11-year W-League career, includes over 100 appearances, 52 goals (third on the all-time top scorers list), three premierships, two championships, a league Player’s Player award and a Julie Dolan Medal – awarded to the league’s Player of the Year.
With the Matildas, Yallop has already been to two FIFA Women’s World Cups, three Asian Cups – where the team won the trophy in 2010 – and an Olympic Games. She has earned 79 caps for the national team, netting 10 goals.
She has also proven that she’s a player for the biggest occasion, scoring one of Australia’s most significant goals to date, the match-winner against the USA in the 2017 Tournament of Nations. It was the Aussies first ever win over the side highly fancied to take out this month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and a monumental moment in the Matildas belief heading into the major tournament.
Yallop’s career has seen her travel far and wide, with prior spells in the US, Japan, Sweden and Germany, she is now enjoying her third season in Norway with Klepp, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the midfielder. Having injured both calves at the Olympics, Yallop has built strength and pace back into her game and is now primed to play an important role for her country following a strong maiden season in City blue.
With the ability to score on both feet, you can expect goals, assists, key passes and chances created from the attacker. Yallop will be as determined as ever to add to her already impressive tally in the green and gold as she looks to help her country achieve the ultimate goal.