After earning her first call-up to the CommBank Young Matildas earlier this year, Naomi Chinnama has gradually found her feet with the U20 Women’s National Team.
Playing her A-League Women’s football with Melbourne City, Chinnama is emerging as one of the next generations of defenders and believes her recent exposure to international football – and potentially the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ – will be an important part of her education.
“This is very new for me,” she said. “My first camp was the New Zealand series camp [in April] and getting used to that environment had to happen pretty quick.
“I would say I definitely had to learn how to manage myself, to listen to my body and make sure that I remained disciplined.”
Assisting with the transition from club to international youth football has been a familiar face in her City head coach, Rado Vidošić.
The A-League Women’s championship-winning coach is Leah Blayney’s assistant for this FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup campaign and his presence has helped the 18-year-old settle in over the past couple of months.
“It’s great to have a familiar face. It just makes the environment more comfortable. I do think he brings a wealth of knowledge. He has a ton of experience, and he’s definitely a valuable asset to the team.
“It’s really great working under Leah Blayney. I think she makes us all feel like one big happy team. She knows what she’s doing, and I definitely trust her completely,” she said.
“We go into training feeling like we are nice and prepared. I just really like working under her. Also, the rest of the staff have been really good. I know they don’t get enough credit but behind the scenes they’re phenomenal.”
The CommBank Young Matildas will commence their FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup™ campaign on Thursday, 11 August 2022 at 12.00pm (AEST) against host nation Costa Rica.
All of Australia’s matches will be broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS and SBS On Demand with a full studio broadcast.