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Sophie Harding burst out laughing when she heard she was a Matilda, however she needed to preserve it a secret at work


Sophie Harding was at work on February 14 when she received a Valentine’s Day reward like no different — a life-changing textual content.

It was from Matildas assistant coach Melissa Andreatta, asking Harding to name her.

When she is just not enjoying within the A-league, the Western Sydney Wanderers striker works as a incapacity assist employee.

“My shoppers know I play soccer, so I advised them I used to be going to go exterior to make a name,” Harding advised ABC sport.


As she sat on a kerb in pouring rain throughout a 10-hour shift, Andreatta broke the information to Harding that she was being known as as much as the Matildas camp for the primary time.

The 24-year-old had missed out when the 23-player squad was named per week earlier, however was advised to e book her ticket to Dubai to coach for the Olympic qualifiers towards Uzbekistan after Cortnee Vine withdrew for private causes.

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“I burst out laughing as a result of I used to be shocked. Then I used to be teary,” Sophie mentioned.

Other than telling her mum Tracy and Western Sydney coach Robbie Hooker, Harding needed to comprise her pleasure till the official announcement a day later.

“I had to return to work and attempt to be regular, which was very exhausting after getting data like that,” she mentioned.

Her mom was equally ecstatic and shocked.

“I burst out laughing too,” Tracy Harding mentioned.

“Sophie makes us proud on a regular basis, however that is subsequent degree.”

Bittersweet second

Sophie’s father Nick handed away after a prolonged battle with most cancers in July 2021, and Tracy mentioned receiving the information of their daughter’s nationwide call-up was “a bittersweet second” for the close-knit household.

“Your first ideas are ‘if solely he had lived to see this.’ However I believe he at all times knew,” she mentioned.

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“When Sophie’s dad handed, she used that emotion to push herself extra,” she added.

“She’s labored exhausting and deserves this.”

The Harding household migrated to Australia from England when Sophie was 5 years previous, and he or she was already kicking a soccer.

“I have been enjoying since I used to be 4, operating round in a boys’ group in England,” she mentioned.

“Dad was the rationale I began enjoying soccer, I actually had no selection.”

In line with Tracy, he was a “full-on soccer dad”.

“You’ll see him on the sidelines, pushing her whereas I used to be the one reassuring her,” she mentioned.

Sophie mentioned her dad stays her muse and he or she nonetheless channels him on the sphere.

Sophie Harding points to the sky with both index fingers after an A-League Women goal for Western Sydney Wanderers.

Harding can usually be seen pointing to the heavens after a aim for the Wanderers.(Getty Photos: Will Russell)

“It is loopy, however mum and I’ve had so many indicators that he is round watching,” Sophie mentioned.

“I nonetheless really feel his presence, which is usually troublesome, however I do know that he can be leaping for pleasure.”

Taking part in consultant soccer from the age of 12, Sophie received her first break within the A-League Ladies in 2020 with Newcastle earlier than becoming a member of the Wanderers two years later.

She sits equal third within the 2023/24 golden boot standings, with 9 objectives from 16 video games this season, trailing chief and now-fellow Matilda Michelle Heyman by three.

A spot within the Olympics

Australia performs a two-legged conflict towards Uzbekistan for a spot on the 2024 Paris Olympic Video games, with the primary match happening on February twenty fourth in Tashkent and the second in Melbourne on February twenty eighth.


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