From Moreton Bay to world stage

Published 1:30pm 5 July 2023

From Moreton Bay to world stage
Words by Nick Crockford

The world awaits for Teagan Micah, Cortnee Vine and Indiah-Paige Riley – three former Moreton Bay residents who are about to step onto one of football’s greatest stages.

All three lived and went to school in the Moreton Bay Region. Vine and Riley played junior club football here, Micah for her high school and in Brisbane.

But their focus is now on the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals, hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20-August 20.

Micah and Vine were named in the Australian Matildas' squad on Monday. Riley was in New Zealand’s Football Ferns’ squad unveiled on Friday.

However, their paths to the showpiece World Cup Finals have been very different.

Teagan Micah, centre, on her Matildas debut against Sweden in June 2021 alongside captain Sam Kerr and Clare Polkinghorne.

Micah started at Brisbane Blue and Brisbane Centre before going to the QAS, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney. Stints in the US, Norway and Sweden followed.

It was in Sweden late last year the former Redcliffe State High School student suffered “major concussion” in making a brave save while playing for FC Rosengard.

After six months on the sidelines, Micah posted on Instagram last month: “I don’t think words can express the journey I’ve been on.

“I spent about two months struggling to get through a normal day and found myself bed bound for most of it,” the 25-year-old wrote.

“From not being able to even go on walks to feeling so nauseous and dizzy with chronic headaches after training, I struggled so much with the idea of ever being able to play professional football again.”

Thankfully, Micah has recovered in time for the World Cup and said she now “can’t wait to keep pushing and see where the next few months take me!”

Before the injury she was making a strong case to be the Matildas’ first-choice keeper starring at the Olympics - losing the bronze medal play-off - and collecting 14 caps.

Cortnee Vine pictured above bottom row second left, went to Clontarf Beach State High School and played in the Under 12-16 junior teams at Peninsula Power before joining QAS.

A year later the winger was snapped up by Brisbane Roar. At 18 she joined Heidelberg United in the Victorian NPL and at 19 signed for A-League Newcastle.

Vine, now 25, went to Sydney FC three years later winning the 2020-21 Premiership and made her Matildas debut in January 2022 against the Philippines.

But, shortly after that suffered a serious knee injury (medial ligament). Thankfully, she has come back strong this year and scored a stunning goal against Spain recently.

“After I got my first selection in the Matildas and got a few appearances at the Asian Cup, it kind of went crazy after that. I had a lot of overseas offers,” Vine told ABC News.

“To be part of the Matildas and go into a camp, that had been one of my goals since I was 15. And then to tick it off…”

Indiah-Paige Riley training at Brisbane Roar last season.

Indiah-Paige Riley, an ex-Murrumba State Secondary College student, is set for her World Cup Finals debut against Norway in Auckland, where she was born, in the tournament's first fixture.

It’s a “dream come true”, the 21-year-old forward said on Instagram, after switching from the Matildas to Football Ferns last year and winning seven caps … so far.

Riley told the LockerRoom website last month: “The World Cup is the pinnacle of it all in football.

“I’ve been super happy with joining the Ferns and representing my family and me and the black jersey.”

She grew up in New Zealand before crossing the Tasman and joining The Lakes (now North Lakes United) juniors and Moreton Bay United’s Under 15 Premiership winning team.

Riley was snapped up by Brisbane Roar and then Fortuna Hjorring in Denmark’s top flight where she faced mighty Barcelona in the Champions League.

The forward’s international debut came for the Matildas in 2021, but last year Riley switched back to New Zealand, the country she calls home.

Football Ferns' Group A fixtures

New Zealand v Norway
Date:  July 20, 2023
Venue:  Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off Time: 5pm (AEST)

New Zealand v Philippines
Date: July 25, 2023
Venue:  Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off Time: 3.30pm (AEST)

New Zealand v Switzerland
Date: July 30, 2023
Venue:  Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off Time: 5pm (AEST)

Matildas' Group B fixtures

Australia v Republic of Ireland
Date: 20 July 2023
Venue:  Stadium Australia, Sydney/Wangal
Kick-off Time: 8pm (AEST)

Australia v Nigeria
Date: 27 July 2023
Venue: Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane/Meanjin
Kick-off Time: 8pm (AEST)

Canada v Australia
Date: 31 July 2023
Venue: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne/Naarm
Kick-off Time: 8pm (AEST)

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