Search:



Indiah: "I hope I can honour being a Matilda"

Posted: 4pm 13 Apr 2021

Indiah-Paige Riley says she still “cannot quite believe” she is a Westfield Matilda – eight years after her football career began at The Lakes FC and Moreton Bay United.

The 19-year-old forward made her senior Australian international debut in Germany on Monday, becoming the 207th Matilda as she went on as a substitute for Caitlin Foord.

“Caitlin said ‘congrats’ as she came off … that’s when it sank in,” said Riley, a former Murrumba State Secondary College student.

Indiah-Paige Riley, centre in blue top, during the Matildas warm-up in Germany.

So crazy

Twenty-four hours after that moment Riley told Football Australia: “It’s actually so crazy. I still cannot quite believe it.

"The support and messages I have received have been overwhelming.

“It really does mean a lot. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m so grateful to be here and given the opportunity surrounded by such great athletes … and even better people.

“It’s an honour to be a Westfield Matilda. I hope I can honour everything that comes with it.”

Indiah (number 12) in the team group before making her Matildas' debut on Monday.

'You're on'

Riley was told by Matildas’ Assistant Coach Mel Andreatta, who she played for at Brisbane Roar, that her moment had arrived.

“Mel told me ‘look at set pieces, you’re going on’,” recalls Riley, “I thought, okay .... and then she said ‘you’re on’.

“Seeing my number up on that (stadium) board …. it was surreal. It takes you back to all the sacrifices you have made - and my parents made - for me. It means a lot.

“I couldn’t wait to get out there. I had to run to the other side of the pitch, so I had a few moments get ready for what Germany was going to bring.

Indiah-Paige Riley, fourth from left, at The Lakes FC with current Moreton Bay United captain Jess Dillon, orange shirt.

Just relax

“Once over there I was like … okay, now it’s time, now it’s time. You’ve worked hard for this. Just relax, be confident and do everything right!”

The Matildas went down 5-2 in the international friendly, but Riley was right alongside forward Emily Gielnik as she scored both Australian goals in Weisbaden.

It was a far cry from the day in 2013 when she swapped rugby for football and joined The Lakes FC helping the club win the Under 12 Division Three Premiership.

Moreton Bay United Women's coach David Da Silva, after signing rising star Laini Freier for 2021. David coached Indiah for three years at the Roar/NTC. Laini was a teammate of Indiah's in the United team which won the 2016 Premiership.

Premiership

After two years Riley joined Moreton Bay United in the state-level NPL helping them win the Under 15 Premiership in 2016 with 31 goals in 22 games.

David Da Silva, the current head coach of Moreton Bay United’s Women, coached Riley for the following three years in the Brisbane Roar Youth and NTC programs.

“She has always been a great kid,” said Da Silva, “always trying to improve and get better. You could see her quality when she came into the program.

Indiah-Paige Riley in her Moreton Bay United strip after helping win the 2015 NPL Premiership with 31 goals.

Quick and ruthless

“Indiah’s very quick and ruthless. Not the biggest player, but very athletic and works hard, really hard.

“I think age is on her side and I really look forward to seeing how she progresses from here.”

Riley made her debut for Brisbane Roar’s W-League team at 16 and last year signed a three-year contract with Danish side Fortuna Hjooring, playing 11 times and scoring three goals.

Indiah-Paige Riley in action for Brisbane Roar

Big decision

“The biggest decision was probably to leave my family at 18 and pursue a career in Denmark,” she says.

“To experience new things and overcome new challenges has been tremendous in my personal growth.

“I have to do my own grocery shopping, I have to walk to and from the shops, I have to be responsible for myself!

"I think it was what I needed to grow as a person.”

Indiah-Paige Riley's next challenge will come in Nijmegen on Wednesday when the Westfield Matildas face The Netherlands in another international friendly.

Indiah at Fortuna Hjorring after making the big move to Europe.

There's more news here

Share

Trending

Ready for big kick-off in Caboolture

Teams, players, officials and supporters from across Queensland are converging on Caboolture this week for the 2021 First Nations Indigenous Football Cup.…

Events are back sparking Easter festival spending boon

Crowds at this year’s Festival of Sails event immediately returned to pre-pandemic levels, with 30,000 people flocking to Suttons Beach to celebrate Easter. The event also brought a welcome boost to the local economy.…

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   19-8-2022  •   Nick Crockford

Safety work finished at busy intersection

Safety improvements at the Anzac Ave/Victoria Ave/Recreation St intersection in Redcliffe are now complete.…

Local News   •   19-8-2022  •   Jodie Powell

Taste the magic of Moreton Bay at Food + Wine Festival

Celebrity chef Manu Feildel is visiting the Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival for the first time - and he was blown away by its scale and setting when he arrived for the first day today. Find out why...…

Local News   •   19-8-2022  •   Ashleigh Howarth

iPlay to open new arcade at busy Moreton Bay shopping centre

Whether you’re old school and love classic games like air hockey and pinball, or are a fan of virtual reality simulators, there will be something for you at a family entertainment centre coming to the Moreton Bay Region.…

Local News   •   19-8-2022  •   Nick Crockford

Tom and Christine celebrate 70 years

Nothing was going to stop Bolton Clarke Inverpine aged care residents Tom and Christine Hooper from celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary together last month.…

Local News   •   19-8-2022  •   Kylie Knight

Call to help boost youth housing

The community is being urged to support Chameleon Housing’s bid to open a second share house for young people needing emergency accommodation. A major fundraising effort is now underway. Here’s how you can help…

Local News   •   19-8-2022  •   Nick Crockford

No boat? No problem for new Dragons

Dragons Abreast Pumicestone, the newest members of Dragons Abreast Australia (DAA), may not have a boat, but it’s not stopping them launching their first fundraiser.…

Close