The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off a month to this very day in Edmonton (hopefully without any snow).
With the eyes of the world’s game focusing on Canada for a month or so, we thought we’d get you in the mood with the first of two Canadian Women’s National Team special podcasts that we’ll be bringing your way before the tournament kicks off.
We’ll be talking with a number of different aspects to the CWNT – coaches, players and fans. Kicking things off is head coach John Herdman, who talks a little bit about some of the players announced to his World Cup squad and what the thrills of playing at home will mean to him and the team.
We kick off our chats with the players with our first ever CWNT “Teammates” section, as Emily Zurrer shares some insights and home truths about the team. Who has the worst dress sense? Who’s the most intelligent? And who takes the longest in the shower and in front of the bathroom mirror? All this and more inside info!
One name that cropped up a few times in Emily’s “Teammates” section (and Karina Leblanc’s which you’ll hear in another episode) was midfielder Rhian Wilkinson. Now, I have to admit here, Rhian was my particular favourite player we spoke with for these two podcasts. She was great fun to chat with (not the others weren’t, but we could have chatted with her for way longer than we did!) and we covered a whole host of topics including what playing a World Cup in Canada means to her, the learning process from tournaments past and whether a coaching role is in her plans after she finishes playing.
Away from the playing side we find out about her podcast habits, her childhood without television and playing so many other sports, whose Panini sticker she carried around and we try and get her to write for us here at AFTN (the offer of which is still open Rhi!!).
Taking a break from the players for a few minutes, we chat with one of the leading lights of the Voyageurs supporters’ group of west, Curva Collective member Zachary Meisenheimer. Zach talks to us about what having the tournament here means to the fans and how they plan to support not just the CWNT but the whole tournament.
One of the newest faces in the squad is Allysha Chapman. After only getting her first senior cap last October, the 26-year-old is now set to play a World Cup on home soil. We talk to Allysha about her journey, what it was like coming into such a close knit group, playing in Sweden, how hard it is to keep hold of mascots hands, her love of Maple Leafs and maple butter, and we find out who sent her an email saying “we’re watching you”!
A player who was touch and go to make the World Cup roster was one of our particular favourite players, Diana Matheson. The midfield dynamo talks to us about her recovery from her two injuries, the x-factor John Herdman brings to the team, what the girls learned from the 2011 World Cup and 2012 Olympic experiences, dealing with the mental pressures and advantages of playing a World Cup on home soil and her Netflix habits.
And there’s still time for some more jam talk, this time with Erin McLeod and Karina Leblanc, the youngest player on the squad, striker Jessie Fleming and midfielder Desiree Scott.
Have a listen!
You can listen to this, and all previous, episodes of the podcast on iTunes HERE.
Or download it for your later listening delight HERE.
We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast’s mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the “Quick Launch” icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app.
Or after all that, you could just listen on the player below!