Carroll set for another glorious milestone

Quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine the Liberty A-League without Kim Carroll in it.

The commanding central defender debuted for Brisbane Roar in the competition’s inaugural season and has barely missed a game since, be that in the orange of Roar or the purple of Perth Glory.

Domestically, Carroll has a Championship and a Premiership title to her name from her time with the Queenslanders and also featured in two Glory Grand Final teams.

At international level, meanwhile, she won more than 50 Matildas caps and was part of the side that took out the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

This Sunday, subject to selection, the 35-year-old will take her tally of Liberty A-League/W-League appearances to 150, so we headed down to training to get her thoughts on reaching yet another milestone in her storied career.

Q: Are you someone who is across their own personal stats and milestones?

I wasn’t aware it was coming up [the 150th] and it’ll be more something that when I hang the boots up, I can look back and appreciate a lot more.

Q: You have so much to look back and reflect upon across what has been a remarkable football career, what are some of the highlights?

The people you get to meet and become friends with and the experiences you have with those people.

The trophies are a nice thing at the end, but you obviously don’t win a trophy every day, so it’s more about the training and the environment.

Q: Are you still as motivated as ever, especially bearing in mind you still work full-time in addition to playing?

The day that I stop enjoying it or get too old, that’s when I’ll call it.

But there’s still the enjoyment there of rocking up every day to train and juggle a job at the same time.

Luckily, my boss is pretty flexible and he has kids that are into sport, so that helps.

Q: We know you’re a proud Queenslander, but does Perth now hold a special place in your heart as well?

Definitely; it’s become my home.

I moved over here seven or eight years ago and that was supposed to be for one season, so it’s certainly become home and I’ve really enjoyed playing here.

Q: As the most senior player in what is a fairly youthful playing group, have you taken up a mentoring role with the younger players?

I have and I don’t know if the younger players get a choice!

Certainly in the games, I’m trying to direct them and at training, give little bits of information to help them as individuals.

Q: How much progress has the competition made since you debuted in 2008?

It’s come a long way.

We had a lot of quality players back in the first season as well, but there were more dominant teams and some other teams that were still very much in a development stage.

Now there are a lot more teams and games, the conditions are better for playing and hopefully we’re starting to bring up the younger generation into the comp and make them professionals with a full-time career.

Q: Incredibly, you’ve only missed a handful of games due to injury over the years, what do you put that down to?

I guess there’s a little bit of natural physique and fitness.

But in pre-season and out of season, I’m working hard to keep my fitness up regardless of my age and trying to keep myself healthy and fit.

Q: Coming right up to date, how would you assess Glory’s season so far?

I don’t want to say we’ve been unlucky because I think you have to create your own luck.

I think we’ve had games where it could have gone either way; we could have grabbed a point or a win.

I don’t think we’ve quite reached our potential yet; we’re still trying to get that final bit and I think it’s coming.

I don’t think we were on the front foot at the beginning and once you start to get into that motion of losing, it’s hard to get out of.

Hopefully this weekend will be our turning point and we still have plenty of games ahead of us to really push the rest of the teams in the comp.

Q: And finally, we’ve only seen the Kim Carroll goal celebration once during your time with Glory, are we going to see it again at some point this season?

Well, I don’t go up for the corners at the moment; I’m at the back just telling people where to run again!

But you never know.

One day I might just run up there and do something, but for now I’ll leave it to the other girls to put it in the back of the net.

If we win as a team, I’m happy.