Even though soccer is often considered to be a boys’ game, the success of many female players has the tables turned.
The popularity of the sport has been increasing year by year, allowing league expansion to several women’s clubs.
Even more attention is being drawn to the Women’s World Cup, especially after the Matildas became the first Australian team of any gender to win a knockout match at a World Cup.
In Australia, and even more so in Melbourne, soccer has overtaken netball as the most popular team sport among young women.
Greek Australian Miette Georgio is one of these girls falling in love with the world sport.
The 12-year-old junior player, has her own Vimeo channel, where she uploads footage from her team’s matches, locker and training material as well as interviews.
Miette, with the help of her father Dean, who is a producer, has created her own mini-documentary, entitled About Time To Shine, to promote the women’s game in Australia and portray how it is perceived by female junior footballers.
Through her series of videos, Miette provides her audience with data regarding the sport’s impact and growth in recent years.
And she isn’t the only Greek girl on-field. In her club alone, there are at least five Greek girls her age. Her coach is also Greek.
“I’m not really sure why, It just happened that when I joined there were already a few Greek girls in the team and we just got along straight away,” she tells Neos Kosmos.
“I think there are a lot of Greeks in the areas around the Ashburton Soccer Club.”
When Miette was four years old, her dad took her to a football game. She was instantly captivated by the vibe in the arena, the excitement it offers to both the players and the fans.
“The technique fascinated me. I was intrigued by how it was played and I immediately wanted to do it,” she says.
“I also like playing with boys and I thought soccer would be quite fun.”
Miette joined her first soccer club, Glen Waverly SC, at the age of five and then moved on to Knox United. So far she’s held a striker and attacking midfield position.
“Until I started playing for Ashburton United to be in an all-girls soccer team, I was the only girl in my teams.
“And I’ve been playing for a good eight years now.”
Even though soccer is becoming more popular among females, Miette is still surprised there aren’t more young women in junior clubs.
Sometimes she feels she needs to prove herself, to prove she is good enough to play soccer, especially at school.
“Most boys have gotten used to me playing soccer but some still don’t believe that I play,” she complains.
“I still remember the look on their faces when I told them that I got into the Vic Futsal State team and NTC. They stopped teasing me after that.”
Miette acknowledges that there are still some differences between male and female matches.
She believes that men are more relaxed on the ball and therefore better at choice making, whereas the girls are still rushing a little bit.
“I think in the future women’s soccer will be at the same level as men’s soccer. It’s constantly improving and catching up to the physicality of the boy’s game,” she says.
“Most people think that girls don’t have the skills and determination to become a soccer player, but I think that if you are passionate, put your mind to it and practice, you will go far.”
And this is exactly what young Miss Georgio is planning to do. The 12-year-old soccerette is thinking of pursuing a professional career in the sport. Even though she doesn’t have an actual role-model, Miette admires the skills and technique Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinidine Zidane show on the field.
“It is my dream to become a professional player and hopefully I can achieve my goal by playing in the Women’s League or overseas,” she enthuses.
“However, I do love filmmaking as much as I love soccer. I am very passionate about it and hope I can continue to improve and share more of my stories as the years go by.”
Soccer has taught Miette Georgio how to think twice before making a decision, and filmmaking has changed the way she sees things. The field resembles real life and film helps her evaluate situations and communicate effectively.
“You might choose to play at clubs or teams and be separated from your close friends, play against them even.”
“It’s a matter of perspective. I’ve realised that if you want to do something you love, you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time, set your priorities and work hard.”
* To view About Time To Shine click on the link below