Margot Robinne, who has been playing in Australia since 2020 after starting her career in France, talks about the enthusiasm for women’s football at the national level.
He is the only tricolor representative in the Australian professional league. Margot Robbin, 32, and three Under the Crampons during the A-League (local championship) seasons, women’s football in the country is booming as the World Cup approaches. He evokes the training and playing situations, the level, but also the enthusiasm that gradually builds around the Matildas.
Franceinfo sport: How did you come to play in Australia?
Margot Robbin: Thanks to football, I met a lot of people, including a former teammate who went to Australia. She was playing, but she wanted to create academies, specific coaching groups, specifically for women’s soccer in the Melbourne area of Victoria. I was at TFC, I was at the end of a cycle and I passed out, injured the ankle. I said to myself: why not join her and try to develop our small business in Australia. When I was young, I didn’t have much training, we played with the boys … and I always told myself that when I had the opportunity to give back what football had given me, I would do it.
Is this academy and development page particularly interesting to you?
Growing women’s football has always been important to me. I knew nothing about Australia, but creating something made me want to. Football is not the national sport in Australia, it’s a little more minor sport, and European, French knowledge is more recognized. Here they are still in development. Coming here made sense.
How has this season been with Brisbane?
We were lucky enough to use the national team’s infrastructure during the World Cup. It was a very good working environment. Then you should know that the professional season is in summer and in Brisbane, the weather is constantly very humid and hot. It was very difficult for me to accept. I was living with an American goalkeeper and a Swedish defender, and the three of us were really in trouble at this temperature. We step outside and we’re soaked, it’s the tropics in Asia. It affects the shape and body.
How do you see the championship, the environment, the conditions?
It is an emerging championship. When I landed, there were less than two teams, and since then they have added one every year. They try to improve the general conditions. Here, we better be in agreement. The salary is not unusual, it is a negotiation, but all players have a minimum salary. It’s not a huge luxury, but it allows you to live casually, and it gives you a certain comfort during the season when you’re full time. You train in the morning, you go to the gym, at the stadium, you have access to the doctors, all the physios, care is taken. Compared to the conditions I had in France, it is much better here.
And based on status?
The level is not the same, it’s a very different football. Australian sports like footy, the national sport, are actually athletics, that’s the core. Australian rules football is based on a pit call, they are real sportsmen. When Ellie Carpenter (Australian defender) came to France (in Lyon), she was a driving force, she was running everywhere, in all directions. That’s the Australian rules football stereotype. It’s less technical, it’s less tactical, but it’s more physical, more athletic, it goes everywhere, it never stops. The Australian show has to give everything physically.
How do you explain these differences?
I was the technical director of a club here and I was close to the league and I see how it works with the coaches, the diplomas and the training they get. Here it’s very different, it’s very similar, even though the content is completely different, they’re more or less going to do the same exercise for all ages. There are fundamentals that haven’t been done, and it shows in developing players. It’s good that foreigners come, that’s the strength we have in Europe, quality, knowledge, exchanges everywhere. Here, they are far from everything, and it is not a national sport, so it is complicated to make it. But things are moving slowly and things are changing.
What audience does women’s football have in Australia?
In the professional league, there are certain individuals. All matches are broadcast on TV, women’s football has more visibility, which helps attract more people. As they knew they were hosting the World Cup, they started building a product around the championship, they built a real brand around the national team. You realize there is a national craze for women’s sports, women’s football. I’ve never done so many autographs this year with girls everywhere. They did activities, if you signed up to a football club and you were under 16, you could watch all the matches for free. They create communications to feed the dreams of young women. I think we lack that in France. It’s everywhere, they’re on TV, it’s a real product, they’ve registered the “Matildas” brand, and they’re using it to the fullest.
It has been the talk of the town all season, will this World Cup come? What opportunities do you offer Australians?
My team includes Katrina Cory, a teammate who is going to the World Cup, and two or three Matildas who have come to train with us. With the World Cup at home, you’ll inevitably hear about it when training with international players. Yes, we talked a lot about the World Cup. Being at home, Australians are very hungry, they are real fighters, it’s a very powerful Australian mentality. We sense an interest from the world around soldiers at work.
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