It was a welcome return to the national team fold for highly decorated Westfield W-League player Ellie Brush as she takes part in the Women’s Talent Identification Camp.
With the only player on the camp to have a Westfield Matildas cap to her name, it is Brush who highlights the 23 footballers selected for the Women’s Talent Identification Camp run by Westfield Matildas Assistant Coach Mel Andreatta.
The Sydney FC defender was honoured to have been chosen to partake in the camp as she looks to regain her spot in the national side.
“I was given that first opportunity some years ago now and I can tell you I feel very old in this group,” Brush said.
“But I guess I’ve kind of stuck at it, in the hope that an opportunity like this might present itself again.”
“I’m pretty pumped to be here and back in the environment.”
It’s a been long, hard road so to be back here’s really exciting, I was again pretty nervous which I know I shouldn’t be.”
She and the fellow players were understandably eager to return to the pitch and had quite an enjoyable first session yesterday.
“We’ve come in and the hit the ball rolling straightaway for day one. Got a really nice welcome and inspirational chat by Mel Andreatta, after she spoke you almost just wanted to go out there and play a game straightaway,” she said.
“It was just a really nice, inspirational chat which set the week up for us and I think we took that into the session which followed soon after which of course was as intense as a national camp is going to be.
“But a really good session to get some of the nerves out, fast paced and high intensity session.”
The new look environment created by the coaching staff is something that has stood out in particular to Brush.
“It’s night and day between the staff and the culture to what I’ve had in the past in national team camps,” she revealed.
“Tony [Gustavsson] seems to be instilling great things into the culture, led by Mel Andreatta this week. It’s been a really exciting environment to be in.”
The 32-year-old is there to catch the eye of the coaching staff but at the same time she has other targets in mind as she trains alongside the next generation of Westfield Matildas stars.
“The big goal out of this week for myself is to try and improve everyday but to help the younger girls and try to instill some of that spirit within them and pass on some knowledge.”
There was one divine piece of intervention which convinced her not to hang up her boots after she seriously contemplated retiring at the end of the W-League season.
“A big reason I decided to come around again and be seen and get another opportunity for the national team was the fact that the Olympics was postponed.”
In some way, I thought that was the universe saying I can have another shot at playing for the national team again.”
She added: “Now is just a great opportunity for me to try and be the best I can in this environment.”
The camp has been an eye-opener for the Sydney FC defender with the incredibly well-structured sessions something that she will be hoping to translate into the upcoming Westfield W-League campaign.
“I really want to be a sponge for one and draw on the great environment and staff that we have around us.”
“To learn as much as I can from the coaching staff around us. Technically, tactically, use my football IQ – take something away from that side of things and then take it on into Sydney FC and create a really good training environment there.”