In a decade in the national team, Wainwright made 65 international appearances for the Matildas, including as vice captain at the Athens 2004 Olympics. What does she think of this current crop of players?
Ann Odong

19 May 2016 - 3:00 PM  UPDATED 19 May 2016 - 3:00 PM

Canberra born and raised, Sacha Wainwright's time with the Matildas saw the defender cover the globe making appearances at two World Cups (Sweden 1995 and USA 2003) as well as two Olympic Games (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004).  Wainwright also captained her hometown club the Canberra Eclipse to the 2001/02 Women's National Soccer League title.  

During most of her career, Wainwright juggled the demands of international football with a highly successful legal career, where she eventual was made a partner of a top national firm.  Today the 44 year old works as legal counsel for a grocery company.    

Who is the most exciting player in the current Matildas squad?

Lisa De Vanna. The way she has grown personally and her ability to change a game at the highest level.

Lisa De Vanna opens up about the captaincy, the Matildas’ strike and the Olympics
We can always count on Lisa de Vanna to be candid! And this interview does not disappoint...

What did you take from your Olympic experience?

This team packed up their lives and moved to the AIS for a year to commit to their dream, for no additional pay and some without the funds to buy new boots.

It was the most amazing feeling walking out of the tunnel into the 100,000 crowd for the opening ceremony in your home country and first game against Germany in Canberra, my home town.

The reward was the wonderful memories and experience for so many years of hard work and commitment.  It was a unique experience of being part of such a special event.

Other advice for today's Matildas

Be grateful for what you have now, but fight for further improvement. Remain grounded, remember your roots and despite challenges keep going on the roller coaster of ups and downs that is sport.

OPINION: Tameka Butt ready to kick-butt in big stadiums
Why Matildas player Tameka Butt believes women can play for Australia in big stadiums, in front of packed crowds more often; and how her taxpaying money can be better spent as part of the $1.6 billion stadium upgrade.

What’s next for women’s football in Australia?

It's finally a time of change and more recognition. Increased media coverage and increased pay should produce improved results. Exiting times!

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