Alicia Ferguson
Ferguson playing for Millwall Lionesses in 2013
Personal information
Full name Alicia Ann Ferguson
Date of birth (1981-10-31) 31 October 1981 (age 42)
Place of birth Brisbane, Australia
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Position(s) Forward, Midfielder
Youth career
Stratford United (Cairns)
Saints (Cairns)
Mt Gravatt SC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2007 Queensland Sting
2008–2009 Brisbane Roar 10 (3)
2012–2013 Millwall Lionesses
International career
1997–2007 Australia[1] 66 (6)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 10 September 2014
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 10 September 2014

Alicia Ann "Eesh"[2] Ferguson (born 31 October 1981) is an Australian soccer player who represented the Australia women's national soccer team at the 1999 and 2007 editions of the FIFA Women's World Cup. Ferguson debuted for Australia at the age of 15 years during the Matildas' European tour in August 1997. Initially she played as a forward and scored four times in Australia's 1998 OFC Women's Championship victory. After a period of injury she subsequently became one of Australia's most solid midfielders. At club level Ferguson enjoyed success with Queensland Sting in the Women's National Soccer League and Brisbane Roar in the W-League. In 2012–13 she played for Millwall Lionesses of the English FA Women's Premier League.

Since her playing retirement, Ferguson has worked as a football pundit and columnist. She began her television career working for the ABC,[3] primarily on their W-League and Matildas coverage, then moved to ESPN as a studio commentator for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.[4]

Club career

Ferguson played for Queensland Sting in the Women's National Soccer League, but the league folded in 2004.

When the W-League started in 2008, Ferguson made a comeback with Brisbane Roar. She had spent a year out of football but said: "It's that plain and simple, I missed playing."[5] She scored three goals in 10 appearances but missed the Roar's Grand Final victory after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the semi-final win over Sydney FC.[6]

After relocating to England for work reasons, Ferguson made another playing comeback with Millwall Lionesses of the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division. She made her league debut in September 2012, assisting the first goal in a 2–0 home win over QPR.[7]

International career

National team coach Greg Brown brought 15-year-old Ferguson on the Matildas' tour of Europe in August 1997.[8] She made her senior debut in the tour's second match; a 4–0 win over Hungary in Csákvár. In 1998 she accepted a residential scholarship on the Australian Institute of Sport Football Program, ahead of the following year's World Cup in the United States. At 16 she was the youngest amongst that year's inaugural intake of female players. She relocated from Brisbane to Canberra to take up her place.[9]

She was included in the squad for the 1998 OFC Women's Championship, which served as the qualifying tournament for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. She scored two goals in each of Australia's lopsided wins over American Samoa and Fiji. She was not in the team which beat rivals New Zealand 3–1 in the final to secure Australia's qualification.[10]

In a warm up match before the final tournament, against Canada in Toronto, Ferguson scored the Matildas' first goal in a 3–1 win.[11] At the World Cup Ferguson did not feature in the first two matches, a 1–1 draw with Ghana and a 3–1 defeat by Sweden. She started the third match against China, but was sent off in the second minute, for a late, high tackle on Bai Jie.[12] Ferguson later admitted that she had been daunted by the occasion.[13]

Twelve members of the Matildas controversially posed for a nude calendar in October 1999. At 17, Ferguson was the youngest participant. She remained happy with the final product and the original photograph was framed and proudly displayed at her parents' home in Brisbane.[14] Ferguson was selected to take part in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was proud to walk out at the opening ceremony in her home country.[6]

Ferguson dropped out of the national team in 2002 after a knee reconstruction operation.[15] She missed the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2005 incoming coach Tom Sermanni recalled Ferguson, who had changed from a forward into a defensive midfielder. She made an important late goal line clearance as Australia held the United States to a 0–0 draw in October 2005.[16]

During the 2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup Ferguson stood in as captain of the Matildas.[17] Her goal in a 5–0 win over Thailand resulted in a celebratory jig.[18] Australia lost the final to China in a penalty shootout, despite Ferguson converting her kick. Second place secured qualification for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.[19]

After being named in the squad, Ferguson said that the 2007 team were better and more experienced than the team she had played in at the 1999 tournament.[20] She hoped to emulate the male Australia team, who had reached the knockout stage of their 2006 World Cup. She also hoped that success in the tournament would lead to the reformation of a national domestic league.[21] Ferguson featured in all three group games, but did not take part in the 3–2 quarter-final defeat to Brazil.

International goals

Results list Australia's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
2 9 October 1998 Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland  American Samoa 21–0 1998 OFC Women's Championship 2
4 15 October 1998 Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland  Fiji 17–0 1998 OFC Women's Championship 2
5 9 June 1999 Centennial Park Stadium, Toronto  Canada 3–1 Friendly 1
6 24 July 2006 Marden Sports Complex, Adelaide  Thailand 5–0 2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup 1

Honours

Club

Queensland Sting
Brisbane Roar

International

Australia

Non-playing career

In 2013 Ferguson started working for television production company Sunset + Vine, who supplied the BBC's coverage of UEFA Women's Euro 2013 and BT Sport's FA WSL coverage.[22] During her second spell in the national team Ferguson held jobs with both the Australian Cricket Academy and the Australian Institute of Sport.[23]

References

  1. ^ "Official Media Guide of Australia at the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011" (PDF). Football Federation Australia. 8 July 2011. p. 53. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  2. ^ "The Women's Football Podcast: Episode 23". She Kicks. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Stephanie Brantz and Alicia Ferguson Preview the Round 4 W League on ABC TV". ABC Sport. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  4. ^ Nwulu, Mac (15 June 2011). "ESPN 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Commentators". ESPN. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Ferguson primed for Westfield W-League". A-League. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b Layland, Chris (6 May 2011). "The twang of Aussie Women's Football - Alicia Ferguson". The Football Sack. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Whitter at the double". Millwall F.C. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Alicia Ferguson". Australian Soccer. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Alicia Ferguson". Australian Sports Commission. Archived from the original on 29 January 2004. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  10. ^ Esamie, Thomas (1998). "Matildas Internationals for 1998". Ozfootball.net. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Canada vs Australia - 1999-06-09". Canadian Soccer Association. 9 June 1999. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  12. ^ Penner, Mike (27 June 1999). "China Doesn't Rest on Its Laurels". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Alicia Ferguson Interview". Football Federation Australia. 23 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  14. ^ Halloran, Jessica (22 September 2007). "Flavour of the month again". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Matildas revamp". Special Broadcasting Service. 12 March 2002. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Matildas hold US to 0-0 draw". Football Federation Samoa. 17 October 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Matildas reach Asian Cup semi-finals". ABC Sport. 25 July 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Matildas maul Thailand 5-0 in Asian Cup". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 July 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  19. ^ "China beat brave Matildas in shootout". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 July 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Socceroos' success spurs Ferguson". FIFA. 18 September 2007. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  21. ^ Hughes, Rob (18 September 2007). "Soccer: Aussies march on at Women's World Cup; technology, too". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  22. ^ Ferguson, Alicia (9 July 2013). "New Beginnings". Women's Football Podcast. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  23. ^ Halloran, Jessica (22 September 2007). "Matildas show off super skills at cup". Chengdu, China: The Age. Retrieved 6 September 2014.