Eighteen-year-old Canberran Karli Roestbakken’s selection into the Matildas squad for World Cup in France has inspired footballers around the globe but none more so than her older brother Sam.
Motivated by his little sister’s success, 21-year-old Sam will pack his bags to trial for football clubs in Norway next month, in a mission to fulfil his dream of pulling on the green and gold Australian jersey.
Currently playing for Monaro Panthers where both Roestbakken siblings played their junior football, Sam has swapped his position in midfield to rightback just like his sister – not that he asked her for any tips.
“Up until this season, I have been playing in the midfield but because I can run for days and have a good work ethic, people started to see me as a rightback,” he shared. “I was always adamant that I was a midfielder but this year I agreed to give it a go.
“Ironically, Karli started off in the midfield before moving to the backline as well so she comes to me for tips,” he said with a laugh.
The Roestbakken siblings have come a long way since their fiery one-on-one football matches in the backyard of their Canberra home, with Karli now sharing the football field with Matildas while Sam prepares to trial for clubs in Norway where their father played his football.
“I spoke to Karli after the game on Sunday night and she said even coming out after halftime and warming up in front of the big crowd, it really hit her that is what she really wants,” he said.
“To be her age and going overseas and playing for her country, I am obviously a bit envious of her. We have both had the same goal so I am proud that she has achieved hers but I now need to go try my football overseas to give me better opportunities.
“When I am looking back when I am 40-years-old, I don’t want to regret not giving football a real go, so if I am little more committed and put more work in I think I can get pretty far.”
If there is one word that Sam would use to describe his sister, it is dedicated.
“We both grew up playing tennis till we decided to choose which sport to really dedicate to and we both chose football,” he shared with Region Media. “We are both very similar and we are both desperate to win so the games could get firey, so it’s in the genes.”
He even shared a little family drill which could be the reason behind the siblings’ successes.
“From a young age, I remember playing football one-on-one on the trampoline, which is a great work-out and it really strengthens your legs.
“If you can control the ball on a bouncy trampoline, you can control it on the ground. It might be the family secret, who knows,” he said with a laugh.