Steph McNamara & Abbie Burgess - Nothing Can Stop Them Now
Steph McNamara - Aussie U19 Team 2011
Steph McNamara - Aussie Squad 2013
Abbie and Steph can't wait to play in their first Senior Women's World Cup in Canada in 3 weeks and win Gold for Australia. The Senior Women's World Cup will be held in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and starts on the 11th July 2013.
Lacrosse Victoria has spoken to Abbie Burgess and Steph McNamara, two rising stars of the Australian Women's team.
Affiliated Club: Newport
World Cups played: 2011 (U19)
Steph, at 18 years of age you are the youngest player on the team. Who do you most look up to in the team?
Every member of the team brings something completely different. Having trained with and played against all members of the team, I have taken something away from each of them that has improved my individual game in some way.
However, our goalkeeper Sue McSolvin is going into her 6th World Cup. She is an inspiration to any athlete, especially in our sport, and I'm honored to play alongside such a talented and dedicated player.
In last week’s Senior Women's Nationals you got MVP against SA. How much does it help you develop your skills playing with some of your Aussie teammates leading up to World Cup?
Playing alongside my Aussie teammates and even against some of them, really brings out my best game. With some of my teammates being the best players in the world, automatically your skills improve and you run harder and faster so that you're able to play at the same level as them.
For me individually, my skills are an area of my game I have to work at, so even just taking feedback from my teammates and practicing my skills when we train has helped me prepare for the World Cup.
You just finished school. What are your plans after the World Cup in Canada? Are you going to travel for a while?
I'm traveling with my family for a couple of weeks following the World Cup. In August my parents are dropping me off at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, where I am going to play lacrosse at the collegiate level for the next four years.
Only a handful of people are able to progress that fast from playing U19 to senior level World Cups. Are you excited or nervous about playing in the Senior Women’s World Cup just after having played at the most recent U19 Women’s World Cup in 2011?
I'm incredibly excited. At first it was quite a difficult decision to consider going straight from one campaign into another with only a couple of months off whilst also completing my final year at high school, but it was the best decision I have ever made.
I enjoy being the 'baby' of the team and learning so much from all of my team members, I'm honored to be playing alongside my mentors and some of the best players lacrosse has to offer.
I am nervous of course, as I want to do my best and help the team out in every aspect, but I can't wait to go for gold and hopefully bring it home!
Affiliated Club: Footscray
World Cups played: 2007 (U19)
Abbie, this is your first Senior World Cup. How does it feel to go back to Canada to play a World Cup at senior level?
I feel very excited to be returning to Canada to play for Australia at the senior level. It is a privilege and honour to play for your country and the calibre of players in this Australian team is outstanding. I am looking forward to taking on the challenge with them.
You are an influential player in midfield because you are very good at winning centre possessions. Which teams do you look forward to most to centre draw against in Oshawa?
I think each team we come up against are going to have their strengths in the centre draw. I hope to use my height as an advantage on the circle and come up with the ball for our team.
October last year you were part of the Aussie Team that travelled to San Francisco to play against international teams including the US, Canada, and England Teams. How do you think the competition compares to the World Cup and do you think your team has improved?
The Stars and Stripes Tournament was an essential component to our team's preparation for this world cup. It gave us an insight into what we will be up against, the speed, skill and types of game our opposition play. I think that the competition next month is going to be at a whole new level and we will need to expect the unexpected. I have seen a vast improvement in our team since October last year; we are ready to take on whatever somes our way.
Last weekend you played for the Victorian State Team and won the 2013 ALA National Championship in Melbourne. Was the tournament a good preparation for the FIL World Cup in July? How did you celebrate your win?
Footscray Lacrosse Club did an outstanding job hosting the National Championships last week along with the Down Under Cup. The tournament provided another opportunity for us to fine tune our skills and compete against the best in Australia in the lead up to the World Cup. We celebrated our win as a team at the closing ceremony dinner and plan to get together after the World Cup and relive our success.