After only a handful of games in the Westfield W-League, 15-year-old Ellie Carpenter has forced her way into the national team set-up.If the last month is anything to go by, Westfield W-League defender Ellie Carpenter is riding a roller-coaster that only goes up.
After a series of impressive performances in her debut season, Carpenter received a call-up to the Westfield Matildas for a four-day training camp in Canberra last week.
Carpenter was the youngest and sole uncapped player named in Alan Stajcic’s squad who were in the nation’s capital as part of their preparations for February’s Olympic qualifiers.
Born and raised in the country town of Cowra, more than 300km southwest of Sydney, Carpenter moved to Sydney just a few years ago to chase the round ball dream and it’s a move that’s beginning to pay real dividends.
Looking back on her experience with the Matildas, the Westfield Sports High School student says it was a proverbial dream come true.
“I was definitely surprised and nervous about going in but all the girls made me feel welcome,” says Carpenter.
“Having the opportunity to train with players like Lisa De Vanna, who’s been with the Matildas for years, was great.
“It was really good to just have that taste of the next level.”
Carpenter could’ve been forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed by the call-up but she’s no stranger to pulling on the green and gold, having represented the national team at U16, U17, U19 and U20 levels.
Her Matildas reward came on the back of a strong start to her debut season in the Westfield W-League, where she’s played every single minute of the Wanderers’ first five games.
“Our opening results possibly should have gone our way but we’re really starting to turn it around.”
Although most comfortable at right back, Carpenter has also shown her versatility this season by filling in at the centre of defence following an injury to captain Caitlin Cooper.
After last week’s 3-0 win against Melbourne Victory, in which Carpenter played a starring role, the Wander Women sit third on the ladder and it’s a position the youngster feels the team can only improve on.
“We all think that we can go on to bigger and better things. We’re starting to build a real winning attitude.”