By Takis Triadafillou
A player that has helped develop and brought women’s football in Australia to the high standard it deserves, Sydney FC player Teresa Polias has had a successful football career with the Sky Blues and Matildas.
A player who for a number of years has been showcased in the media limelight, she has brought joy and pride to all Greek Australians. The Greek Herald spoke exclusively with Teresa about her incredible career, both in women’s football and as a teacher.
Beyond the talent you have cultivated in training, who or what influenced you to become the top of your game?
Coach Alen Stajcic (coach of Sydney FC women’s from 2008–2014), I can say was exactly the man who helped me become a complete player. With his advice and the experience he had, he corrected my vulnerable points and gave me the appropriate knowledge to work on the field.
How much has football affected your life?
Football has had a really big impact. I could say in the thirteen years I have been playing it is part of my soul. It gave me joy and sorrows.
At what age did you start playing football?
I started at the age of 6 with my twin sister Sotiria kicking the football in the yard with her and later with my older brother. When I started playing for the Mariners and 17, I would say was ‘The Dawn of Women football’. The journey had begun for many NSW players.
After two seasons I transferred to Sydney FC where I am still here. It’s a great group and it’s the place I belong. Having, of course, teammates like the year we conquered in 2012-2013, Sam Kerr, Caitlin Ford and many young talented players. We are lucky to have big names in Women’s Football at Sydney FC.
You are also the leader of the team, what does this mean for you?
I like to lead the team to victory. But the teammates help to always bring the victories.
What does it mean to you to be a teacher as well as a football player?
Being a teacher and passing on knowledge to young children is something very important for me. It is the A and the Z of a child’s course in his life and in society later. I love them very much and they love me. Always after every match, at school they ask how I did. Many times they come to the stadium with their parents to watch. It’s something fantastic.
How do you see Australia performing in the World Cup?
Australia, especially women’s football, has risen sharply in recent years. It’s a big deal that Australia and New Zealand should give all their efforts.
A football personality who immediately wins you over with her straightforwardness and simplicity. Her students win and will learn a lot from Teresa. Ethics and knowledge. Teresa is a role model for young players but also a bright star that leads her students to knowledge and sports.
Who is Teresa Polias?
Teresa Polias was born in 1990 in Darlinghurst, New South Wales to a family of Greek descent. The origin of her father, Arthur-Thanasis, is from the beautiful Sypi and her mother, Polly-Polynia from Piraeus. Five beloved brothers enjoy Teresa’s masterpieces, Peggy, Xanthippi, Maroussa, Andoni and Teresa’s twin sister Susie-Sotiria, and of course her partner Fotis Anastasopoulos.
From a small age she showed that she has the gift for sport and she was seduced by the goddess of football. She did things that even the boys could not do.
Apart from football, Teresa works as an elementary school teacher at McCallums Hill Public School. Her story is like a fairy tale with a lot of hard work and sweat, starting from the local teams in Rockdale and then in the NSW academies. She was spotted by coaches, particularly Alen Stajcic, and was found playing in the Central Coast Mariners, making her debut against Melbourne Victory on Saturday, October 25, 2008. She then transferred to Sydney FC and, showing her talent, was named the best player of the team of the year during the 2011/2012 season.
Teresa was the key player in the Sydney FC Women’s team which won the 2012/2013 W-League Championship. During the winning season, she played every minute and every match, including the Grand Final.
Teresa scored her first W-League goal in a 3-2 win over Melbourne with a long-range effort that went straight to the top corner. Teresa was also the leader of the Sydney FC women’s team, which won the 2018/2019 W-League Championship.
She has competed in all competitions, including as a Matilda’s player in their 2015 World Cup Team, being called up to the Matilda’s more than 20 times. Teresa also represented Australia in the starting line-up of the Young Matilda on many occasions, traveling to Europe and Asia.
Read more exclusives like this in The Greek Herald Wednesday Newspaper.