ANGELA Iannotta may be Albury’s forgotten sports hero but last night that was partly rectified as Albury City made the former Matilda part of its hall of fame.
Iannotta became the first player to score a goal for Australia in a World Cup when she found the back of the net against China in 1995.
The diminutive forward also played in the Italian Premier League (Serie A) and in the Japan Premier League (L League).
These days, the 42-year-old lives in Italy but regularly visits family here.
Last night, when the centre of attention at Jelbart Park, she said her memory of “that” goal was a little hazy.
“I just found the ball in front of me and hammered it — it flew into the top of the net and gave the keeper no chance,” she said.
“We were excited because it was the equaliser.”
Iannotta, who started at Melrose as a 13-year-old and went on to play at Albury City and United, gave soccer away in 2010.
She said women’s soccer today is a far cry from those early days.
“I had to pay $800 towards my first tour with the Matildas to Japan,” she said.
“Today the game is shown on television, the W-League is fantastic and I sometimes wish I was 20 years younger.
“In Italy, the standard of women’s soccer is very strong but they simply don’t get the exposure — the culture is still very much masculine and men’s sport.”
Iannotta said she had fond memories of her years playing soccer on the Border.
City will celebrate its 40th anniversary next month with a function at the Commercial Club on Saturday, February 15, and a family day at Jelbart Park the next day.
For details email firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.acfc.net.au or Facebook Albury City Football Club.