Syahirah Mohd Rizam hopes her presence on the soccer field will inspire other Muslim girls to get into sport.
The 15-year-old, who keeps her head, arms and legs covered when she plays, has risen through the ranks at Albury United and last season made her debut in the Division 1 senior women's competition.
Syahirah's hijab is manufactured specifically for sport, making it more breathable, and she insists that neither your cultural beliefs nor what you wear should be any barrier to doing the things you love.
"We have to cover most of our body parts for religious reasons," she explained.
"Not many people who wear this type of clothing play soccer or any sport so I want to be able to influence other people in the religious community, to inspire them to start playing sport even though they might look different.
"I've always been comfortable wearing this on the field because I started at such a young age. It just felt normal for me.
"The other players do ask questions about why I wear this and what my religion is; they're curious but respectful and no-one's judging me."
Having tried netball and basketball, Syahirah walked into a United coaching clinic aged 11 and fell in love with soccer.
Last season, she featured for the club's under-17 girls and under-15 boys teams as well as both senior sides.
"I'm very proud of her," dad Bob said.
"Division 1 is a very high level but Tony Cigana, the coach, has trust in her. He can see she has talent.
"Last time we went back to Malaysia, Syahirah wanted to keep her fitness up, so she played futsal with my brother and his friends.
"People were saying 'your niece is very good, she can play!' They were surprised because in Malaysia, soccer has traditionally been dominated by men but now, slowly, the female side is starting to build up.
"This is a very positive thing. It will mean Syahirah can play for a women's team when she's over there, and inspire them, to say 'we can play soccer the same as men, there's no difference.'"
Syahirah has been named in AWFA's under-16 representative squad for 2022 and she's determined to keep improving her own game as well as sending a broader message.
"There aren't many women who play sport in Malaysia, especially soccer," she said. "Soccer's very popular in Malaysia - but for men.
"It would be really nice to see more girls playing in all Asian countries, especially male-dominated sports."
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Cigana was full of praise for his young player.
"Syahirah's a great role model and the first one there to help anybody else on the field," he said.
"She sets a high example and she has total respect from her peers at the club.
"It's not easy playing senior football at such a young age, it's a big ask, but I don't put players in there unless I know they can handle it.
"I'm very proud of her and everything she's done. She's amazed me and the people around her.
"She's a real inspiration."
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