Creative Soccer Culture

Getting To Know The Matilda's Remy Siemsen

From Sydney to Stockholm and breaking onto the international scene, Remy Siemsen is experiencing everything life as a professional has to offer and she’s relishing every minute of it. With one eye on next year’s World Cup in her native Australia, we meet the young Matilda as she takes in everything London has to offer.

From surfing waves to scoring goals, Remy Siemsen is a free spirit with a focus: she’s aiming to play at the highest level while elevating the profile of the women’s game, all with friends and family watching on. Having spent five of the last six seasons in Sydney FC colours, ripping up the Premiership and winning two titles in the process – efforts that have led to her first senior call up with the Matildas and comparisons with Australian icon, Sam Kerr – she’s now made the switch to the Swedish Damallsvenskan with AIK, eyeing up a spot in the national team squad for the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup.

Lapping up European culture and everything Stockholm has to offer, she took a pitstop in London, sticking on her tourist hat to take in the sights and experience yet another city. And putting WSL sides on alert: it’s a taste that she’s hungry to have more of at some point in her future. 

It was while she was in England’s capital city that we caught up with the young striker, finding out all about her experiences in the game so far, her love of surfing and how it parallels the world of football, as well as her aspirations for the future. Definitely one to watch…

How have you enjoyed London?

I’ve loved it. I think it’s such a cool city, I think there’s so much to do. I’ve covered probably every square inch of the London City bit, but it’s definitely a place I would love to come back and experience in more depth next time, yeah.

Are you someone that gets that kick, culturally, from seeing and visiting new places? 

Yeah, definitely. I have a lot of teammates that play over here, and they speak so highly of London and how much there is to do here, and then getting to experience it for myself, I understand why they fell in love with this place. So, I hope that one day I can play here and fully experience it as a resident in London. I think it would be such a cool city to, not only live in, but also play in, because it’s such a big culture over here, football culture, so it’s been really special to actually see that first hand.

Amazing. When did you first fall in love with football?

Ahh, probably when I was about four years old. I’ve been a massive fan of Manchester United the majority of my life – I guess you could say I jumped on the bandwagon when Cristiano Ronaldo was there. I used to wake up crazy hours of the morning in Australia to watch the EPL with my dad and my mum and my family, and thanks to all the boys that I grew up with, they are football fanatics and football obsessed, so they really encourage me to follow that football dream. So I’m lucky to be able to do what I do, and I think that if I can continue just developing, I hope that I can play at the top level and hopefully play in a WSL team.

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People are starting to notice the big players, like Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord, and actually understand that it’s a world game in that it’s the most amazing sport to watch and be a part of. That’s why I’m so excited for the World Cup next year."

When you were growing up, how accessible was football? Australia’s such a country so mad on sport, but obviously football is not necessarily the one that you might have instant access to. Was that the case?

Yeah. Especially being a young girl growing up in Australia, it wasn’t as popular for my age group coming through, and I had to play with boys for a number of years, but I absolutely loved it. I think that’s where I got my aggression, my physicality from, and my competitiveness, but it wasn’t as popular growing up. There were a lot of girls swaying more towards netball and things like that and dancing and swimming, and things like that. So, for me, it was always football, but now it’s so amazing to see how many girls are playing soccer in Australia, and how big it’s growing in Australia.

People are now starting to notice the big players, like Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord, and the national team, and people actually understand that it’s a world game in that it’s the most amazing sport to watch and be a part of. That’s why I’m so excited for the World Cup next year. I think Aussies are really gonna rally around, hopefully our national team, and hopefully we go far, but football in general. And I think it’s just significantly growing in our country, so I’m really excited to be a part of that growth.

And I don’t think I can name another surfing footballer – that makes you sort of amazingly unique in that sense. Can you see little things from that culture that you’d love to bring to football?

I think being a surfer has kept me really grounded. I guess it’s something that I’ve always been drawn to, because of my family – we’re avid surfers in my family. My uncles are big surfers, so it’s definitely something that brings me a lot of peace away from football and it’s something that I don’t have to be on my phone, and I’m not connected to anyone but the ocean. So, it makes me almost… I tell my parents all the time when I get out of the surf, I feel like I’ve been cleansed, and it’s just nice to be at one with the water, and just be present in that time. So, I try to do it as much as I can. It helps me just focus on other things, other than football, and I think getting that balance in life is just so important. So, it’s definitely an escape for me.

Is football an escape in the same way, when you’re on the pitch, or is it different?

No, definitely. I think if you’re having a bad day – I’ve been in plenty of those and had plenty of those – one thing that I want to do is get on the football pitch and just be able to control the controllables, and that’s my football. And it’s something that I fell in love with from a very young age, and that love has never strayed away from me. So, the more I play, the more I fall in love, and it’s just something that I think I’m just always going to enjoy, and I hope that I can play for as long as I can, physically and mentally.

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Do you crave the water when you’re landlocked, like say, in Sweden…

Yeah, definitely. I do love Stockholm, I think it’s a really cool city and it’s something that I’ve never really experienced before, living on the northern beaches of Sydney, I’m surrounded by coastline. I’m pretty blessed to live there. So, I’ve always been quite close to the ocean and the waves, and Stockholm’s been definitely a different place to experience. But I really love the culture there, and it’s like London, in that I think it’s just a really cool place that is something that I’ve never experienced before. So, yeah, I miss the ocean of course, it’s my escape, but any bodies of water are nice to have around, so I often go swimming in Stockholm Lake or river or whatever it’s called. I just enjoy being around water.

What was that culture shift like? To go from Sydney to Stockholm? How do you adjust to those countries, that difference?

Well at first it was a big, big change. Obviously, the sun doesn’t go down, so… (LAUGHS) adjusting my sleep’s been the biggest thing. But I just think culturally its very different personalities sometimes, you know, Aussies are often jokesters, and just love to have a laugh, and I think finding that balance between Swedes and Aussies and getting that humour took a little bit of a while. But I absolutely love my teammates and my club, and I feel like I’m growing as a person, both on and off the pitch, and experiencing something, like I said, I’ve never experienced before. And it’s just helping me be more worldly, I guess, and understand the world a bit more and, yeah, I think that I’m really falling in love with Stockholm and it’s definitely feeling like a home away from home at the moment.

What’s your perception of women’s football like there, and also in Australia?

I think with football in Australia, it’s still growing, but it’s significantly growing at the moment, and it goes to show; for our national team, we had 36,000 plus fans at a standalone women’s game.

I think in the lead up to the World Cup it’s only going to continue growing. So, it’s really exciting to be a part of that, and in Sweden it’s really the culture around football in general. I’ve found in European countries that it’s like a religion, so it’s really cool to experience that, both in men’s European football and women’s European football.

You know, our men’s side of AIK, I went to a Wednesday night game and there was 47,000 people there. It just goes to show that people just love the game over here. So, I hope that we can get to that place in Australia where we can have sell-out games weekly, and especially for the women’s game, I think that we can get there, and get to that point. We can see the Euros game the other day, there was a sell-out at Old Trafford, and what an amazing experience that must’ve been. I couldn’t actually imagine myself playing in front of that many people, so I hope that we can get to that point.

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The great thing is that those dreams are on the verge of becoming a reality, and looking ahead to the 2023 World Cup, and things like that, can you see those dreams becoming a reality for you? 

Yeah, definitely, I just wanna continue developing and growing as a person and as a player, both on and off the pitch, and if I’m given any opportunity with the national team or any team that I’m representing then I'll grab it. I hope that we can represent our fans well, and the people that are supporting us well, and I just want to be able to don the green and gold and do my country proud if I'm given the opportunity to play at the World Cup. I think it would just be an absolute dream come true, not only to play at the pinnacle of football, in a World Cup, but at home in front of friends and family. I can’t even put into words how amazing that experience would be for me personally, and the girls back home.

What have been the moments that sticking your mind from your journey so far, that have been the biggest sentimental moments for you?

I mean one that definitely stands out is with my national team debut. It couldn’t have been more timely or perfectly planned. I got to debut in Sydney, which is my hometown, in front of all my friends and family who’ve literally been there from day dot of my journey. So that was a really, really special moment for me, to be able to realise my dream of being a national team player, and representing my country at the highest level, and against the quality opposition of Brazil.

It was actually quite funny – Mada got subbed on just before I got subbed off, and there was a standing ovation for her being subbed on, and I was like, ahhh, this is a bit awkward… but I heard a little crowd on the opposite side. It was all my friends and family, but yeah, that’s the biggest moment so far in my career, debuting with the national team.

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When you’ve had a little taste like that, your appetite must be through the roof…

Oh definitely. Once I got a taste of international football I was definitely left wanting more, and being in that environment around players of such high calibre, it just made me want to continue developing and growing in so many aspects as a player and as a person, with the hopes that I can eventually be a big player like that. That would be an absolute dream come true. And to be a good role model to those around me, that’s what’s most important. I think being a good human is more important than being, or not more important, but it’s a good balance, of being a great player, but it’s better to be a better human. So, I hope that I can resonate with many people in that way or be my most authentic self both on and off the pitch. So, I hope that’s what people see.

You said about the profiles of players, from Sam Kerr to Caitlin Foord, to yourself, and Ellie Carpenter, all representing Australia in Europe – how much of a big thing has that been for the next generation and kids, showing what you can go and achieve?

Yeah, it’s crazy to see how far women’s football has come in that we can show Australian girls who live on the other side of the world that you can have a full-time professional contract in the highest levels around the world and live in a completely different place that you’ve never lived before and playing at the top of international elite level, and making a living out of it. So, that’s the biggest thing, I think back when we were kids, we didn’t see women playing as full time professionals, and now we get to be a part of that growth and get to show young girls that they can do that. So, it’s really special to be a part of.

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Did you feel the buzz of the Euros and it kind of showing what’s to come with the World Cup?

I think it’s so exciting, again, seeing that first game of the Euros was a sell-out at Old Trafford, that was completely amazing to see. Mum and I were watching it from a pub round the corner, and there was heaps of people just in there, cheering on the England national team, and it just goes to show that there’s such a big excitement around women’s football now, and that people do come and watch, and people do wanna watch a good level of football. And I think that the women’s game is only continually growing, and that the level is only getting better and better.

So, it’s so exciting to see what’s going come in the next few years, and I think it’s definitely a good taste test of what the World Cup’s going to bring next year, and there’s so many competitive national teams that it’s honestly going to be a very competitive tournament, and I think it’s just going to create such a big buzz once it comes around next year.

It would be amazing to be in and around and involved in the whole setup and know that not just all the people in the stadium are watching but that there’s people back home, people in the pubs and stuff like that. How much would it mean for the game to get to that kind of level where the support is so big, because it’s amazing to see how far it’s come over here to know that we’re all at home watching it, as well as in the stadiums and stuff.

You can’t really put it into words, but you know, you grow up watching movies like ‘Goal’, or for me that was my favourite movie growing up, and you got to see a human follow his dreams and have sell-out crowds and people watching in pubs, you see the culture of how big men’s football is, and it’s just great to see that women’s football is getting to that level now, where people will genuinely take the time off work to come watch you, or people go book flights to come watch a women’s standalone game. Like I said, the level’s just getting better and better, and the quality of football is just through the roof. So, it’s just been amazing to not only view it as a player, but also be a part of it. So, I hope that we can continue growing the game in that direction, and I think in the next few years it’s gonna be the, the biggest game for women to play, and err, in Australia, you’ve already seen a shift. There’s more young girls playing football now than any other sport, I’m pretty sure, so it’s so exciting to see that so many young girls now want to be full-time professional footballers.

As a kid I wanted to represent the men’s national team, because I didn’t’ know there was a women’s national team. It’s just crazy to see how influential not only our national team is for kids back home, but women’s football in general, and how many people follow different leagues all around the world now.

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And I guess, with that as well, there’s already this effect that’s happened on the country. But hosting a World Cup – what do you think that will do on a very basic level?

I just think football in Australia’s gonna be the biggest sport, and I think we have a lot of sports in Australia – obviously we have the likes of cricket, AFL, netball, the list goes on and on and on, but I think Aussies are some of the best supporters in the world, and they love their sport, so I hope that they can all turn up and rally behind us, and the women’s World Cup, and just get there. We want to see as many people in those stadiums as possible.

I already know there’s a buzz around it, and I think once we got the bid, there was already a hype around it in Australia, because it’s the biggest event in football. So not only are they going to be able to enjoy the biggest event, like I said, but they get to watch the best players in the world compete at the highest level. So, I think it’s going to be a really exciting time – not only for Australia but for football in general.

Focussing you off the pitch as a human being, you speak incredibly well. Being aware of the importance of being a better human is something almost beyond your years. With that in mind, how would describe yourself and how your mind works?

I don’t know. I think I’m a pretty easy going person, I try to be, like I said, as authentic as I possibly can in all situations, and I think I, yeah, I wanna be the best team player I can be, both on and off the pitch. I hope that I’m a good role model for young kids coming through and I just want to play my part in this journey of promoting the women’s game and just being a good human.

I hope that I come across as humble and kind, and that’s the most important thing is to treat others how you wish to be treated. I was raised that way, that’s the one quote that we’ve had in our family from day dot, so I hope that I really resonate with people like that, and I hope that my personality comes across that way. I truly just want to be my most authentic, honest, and yeah, unapologetically be myself.

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Moving on to your fashion taste, obviously the worlds of surfing and football are fairly far apart. When you merge them it’s something completely new and probably not done before. But how do you define your style and your tastes, and where you draw inspiration?

Honestly, I pick different things from different environments, I guess you could say. Where I’m living in Stockholm, I’ve really picked up on the Scandinavian look… And I really love their fashion over there, and I think even being in London, I’ve picked up a few different outfits already and bought a lot of things over here. I’ve just always had a real keen eye for, for fashion, and I do love my brands like Burberry and things like that, so I was really excited to come here and experience that first hand.

But yeah, I think I tend to take things from everywhere I go and try make a statement in my fashion in that sense. I wouldn’t say I’m like, a fashionista, but I really do appreciate good fashion and it’s something that I do really have a passion for. So, I can appreciate people that look really, really nice, or express themselves through their fashion which I think is really important.

Is that something that you’d’ like to experience more of? You know, you see more and more footballers attending fashion week and that sort of thing, is that in your mindset?

Yeah, I’d love to try. You often see footballers now getting in to the fashion industry, you look at Son who’s now with Burberry, and I think that’s really exciting. It goes to show that they’re not just an athlete, they also can do other human things, so I think it’s really cool that they can go hand in hand. It’s not just that you’re an athlete and you have to wear sportswear; you’re an athlete and you can wear really nice things like Burberry, and you can collaborate with really nice brands, and I think it’s really important that we branch out into those industries and make that relationship. So yeah, there’s plenty of open doors that keep coming in the football world, so I hope that I can get into the fashion side of things too, that would be really cool.

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Remy Siemsen wears the Nike Phantom GT II, which you can pick up at

Daniel Jones

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