Macey Fraser is a central midfielder vying for a sport in the New Zealand women’s football team.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, she kicked a ball at the age of 4, having seen her brothers play the game. Since then she has never looked back.
Her run with the team at the U-17 World Cup in 2018, ended with a third-place win against Canada. We caught up with Macey to have a quick chat on her future and the women’s game in New Zealand.
Zushan Hashmi: How did you get into football?
Macey Fraser: Well, I’m 18 years old. I started playing at the age of 4 and I grew up watching my 2 older brothers play football and wanted to be just like them.
What position do you play, and how did you end up in it?
I’m a central midfielder. I started out in this position because I wanted to be like Steven Gerrard.
What was it like playing the U-17 World Cup with two of your closest friends?
Playing at the U-17 World Cup in 2018 was such a valuable experience and being able to share that with some of my best friends was wicked.
Gabi Rennie and I had been playing together for years prior, we trained almost every day together so to play on the world stage alongside her was super rewarding.
What was that run like for you?
Our World Cup run was something none of us expected, coming third and creating history for New Zealand was a dream.
When we arrived in Uruguay I got sick with tonsillitis so I had a pretty bumpy start to the tour but playing against the best players around the world was so motivating for me, I loved the atmosphere and being able to make my family proud.
Who are some of the players that you look up to, particularly in New Zealand, but also around the world?
Someone I look up to in New Zealand is Annalie Longo, a former teammate of mine.
Steven Gerrard has been a big role model for me growing up too. My favourite current player has to be Luka Modric, I admire his style of play.
Do you think football or soccer is growing in NZ, why/why not?
Football is growing in New Zealand, yes! Especially girls footy, back when I started, you would be lucky to see a single girl in each team.
Now there are many and a lot more girls in leagues alone.
You are knocking on the door for a place in the senior women’s team. How do you feel about that, and what do you think will be the biggest change in your game and the way you play?
I do want to eventually play for the New Zealand women’s team. Right now, however, I’m just focusing on getting better in every aspect I can, I still have a lot to learn.
In New Zealand, the women’s team tends to perform far better than the men’s team why do you think this is?
I think there’s a lot more competition around the world at the moment for men’s football so it’s harder for them to perform on the world stage.
What can we look forward to in the future?
I’m currently pushing myself more than ever to be at my best, I’m hoping to go overseas in the near future and the goal is to play professionally.