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ULTRA MAG | ISSUE 21 - KAYLA MORRISON

ULTRA MAG | ISSUE 21 - KAYLA MORRISON

Article by: Mickey

Thu, Dec 22.22

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  • ULTRA MAG | ISSUE 21 - KAYLA MORRISON
    Kayla Morrison is a legend in our eyes. From her high level talent on the pitch to her amazing personality and style; sheʻs got everything. She cares about her teammates and is such a positive influence. That shines through. As does her resilience to get through the tough times. Sheʻs a proper role model and Melbourne Victory must be thrilled to have such a captain.

    We hope you enjoy the latest catchup!

     

    It was great seeing you on the A-Leagues All Access series. What was that experience like?

     
    The experience was definitely interesting. It's pretty full on to have people following you around 24/7. You have to stay true to who you are because you know a lot of your friends and family are going to watch it. There's no point being fake. It was actually pretty fun to show them what I do outside of soccer. What I enjoy. It felt pretty cool getting to show whoever watched that side of me.
     
    It was nice to receive quite a bit of positive feedback from people too. Saying they thought it was neat to see that while soccer is the biggest part of my life, I also have other things going on. I thought that was cool. And then, obviously getting a lot of comments about going through the ACL rehab and stuff like that was nice. All in all, it was a really good experience.


    Where does your infectious, positive energy come from? Is this down to your family and upbringing?
     
     
    Everyone in my family is pretty outgoing and outspoken. Growing up it was like; talk and be heard, or sit back and let everyone take the limelight. I think I had to be loud. I had to be outgoing. I've had a very lucky life and a very happy life. I think because of that I'm just a positive person. I don't really take life too seriously. You never know what's going to happen in life. You might as well just have fun while you're doing it. So yeah, I would say it's all probably down to my family and my upbringing.


    For us in Australia the concept of moving interstate for university is quite foreign compared to the USA. Was it daunting moving to Kansas? Or are people in the States just used to the concept of young people moving out and away for some life experiences?
     
     
    It is definitely way more common to move out of home at a young age. Especially to go to university. In saying that, people usually move maybe an hour away. So to move a four hour plane ride away, it was definitely a bit of a daunting experience at the age of 17. I would not take it back for any reason at all though. They were some of the best years of my life. It was so fun. You do have to grow up fast, but you turn to your friends and teammates and everyone you meet becomes your family. It's the people that you lean on. It was daunting but I'd say after a month or two months, it just became the best time of my life.


    What was it like moving to Sweden at a young age?

     
    I guess because I'd already moved for university moving to Sweden wasn't too much of a big deal. The daunting bit about that move was that it was the first place I was going where they didn't speak English. Because I'm so outgoing and I want to have everyone on the team be my best friend, I worried, you know, what if I can't connect with these girls. But I must have gotten lucky to go to the most amazing, sweet team, full of lifelong friends that I made. It was one of the best experiences. I would tell anyone who plays soccer to move around the world, meet new people and dive into the culture. It was an experience like no other.


    What were the main cultural differences you needed to adapt to compared to the US?

     
    I think one of the best bits about me is that I don't adapt in every way. I stay very true to myself. I'm very upfront and I tell people exactly how it is. Everyone says I'm lucky to have an accent because it doesn't come off rude when I say things, whereas if they said it, it would sound rude!
     
    One big thing I had to adapt to was to become better with money because I was paying my own rent for the first time. That is why I don't knock the girls who stay at home forever!
     
    I also had to adopt soccer wise. The soccer in the United States and in Sweden is so different to the soccer in Australia. Adopting to that took a little bit of time but I think I'm there now.

    Ultra Mag Kayla Morisson

    We love how into fashion you are. Did you pick up some style from Sweden?
     
     
    The Swedish girls definitely have good style. They obviously dress very cold and they have way better cold fashion than I do. Everyone in Sweden is also just so pretty. You wouldn't guess it but they're so tanned as well. They could literally wear a sack and make it look cute. They're all very naturally beautiful. So maybe something I took away from that was like, you don't have to wear so much makeup. You don't have to do your hair so much. You can kind of throw it up in a messy bun, put on a cool outfit and, you know, just kind of back yourself and like what your natural beauty is.


    What draws you to the fashion world? Is it expressing yourself and showing who you are through different outfits and colours?

     
    Yeah, actually, I think what draws me into the fashion world is that you can be whoever you want. You can wear what the crowd wears and that's totally fine. Or you can wear what your style is, you can kind of show people who you are. I love to wear crazy, funky and colorful clothes. I think that kind of sums up my personality. I like take risks. I wear ugly things. I wear things that people might think what the heck, but then it's a conversation starter. I think it's just being able to be a chameleon in the world and kind of change who you are. Be a different person every day.


    Do you think it's important to show others in the team they can be themselves and have confidence in their own style?
     
     
    I think it is so important. I think that every girl on our team is beautiful in their own way. They're cool in their own way. They definitely have their own personalities, they don't need to be like the person next to them. And especially when it comes to fashion they don't have to wear what everyone's wearing. They can wear their own thing. I think it's becoming easier nowadays because of social media. One of the positives about social media is that people are seeing different options of clothing they can wear that they might not have even thought about before. If a girl ever feels concerned in going shopping or something they would feel so comfortable to come to me and ask.



    You win the Ballon d'Or Féminin and know you have to sort your look for the award night with the whole world watching on - what colour are you rocking
    ?
     
     
    Oh, I would be wearing something crazy for sure! I would not wear a boring gown. I would maybe be in a suit, I would maybe be in a tutu or a dress with a bright color. I'd maybe have my hair in two little space bonds. I'd be doing something totally different.


    What are some of your favourite fashion brands?

     
    I love the vintage adidas kind of streetwear look. I think that's always so cool. But I also love going to the thrift shop and finding things that you can throw together. I think one of my outfits that I wore for the photoshoot for All Access with the leather coat, every single thing I was wearing was thrifted. I'm not a huge brand name girl. I also try and stay away from fast fashion. Of course you have a few pieces from each brand but I do love to thrift. I like to have some main pieces in my wardrobe and just mix and match from there.


    Does music play a big role in your day to day life and in the lead up to games?
     

    This is such an unpopular opinion but I'm not super into music. I like music, I think music is cool, but I don't live for music. That's not my outlet. That's not my way of being creative. I could listen to any genre and like it. I'm not picky at all.


    Are you in charge of the playlist in the change room or is someone else?
     
     
    I like the songs that get put on in the change room, but I'm definitely not the one that you're putting on as DJ. I am not in charge of the playlist. My favorite artist is Miley Cyrus. And that's more for like fashion purposes and the way she, you know, how she is out there and she's herself. I do love her music as well. But the girls would be so pissed off if all I did was play Miley Cyrus and Kesha. So yes, I'm not in charge of the music!


    It is amazing seeing you back on the park after sustaining such a bad injury. What advice would you give to players at the start of their rehab journey with a long road ahead?

     
    The advice I would give is to cut yourself some damn slack. I was hard on myself. I was so mad at myself for doing such a dumb play and injuring myself. I was mad at myself that I was going to be out for such a long time. I was mad at myself that I was sitting on the couch. I was mad at myself that I was eating bad. I was mad at myself, like so so angry at myself, for a few weeks at the start and I should have just cut myself some slack because by the time I did I feel much better. My other advice is don't hold your feelings inside. It's a roller coaster of emotion. Feel your emotions, cry when you're sad, laugh when you're happy and don't be afraid to talk about your feelings. Whether they're negative, whether they're taboo feelings, it does't matter what they are. Talking about them to other people makes you relate with those people more and you can help them in ways that you had no idea possible.

    Ultra Mag Kayla Morisson

    What did you learn about yourself during that period?
     

    I learned that I'm a badass bitch because I got through that. That was the hardest thing in the world to get through. Credit to everyone who's done it. You don't know the sacrifice, the pain, the hard work that goes into it until you have to do it yourself. I'm proud of myself now looking back. It was such a long journey. I learned that I'm tough mentally. I'm tough physically. And you know, even when you are crying, it doesn't make you weak. It makes you stronger when you come out the other side.


    Did you pick up any new interests when you were on the sidelines?
     

    Oh, not really. I just spent a lot of money on clothes and designing my house. My bank account definitely took a hit during the rehab because I was giving like you know, like it was my rehab shopping as well. My emotional rehab.


    How did it feel being back on the park against Western United in game 1?
     

    It was a really good experience. I was happy to get through the game because that was goal number one. To get through the game okay. But in the first 5-10 minutes, the anxiety that I was feeling was crazy. My ears were ringing, my mouth was dry. I was just so nervous because I just wanted to get through the game. I wanted to stay healthy.

    There was a lot of stress even in the change room. I was feeling nauseous
    . Once the game started after 10 minutes I settled in. The stress kind of took the excitement out of it a bit. And then obviously losing one zero was extremely upsetting. We lost as a team, but individually I felt like I had the smallest win because I just got through the game. So yeah, bit of mixed mixed bag of emotions that one.


    What has been your proudest footballing moment so far?
     
     
    Hands down winning players player my first year of victory. Players player to me is the most important award, your peers value you your peers see how much you're putting in on and off the field. Of course your coaches can see as well. But your peers really see what you're putting in behind the scenes and they know you to your core. So that was definitely my proudest moment. And yeah, I just like could not believe it. I was gobsmacked that the girls even thought thought to like put me forward. That was amazing.


    What would it mean to win another title with Victory this season?
     
     
    The three peat would be an absolute comeback story for me. Winning it season one felt unreal. It felt like I was in a dream. Then obviously getting injured the second season, I didn't get to really feel like I was a part of it. So to come back and be able to win it for a third time would be incredible. It would be a comeback story that you can only dream of. To win it with this team. I think we've got a special team, a team that's so close knit and everyone gets along and we all want to hang out all the time, it would be absolutely incredible.


    How excited are you about 2023 and having the Women's World Cup on Australia and New Zealand soil?

     
    I think it's going to be humongous for women's football. Being able to go to games and watch Australia and some of the other big teams around the world will be awesome. How can you not be excited to watch this? This is the pinnacle of women's football. To have that at our fingertips and to get to support those girls and show Australia how big soccer is, especially for women and young girls; it's going to inspire the next generation. Hopefully the girls that are playing now are going to be even hungrier to make those team. Do those extra things and the one percenters. I think it's going to be one of the most amazing World Cups so far.


    What do you hope to see from brands like us next year to ensure we keep the momentum building around the women's game?

     
    I think doing things like this where you're putting a spotlight on a women's player is great. You're allowing not only young girls, but also young boys and anyone who follows your pages to get familiar with the players. You may know the name but you don't actually know who they are. This opens people up so others can fall in love with their story and fall in love with who they are as a person. That creates interests and might get them out to the games and support the women's game. So I think doing more things like this, marketing, maybe a podcast and stuff like that, where you're talking about the women's game and just getting the fans excited - I think that's where it's headed

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