Julia De Angelis is enjoying her second season with Canberra.
In Round 2 of the Westfield W-League Canberra United swept away with a 3-0 win against Sydney FC at McKellar Park. Bossing the midfield that day was young dynamo Julia De Angelis. With a year of milestones on-and-off the pitch, the United midfielder sat down to chat about why round 2 was important to her and why the second time around at Canberra United is better than her last.
Recently having celebrated her 18th birthday, De Angelis has played more than half of the season, seeing a significant amount of minutes and performing well when called upon. In her opinion, the youngster’s best game was against Sydney FC in the aforementioned Round 2 contest where the midfielder came away happier than ever having bagged an assist.
“I’m really grateful because I’ve been given a fair amount of game time,” De Angelis said. “It is always unexpected when Rae Dower says I’ve made the squad because it’s nice to think that she believes I can get the job done even when there are older and more experienced players.”
When Julia read the match report on the Canberra United website for the Sydney FC game she humbly laughed at the attention she received: “after some wonderful play from midfielder Julia De Angelis. The youngster kept the ball in play and pinged a cross into the box which was collected by Munoz who showed all her experience to skip past her marker and thrash a shot past Betos to seal the victory,” the report read.
“In the Sydney FC game I went in with confidence and the girls I who I was on the field with trust me... I was in the zone,” De Angelis mentioned.
Contributing to the squad’s success of the game, De Angelis puts in perspective how much it really meant for her to be of some impact at the home game. “It’s important for the midfielders to create opportunities for the forwards to score. Especially as a young player, being able to make a difference when sometimes you feel you’re just out on the pitch having no impact, so that did mean a lot to help get that goal which Munoz finished,” she said.
It’s something that is heard often now around the Canberra United campus, with the wealth of young players comes the conversations about who they used to idolise, in De Angelis’ case - Caitlin Munoz - and now they find themselves in a position where they still idolise the impactful role models, however they also are playing alongside them able to acquire first-hand experience of women who have made a mark in Australian Football.
“Even against Brisbane Roar last weekend, [Katrina] Gorry was playing and it’s people you looked up to right in front of you, so you have to try not to let that get in the way of the game and not take too many touches,” De Angelis admitted.
When it does happen, De Angelis loves playing with Munoz, “she lifts your confidence, if you stuff up she says ‘head up c’mon.’ Playing alongside the Matildas they will give you advice so there’s always something to take from them,” she added.
Like a Circle of Life De Angelis finds herself in a position similar to that of young Caitlin Munoz when she started out, where younger girls are looking up to De Angelis, even treating her as a celebrity and person of influence. “People ask for my signature at games, it’s crazy,” De Angelis mentioned.
The youngster didn’t even have an autograph prepared until recently when the Canberra United squad had to sign footballs for fans and De Angelis said “I don’t have a signature” and so the rest of the squad sat there helping Julia make one on the whiteboard. “Its crazy people want my signature... I was like are you sure you want one because it’s not the best,” she laughed.
De Angelis’ take on the whole situation is humbling to think that younger girls would want to replicate her football style: “Having all of these younger girls look up to me makes me feel like if I mean something to them and if they look up to me I can influence them in a positive way,” just as Munoz has done to Julia all those years ago.
“I never expected to be in Canberra United last year, when I found out it sounds cliché but it was like a weird dream.” It kicked in this year when De Angelis felt more comfortable to be in the team and now that she belongs, deserving to be there for a number of reasons including the fact that she’s “grown since last year.”
Canberra United will host Adelaide United FC this Saturday the 12th of December at McKellar Park with a 4:00pm kick off.