Stingrays pair clinch Western Sydney Wanderers promotion

THRILLED: Chloe Middleton and Danika Matos have signed full-time with the Western Sydney Wanderers W-League team. Picture: WS Wanderers
THRILLED: Chloe Middleton and Danika Matos have signed full-time with the Western Sydney Wanderers W-League team. Picture: WS Wanderers

They first became friends while playing for the Illawarra Stingrays. Now, Danika Matos and Chloe Middleton are closer than ever.

The good friends are both passionate about football. Since October, they've spent several hours together in the car almost daily in a bid to make their W-League dreams become a reality.

Matos and Middleton have carpooled six days a week to train with the Western Sydney Wanderers. They meet at either Matos' Lake Illawarra home or at Middleton's place in the Southern Highlands.

That dedication has now paid off after they both signed full-time contracts with the Wanderers in late January.

Matos, who plays alongside Middleton for the Stingrays in the National Premier League 1 competition, said it was a great opportunity for them at the WS Wanderers.

"I've wanted this for a few years now and I finally got it. Honestly, it's one of my achievements of the year so far," the 20-year-old said.

"Training with them [Wanderers], you get insight into how much they train and how much recovery and travelling is needed.

"Now, that hard work is paying off slowly. It would honestly be a dream come true just to get my name on that team sheet and wear that jersey with pride representing the Wanderers, Wollongong and myself."

While Matos awaits her debut, Middleton had her first taste of W-League action on January 25 in Adelaide.

Coming off the bench, she had eight minutes of game time in the Wanderers' 3-2 loss to United.

Middleton, of Moss Vale, said she was delighted to have her first W-League outing.

"It's been something that I've wanted to be able to get to do, I was so happy," the 23-year-old said.

"It was pretty good, but so nerve wracking. It was completely different compared to NPL.

"It was a good experience to travel with the squad, the whole team just hangs out together all the time.

"There's a few Wanderers girls that I love to watch play and it's such a great experience being around the same environment. Kristen Hamilton is such a gun, she's so good. And being there with the likes of Caitlin Cooper and Alexandra Huynh too."

Middleton, who first played football at six, said she couldn't wait to see Matos play in the W-League.

We're like two little peas in a pod, we're pretty close.

Danika Matos

"She's like my best friend so it's pretty exciting that we get to do this together," the left winger said.

"We've played together with the Stingrays for a while. We play different positions, she plays left back and I play left wing, but hopefully this year we'll get to work together."

Matos agreed and said she was "so proud" of Middleton for getting her chance to represent the Wanderers.

"We got signed together which was an achievement and Chloe finally got her debut," Matos said.

"We're like two little peas in a pod, we're pretty close. Ever since I started playing first grade with the Illawarra Stingrays, Chloe has made me feel so comfortable.

"It would be amazing to play in the side together, to walk out on that field together."

This story Stingrays pair clinch Wanderers promotion first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.

Comments