MATILDAS STAR SAM KERR ON HOW SHE LEARNED FROM THE PROBLEMS OF HER BROTHER, FORMER AFL STAR DANIEL
SAM Kerr knew from a young age the pitfalls of professional sport.
The prodigy who would become the biggest name in Australian women’s football was once better known as the little sister of AFL star Daniel Kerr.
And it was the West Coast Eagle’s off-field troubles that provided her with a test greater than any Brazil or the US could throw at her. Daniel had well documented battles with drug and alcohol abuse and spent a brief spell in prison after a string of assault charges.
SEE SAM KERR AND MATILDAS AT WESTFIELD PENRITH ON THURSDAY FROM 6.30PM FOR A SIGNING SESSION.
“I didn’t speak to him for two years — that was the tough love I gave him,” Kerr told The Daily Telegraph.
“Towards the end of his career I learned about choices. It’s well documented that my brother didn’t make great choices and he’ll be the first to tell you that. I learned a lot about the off field type of stuff. You can’t regain your reputation. He’s done well too, but he’s made some bad choices off the field that affected him.
“Now we’re closer than ever and he’s got three beautiful babies, a great house and a great job. I even do some work with him with his Together We Can foundation where he runs a program for Aboriginal kids in rural WA that incorporates music, art and sport. So he’s really enjoying life and it’s awesome to see him back on track and everyone’s back together again.”
Kerr has been the most talked about Australian athlete over the past few months, but admits she struggles with the attention. A quick search of her name brings up pages of her recent achievements, from leading the Matildas to victory in the Tournament of Nations, to becoming the all-time leading goal scorer in the USA’s National Women’s Soccer League, culminating in being named on FIFA’s 10-player shortlist for women’s player of the year.
The 24-year-old even gets non-football fans excited with her backflip goal celebrations. But Kerr’s not completely comfortable with the hype her recent accolades have created.
“At some point I might have a break and look back on this time and I think I will appreciate that I did have a great year,” Kerr said. “I’ll appreciate this time more when I’m a bit older and get to the end of my career. I’m still in season and we still have a few games with the Matildas, so at the moment it’s still all business. It’s a little bit uncomfortable having people always talk about you, but being nominated for the player of the year is obviously a huge honour, so it’s not all bad. It’s just not my favourite thing talking about myself.”
Kerr admits she struggles being away from home during her time with Sky Blue FC in New Jersey. But she has no regrets about the path she’s chosen after opting to take up football instead of AFL.