Canada U17: Jessica De Filippo
Jessica De Filippo, 17, is a forward for the U17 Canadian Women’s National Teamand from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
What is your football story?
I started playing soccer at the age of 4 and ever since then it has been my passion. The sport is something very special to me as I know it will always be there for me to play. It has allowed me to travel the world and learn about new cultures, and has given me memories and experiences that I will never forget.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?
These photos were taken at the main stadium in Montevideo before our bronze medal match against New Zealand. I believe these photos show the concentration we usually have before matches as well as the moments where we break out of our shells and try to enjoy the feeling of playing in a World Cup match. This group of us were very close during the tournament, we all loved a song that we usually played before games to get us motivated and here we were all listening and dancing to it.
It really summarises the way we felt during the whole tournament. It was the last day of the tournament and at this point we had been away from home for over a month and we were still so happy to be where we were. It shows how close we were as a team and this connection translated to us being able to perform at our best on the field.
What was your experience of playing at the U17 WWC?
Playing at a World Cup is incredible. It allows you as an individual to compare yourself to the best players around the world and as a result you grow and learn as a player. Having the chance to represent your country’s colours on the world stage will always be something very special.
What does football mean to you?
The sport will always be something very special to me. It is special because it is one of very few ways that you are able to connect with people around the whole world. It has educated me in a different way that school wouldn’t be able to teach me and for that I am grateful. For me football is a way that you can express yourself with no judgment attached.
Why is football so important for Canada and Canadian girls?
Football is a sport that can be played by girls and boys around the world. When you play the sport you are not categorised by your race or gender, you are recognised as a soccer player. Canada is a very diverse country and that is what makes us so special, so to be able to play soccer in this country is a way to bring people together and make new friends. I also think that this sport allows girls specifically to get out of their comfort zone and build confidence, which empowers them and creates women who are not scared for life’s challenges.
What does the future look like for women’s football?
Women are on the rise, especially in sports. I believe that the future is bright for female athletes in general and if we continue to push barriers, we will continuously be recognised by others. I think bigger and better opportunities are going to come for women in football and strongly believe it will come sooner rather than later.