Air miles, huge goals, jet lag and sleep - the life of Kyah
Tue 14 December 2021, 12:45|Tottenham Hotspur
Kyah Simon won’t forget the last fortnight in a hurry.
The Spurs Women forward and Aussie legend, capped over 100 times for the Matildas, added another memorable goal on international duty on 30 November when her shot deflected home to secure a draw against world champions USA in front of over 20,000 fans at the McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales.
Two weeks and over 20,000 air miles later, Kyah swapped New South Wales for the West Midlands, and while the temperature might have dropped 20 degrees, the heat was certainly on as she stepped up to take a penalty 30 minutes into our Barclays FA Women’s Super League match against Aston Villa at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium.
It was the perfect chance for Kyah to register her first goal for Spurs and, more important, the opportunity to get back into a testing encounter against a tough Villa side. If Kyah was feeling any nerves, she didn’t show them as she slotted the spot-kick right into the corner, beyond Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, who dived the right way.
The comeback was completed in the second half when Rachel Williams drilled home the winner – the team back to winning ways after disappointment at West Ham last time out, back up to third in the WSL and Kyah off the mark.
“It means a lot, scoring the first goal, getting that monkey off my back, getting off to a start,” reflected Kyah. “I had an injury that kept me out for a few games, but it’s good to be back on the park, playing 90 minutes and getting a goal is always nice as well.
“Credit to the girls, we went 1-0 down but really shifted our mentality and mindset as soon as we conceded, stuck to our game plan and, luckily, I was the one to take the penalty. We really put in a shift as a team and ground out the result. It wasn’t always pretty football, but we got the three points, and we go home a happy team.
"We fight for each other, and I think that goes a long way when it comes to football. You can play pretty football, but sometimes you need to grind out a result, and have the mentality that you’ll leave it all out there, which we did."
Anyone who has experienced long-haul travel will know all jet leg. How did Kyah deal with it? The answer? Sleep...
She explained: “It’s always an honour for me to represent my country and to go back to Australia and play in front of family and friends, you can never take that for granted.
“It’s a five or six-day turnaround to try to get over the jet lag, but I try not to think about it! I just try to get as much sleep as I can and when my eyes start to give way on the couch late in the afternoon, I just have to give in. For me, sleep is the most important part of recovery, and I don’t mind getting enough of that when I’m back to make sure I’m ready for game day.
“The football schedule is hectic at the moment for so many people - international footballers, teams in the Champions League, the Conti Cup, WSL - it’s non-stop football at the moment.
“As a player though, you just want to play and three-game weeks, you’ll put your body through anything because we all love to play so much. I’m not the only one in that position, but recovery is key in that and making sure we’re fresh for Wednesday, and then the weekend.”