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Jun, 14, 2011

Multi-talented Perry almost a veteran

Dual international Ellyse Perry isn't anyone's idea of a seasoned veteran, but she almost qualifies as one in the Matildas squad contesting the upcoming women's World Cup.

Perry jetted off to Germany with the Matildas on Tuesday, while in Brisbane the Australian cricket team she is also a part of was wrapping up the Rose Bowl title in a one-day game against New Zealand.

It's not the first clash of dates in the multi-talented 20-year-old's distinguished sporting career and it's unlikely to be the last.

Normally one of the youngest members of the national cricket and soccer teams, Perry doesn't even get close to that mantle in a Matildas squad boasting seven teenagers.

"The way that those younger girls play is quite incredible and they are at a level that is quite amazing," said Perry, who made her Matildas debut four years ago.

"It's really exciting to have those youthful and inexperienced girls in the team because I think it brings with it a little bit of nice naivety to the team."

Perry was the star performer in Australia's 2010 World T20 final side, taking 3-18 in a player-of-the-match performance against New Zealand, using a bit of soccer footwork off the last ball to seal a three-run win.

While Australia was one of the favourites for that competition, they are ranked just 11th in the world in soccer.

"It probably is a slightly different landscape for the expectations that we have going into the (soccer) World Cup and it is a bigger event too, there's more teams," Perry said.

"I think that's probably an added bonus for us, in terms of there's not that huge amount of spotlight on us and expectation to really go all the way, I guess.

"But having said that, we can go in there and play with freedom because of that."

Adroit at juggling the many demands on her time, the Sydney University economics and social sciences student made sure she took some academic reading material away.

"It's a great way to switch off and probably a source of, dare I say it, of amusement when you are sitting on a plane for 22 hours," Perry said

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