Canada’s Gill rises to occasion at CWU17

Canada's Nadya Gill (#20) has scored four goals, all as a substitute, in the 2013 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship. (Photo: Mexsport)


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – On Thursday, Group B runner-up Canada will face host Jamaica in the semifinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship.  The winner will not only advance to the title match, it will also secure a ticket to next year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

There is a lot at stake and a capacity crowd is expected to fill Catherine Hall Stadium.  Despite the magnitude of the event, don’t expect Canada’s Nadya Gill or her teammates to be rattled. 

“I think it will be a big game and there will be a big crowd,” the forward told  “But our team is skilled enough and we can come out with the win.”

Gill has made a name for herself at the CONCACAF competition.  She is the only player to enter games twice as a second-half substitute and score two goals each time.

In Canada’s tournament opener, an 8-0 win against Guatemala, Gill came on in the 76th minute and netted twice within 10 minutes.  After subbing in just before the hour mark in an 11-0 defeat of Trinidad & Tobago, she etched her name on the scoresheet in the 77th and 80th minutes.

The self-described Barcelona fan is delighted with her play and the side’s success.

“I was real excited to be on the field and contribute to the team,” commented Gill.  “We’re very good on and off the ball.  Everyone understands their role and positions.”

Two of Gill’s strikes have been of the highest quality.  A lofted chip over Guatemala goalkeeper Angie Hildago from a severe right-sided angle was inspired, but it was outdone when she spun away from a defender in the penalty area and maintained her balance to fire home with composure against Trinidad.

Clearly, Gill is comfortable in possession and owns an exceptional eye for the goal. 

“My best strength is when I’m on the ball, when I’m dribbling,” said the 15-year-old, adding that she appreciates “the passion and glory” of when her team scores.

Gill, who plays for Vaughan SC in Ontario, has worked her way up to the under-17 team through club football and provincial tournaments, before ultimately earning selection to a national training camp.  The trip to Jamaica is her first foray with the international game.

“I think it’s a good experience because not many players get to do it,” she expressed.  “I love the sport and how it works.” 

Most of all, the talented attacker values her Canadian colleagues.

“I love having teammates and their support,” Gill finished.

Before it is all done in Montego Bay, they all hope that the same level of unity can be demonstrated -- once again -- in Costa Rica next March.