Kyra Lillee Cooney-Cross (born 15 February 2002) is an Australian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Women's Super League club Arsenal and the Australia women’s national team. She has previously played for Hammarby IF in the Damallsvenskan, as well as Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory in the W-League.

Kyra Cooney-Cross
Cooney-Cross in 2019
Personal information
Full name Kyra Lillee Cooney-Cross
Date of birth (2002-02-15) 15 February 2002 (age 22)
Place of birth Herston, Queensland, Australia
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)[1]
Position(s) Midfielder
Team information
Current team
Number 32
Youth career
2013–2016 Ballarat City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2019 Melbourne Victory 16 (2)
2019–2020 Western Sydney Wanderers 13 (4)
2020–2022 Melbourne Victory 28 (7)
2022–2023 Hammarby IF 30 (1)
2023– Arsenal 6 (0)
International career
2016–2017 Australia U-17 14 (14)
2018– Australia U-20 8 (7)
2021– Australia 40 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 17 December 2023
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 5 December 2023

Early life edit

Cooney-Cross was born to Jessica Cooney and Jai Cross in Herston, Queensland. Jai played soccer at semi-pro level in Queensland with Sunshine Coast and he wanted his daughter to grow up with a ball at her feet. Usually playing with older girls and boys, at the age of 13, she started at FFV NTC and a year later trialled for the Mini Matildas.[2] Cooney-Cross attended Ballarat High School as well as Surf Coast Secondary College in Torquay, Victoria before dropping out to pursue her dream of soccer. [3]

Club career edit

Cooney-Cross spent three years in Ballarat City between 2013 and 2016, playing under the tutelage of Ballarat City coach Tessa Curtain.[4]

Melbourne Victory (2017–2019) edit

In 2017, Cooney-Cross was signed by Melbourne Victory for the 2017-18 W-League season.[5] On 28 October 2017, she made her debut for the club in a 2–1 home win against Canberra United, playing the full 90 minutes in her first competitive league match.[6] On 29 December 2017, she scored her first ever goal for the club in a 3–1 home loss against Newcastle Jets, heading in at the 28th minute mark behind Jets goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom.[7] By the end of the season she played in Victory's all twelve games, scoring two goals.[2] In the 2018–19 season, she was part of the W-League premier title winning squad, though she was only able to play in four of the twelve matches.[2]

Western Sydney Wanderers (2019–2020) edit

Cooney-Cross moved to Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019–20 season, where she scored in her debut, a free-kick at the 92nd minute mark of a 2–1 home win over Adelaide United.[8]

Melbourne Victory (2020–2022) edit

In December 2020, following one season at Western Sydney Wanderers, Cooney-Cross returned to Melbourne Victory.[9] On 11 April, Cooney-Cross scored directly from a corner kick in the 120th minute of extra time to win the 2021 W-League Grand Final, beating season premiers Sydney FC 0–1.[10][11]

Hammarby (2022–2023) edit

On 15 March 2022, Cooney-Cross transferred to Hammarby IF in the Swedish Damallsvenskan, signing a two-year contract.[12]

Arsenal (2023–) edit

On 15 September 2023, Arsenal announced the signing of Cooney-Cross.[13] Ian Wright wanted Arsenal to recruit Cooney-Cross after her impressive performance in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, and asked Steph Catley to help convince Cooney-Cross to join the club.[14] On the 1 October 2023, the opening day of the 2023-24 season, Cooney-Cross made her first appearance for the club in a 0-1 loss to Liverpool.[15]

International career edit

In August 2016, Cooney-Cross was part of the Australia U-17s who participated in the 2017 AFC U-16 Women's Championship qualifiers, scoring six goals, the first four of which came against Palestine.[16] She was later named in the squad for the 2017 AFC U-16 Women's Championship finals, where Australia was knocked out in the group stage, their only points coming from a 3–2 win against Bangladesh. Cooney-Cross scored in the 78th minute of the game to bring the scores level to 2–2, before Sofia Sakalis scored the winner in the 83rd minute, to help Australia finish third in the group.[17]

In October 2018, Cooney-Cross scored the first three of her six goals of the 2019 AFC U-19 Women's Championship qualifiers.[18] On 4 June 2019, she was named as a standby player for the Australian squad participating in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.[19] On 15 October 2019, she was named in the Australia U-20 squad participating in the 2019 AFC U-19 Women's Championship.[20] She scored Australia's first goal of the tournament in a 5–1 opening match loss against North Korea, heading in at the 16th minute mark from an Indiah-Paige Riley cross.[21]

Cooney-Cross made her debut for the Australian women's national soccer team in a 3–2 friendly loss to Denmark on 10 June 2021.

Cooney-Cross was selected for the Matildas soccer team which qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Matildas advanced to the quarter-finals with one victory and a draw in the group play. In the quarter-finals they beat Great Britain 4–3 after extra time. However, they lost 1–0 to Sweden in the semi-final and were then beaten 4–3 in the bronze medal playoff by USA.[22]

Cooney-Cross was a part of the Australian team at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. She featured in the starting lineup of every match that Australia played, forming a midfield partnership with Katrina Gorry.

Honours edit

Melbourne Victory



References edit

  1. ^ "Squad list – Women's Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Tito, Clement (8 February 2019). "'She had to grow up quickly'". The Women's Game. nextmedia. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  3. ^ Higgins, Billy (2 February 2022). "Pride in soccer star as cup campaign ends". Surf Coast Times. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  4. ^ Evans, Kyle (25 August 2020). "Kyra turns her attention to 2023 Women's World Cup". The Courier. Ballarat: Australian Community Media. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Complete preview for each W-League team for season 2017/18". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney: News Corp Australia. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  6. ^ "More to come from Cooney-Cross". Melbourne Victory FC. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  7. ^ Kerry, Craig (29 December 2017). "Newcastle climb ladder with 3–1 win over Melbourne Victory". The Newcastle Herald. Australian Community Media. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Western Sydney Wanderers FC Women vs Adelaide United Women, Westfield W-League, Round 1, 14th Nov 2019". Westfield W-League. Football Federation Australia. 16 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Kyra Cooney-Cross returns to Melbourne Victory". Melbourne Victory FC. 2 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Soccer-Cooney-Cross scores last-gasp corner as Melbourne win W-League Grand Final". CNA. Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Sydney FC Women vs Melbourne Victory Women, Westfield W-League, Grand Final, 11th Apr 2021". Westfield W-League. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin sign with Hammarby Fotboll". Football Australia. 15 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Kyra Cooney-Cross joins the club". Arsenal F.C. 15 September 2023. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  14. ^ "HOW IAN WRIGHT WORKED HIS MAGIC TO GET COONEY-CROSS SIGN FOR THE ARSENAL WOMEN". onefootball. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Team news: Back-to-back starts for Cooney-Cross". Arsenal F.C. 12 November 2023. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  16. ^ Odong, Ann (30 August 2016). "Junior Matildas cruising in AFC U-16s Qualifiers". The Women's Game. nextmedia. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Bangladesh U-16 women concede 2–3 defeat against Australia". Daily Sun. Dhaka: East West Media Group. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  18. ^ Appleton, Molly (24 October 2018). "Young Matildas masterclass on Mongolia". The Women's Game. nextmedia. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  19. ^ Evans, Kyle (4 June 2019). "Ballarat export Kyra Cooney-Cross named as standby player for FIFA World Cup team". The Courier. Ballarat: Australian Community Media. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Leah Blayney finalises Westfield Young Matildas squad for 2019 AFC U-19 Women's Championship". Westfield Matildas. Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  21. ^ Roots, Dale (28 October 2019). "DPR Korea vs Young Matildas Match Report". Beyond 90. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo 2021". The Roar. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  23. ^ Smith, Emma (31 March 2024). "Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (AET): Stina Blackstenius secures League Cup glory in extra time". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 April 2024.

External links edit