Mary Fowler is on the brink of becoming an international superstar and Sam Kerr could be a major beneficiary.
At 19 years old, Fowler seemingly has the world at her feet.
The extremely talented Matildas attacker signed a four-year deal this week to join English club Manchester City from Montpellier.
A year after a women’s World Cup at home, the biggest step in Fowler’s career couldn’t have come at a better time for the teenager or the Matildas.
“I knew in the back of my mind that the World Cup was next year and so being with a top club was absolutely my priority,” Fowler told AAP.
“At a club like Manchester City I will play at the highest level all year round, from club level to national team level.
“It will simply be the best football environment you can be in all year round.
“It’s definitely a great opportunity in that sense and it really helps me to grow as a player and then inevitably that will help the national team because I’m going to go in as a better player too.”
In November, Kerr told AAP that the “incredible” Fowler was de Matildas’ best finisher on both feet, a “top professional” and marked her becoming a “world-class player”.
While Fowler and Chelsea star Kerr will now clash at club level, the 19-year-old is well aware that her own improvement could help ease the heat and pressure from her national team captain.
“Sam is doing a great job and she’s under a lot of pressure because she’s so good at what she does,” Fowler said.
“But I’m very focused on improving myself as a player.
“If that means taking the pressure off her then that’s great, but I’m trying to improve myself as an individual and that in turn will help the team at national and club level.”
Fowler made his breakthrough in 2018 as a 15-year-old striker and now prefers to play as a creative attacking midfielder, but likes to play on the attack everywhere.
And like Lyon’s Kerr, City teammates Hayley Raso and Alanna Kennedy and Ellie Carpenter, the former Montpellier pistol has trophies in its sights.
“I think it’s something that I’ve missed in the places (clubs) I’ve been, that the winning mentality wasn’t that strong,” said Fowler.
“So to go to a club where winning is very important to me is very important to me and I’m excited to be in such a top environment.”