U20 World Cup sets Zois for exciting campaign

At just 18 years of age, Paige Zois’ best football is well and truly ahead of her.

But that won’t stop the Melbourne Victory midfielder aiming high in the upcoming A-League Women campaign following an unbelievable off-season of development.

Zois was a member of the Young Matildas squad at the U20 World Cup in Costa Rica before returning to play a key role in Bulleen’s run to the NPLW Grand Final alongside Victory teammates Lia Privitelli and Tiff Eliadis.

Heading into her third A-League Women season, Zois believes the invaluable experience gathered at the U20 World Cup will help her compete at the elite level.

“I felt like more of a younger soul in the team last year but now I’ve grown a lot more and found my voice,” Zois said.

It (the U20 World Cup) was amazing. It was challenging at times but also so rewarding. I’ve genuinely learned so much and grown a lot within myself.

“Just playing against the World’s best was incredible. They play such great football and to be up against them and put in some solid performances was great.”

Zois came off the bench in the Young Matildas’ 3-1 come-from-behind win over hosts Costa Rica and featured in the 0-2 loss to Brazil.

“Playing against Costa Rica and winning that just instilled this belief in myself and Australia as a team that we have some good up-and-coming players and the development is there,” she said.

It’s given me a lot of confidence heading into the season.

The emerging midfielder has been preparing her body at the AAMI Park gym ahead of official pre-season training kicking off in the coming month.

She will be joined by Young Matildas teammates Jessika Nash and Miranda Templeman, who both signed with Victory last week.

The trio formed a close bond in Costa Rica and can’t wait to join forces this season.

“Every meal time we’d always talk about how excited they were to come to Victory and I think they’ll fit in really nicely.”

Victory’s A-League Women campaign will commence on November 19 against Western United.