Oh baby, a medal for mum

WHOLE NEW BALL GAME: Cheryl Salisbury and baby Nate. - Picture byJonathan Carroll
WHOLE NEW BALL GAME: Cheryl Salisbury and baby Nate. - Picture byJonathan Carroll

Newcastle's soccer queen Cheryl Salisbury thought life was hectic when she captained the Matildas during her 15-year international career.

But the first-time mother has found an endless schedule of feeding, sleeping and household chores is as challenging as marking the world’s best strikers.

The 36-year-old, pictured with son Nate gave birth in March.

Salisbury will step back into the limelight tomorrow at EnergyAustralia Stadium when she is honoured with the launch of the Cheryl Salisbury Medal, to be awarded to Australia’s top female player of the year.

Salisbury, who was an ardent campaigner for equality in football, said it was a huge honour.

‘‘It seems like such a long time ago that I was playing and fighting for recognition for women’s sport and fighting for equal opportunities,’’ she said.

‘‘You go to award ceremonies and it’s all about the boys ... suddenly I’m out of the game a year and a half and I have an award named after me and a medal cut of my image and it’s like, ‘Oh my god’.’’

Last season Salisbury coached Broadmeadow to the Herald Women’s Premier League title.

She said it was unlikely, as a stay-at-home mother, that she would be involved in coaching in the near future, but she planned to commentate for the ABC during this summer’s W-League season.

‘‘I honestly don’t know how mums go back to work full-time,’’ Salisbury said yesterday.

‘‘It’s just 24-7. It’s all about him and it’s amazing how I used to think I was busy. Now people even find it hard to get me on the phone.’’

The Lambton Jaffas junior retired from the Matildas in January 2009 after an Australian record of 151 games.

While she did not admit it at the time, Salisbury said part of the reason for retirement was that her biological clock was ticking.