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De Vanna allegations eye-opening: Yallop

Midfielder Tameka Yallop says Lisa De Vanna’s allegations of abuse and harassment early in her career were eye-opening and have prompted current players to work harder to ensure a safe environment for the Matildas.

The Matildas are back on home soil for the first time since March 2020 for two friendly matches against Brazil, but have returned amid a storm of queries over their culture following De Vanna’s allegations earlier this month.

Yallop, 30, has been a part of the Matildas set-up since debuting as a 16-year-old in 2007, and for much of that time has been a key player.

She said her time in the national team had been a positive one, but stressed everyone’s experiences were different.

In welcoming De Vanna’s decision to come forward, Yallop said it had highlighted the importance of reassuring players the Matildas provided a safe environment now and into the future.

“To me, the allegations were surprising, given that I have been in the environment for a long time. But in saying that, everyone has a different experience and no two experiences are the same,” Yallop told AAP.

“So we obviously support her (De Vanna) in everything that she wants to come forward with and we are happy that she’s finally felt that she can come forward, and we want to promote that as well from a safe environment, not just for retired players or current players but also for future players too.

“So if anything it’s prompted us to work harder in making sure that it’s a safe environment.

“But for me, I’ve always had a positive experience and the Matildas are a second family for me.”

Yallop welcomed the decision for Sport Integrity Australia to open an independent investigation to handle any complaints, the details of which are expected to be made public this week.

“It was the right step to take and FA obviously did that themselves as well, and we’re in full support of that,” she said.

“Hopefully a lot of positive things come from it.”

Yallop said the scrutiny on the players hadn’t affected them on the training track ahead of Saturday’s game at CommBank Stadium which will be coach Tony Gustavsson’s first home game.

“The positive side of coming back into camp is that we do have two games that we’re focusing on,” she said.

“So really, once all of us have got together in camp here that’s been the main focus, performing and taking on Brazil.

“It’s still been a positive environment within camp and working with Tony towards the Brazil games – so that’s our main focus.”

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