This is the first in a series of Girls FC profiles on women’s teams and women in football.
If you’d like to tell your personal or team story for footballaustralia.com.au and Girls FC, send an email in the format below using these questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Club: Kariong United Football Club, NSW
Mascot: Cougars (No, seriously)
Captain: T (Therese)
What is the age range of the team?
19 (Kiran) to Suzanne (48)
Anyone have a story to tell?
“Our goal celebration is pretty...memorable.” - Carly (Pokey)
“A boy who plays for our club in the U16s was in an accident earlier this year, leaving him paralysed. The girls in our team jumped to help the club, providing items for a bake sale and an auction at last minute. The day raised over $3,000 for the boy and his family. It was great to see such community spirit in our small club”
Memorable moment of the season so far?
“It’s a toss-up between Sue’s brilliant reflex save on the line against Dolyo and the two goals Pokey scored in between needing her puffer on the sideline.” - Suzanne
“Winning against Kanwal” - T
“For me it would be copping a ball to the head and getting knocked out” - Nicole
“My first brace - the first one I was shocked that I did it, the second one, well, it was a bit sloppy but I’ll take it!” - Pokey
Best nickname in team?
“Pokey” - Lamese
“I’ve started calling Kiran ‘Bruiser’, mostly because we keep accidently injuring each other at training!” - Pokey
Anyone travel a long distance to play or attend multiple games, coach other teams?
“Nicole lives at Long Jetty, which is a hike to Kariong. Sarah Hipwell lives, works full time and is studying in Sydney and that's pretty far.” - Lamese
“I used to travel from Carlingford to coach/play in previous years” - T
Improvements so far this season?
“We have quite a few teammates that have never played before and they are awesome and lovin' it! So good to see them realise what's meant to be happening in a game and they get fired up.” - Lamese
“Out of sight, for every player - especially some of those who are also playing Soccer5s, their ball control has improved out of site” - T
“The squad as a whole has come so far in such a short time. I think we can owe it to three things; 1. Our coach, Mick - mostly because he a brave man taking on a coaching job of 16 women, who at times act like giggling five-year-olds. 2. Dynamic - at the start of the season, most of us were strangers. In only a few short weeks we’ve bonded and all became great friends. 3. Hard work - we all do our best to attend training, do the drills, listen to what Mick has to say and stay focused. That’s when we’re not getting attacked by the sprinklers, of course” - Pokey
Aims for the season
“Play for each other. Have best end of season trip.” - Lamese
“To survive the year have fun and play every game. From a team perspective to have fun, enjoy the company, do some team stuff off the pitch and continue to improve as a team” - Suzanne
Anyone with an interesting personal goal?
“I want to still be playing when I turn 50 but I don’t know how interesting that is. It is kinda more insane than interesting” - Suzanne
“To keep my golden boot - Although Pokey is providing strong competition ;)” - T
“Get a hat trick in a game. It’ll never happen, but I can dream right? Or take on T for the Golden Boot! ;)” - Pokey
Thoughts on women's football?
“Women's All Age should be allowed to register more than 16 players in a team, especially the lower grades. Players new to the sport will have the same injury issues as Over-35s. It’s not fair but reality that women over a certain age will miss games for sick children, among other family reasons, that men of the same age would play.” - Lamese
“I have been playing women’s football for over 10 years now from U16s to first division and now in WAA6 and through all level I have had a great time! There is no other sport I would rather play. Through every level of the competition I have made friends.” - T
“I love it, I wish I’d started playing earlier” - Nicole
“I’ve only been playing for a few years, but I can’t get enough. I went from playing the odd game of indoor football, to outdoor. Now I play several times a week at Soccer5s, play outdoor with WAA6 and coach an U5s team. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating, knowing the refs can be a bit soft on you, just because you’re female. I watch my (male) friends’ games, and when I see them get carded, I think, ‘Wow, we got away with that exact thing last week’. Oh, and the bobby pin thing. Until someone can prove to me that someone’s been horrifically injured with a bobby pin, I stand my ground in saying let us wear them!” - Pokey
What would you say to other women about the benefits of playing football?
“For half a year we get two hours a week of freedom. We get to be physical creatures, unencumbered by the way we look, free of making decisions, no meeting the needs of others. Just filling our lungs with oxygen, wind and laughter. Collapsing on grass. It’s like being a kid again.
In the beginning, it’s hard to get family and friends to understand that it’s a commitment every week, though it seems very acceptable for men to be late to a family barbeque due to their games. After a while, family and friends get into it too. Parents and kids are real proud. I love it when teammates' kids give me tips.” - Lamese
“It is great fun, especially if you find the team that best suits what you want to achieve out of the game. I found the perfect team for me – a great bunch of girls who play for fun and enjoyment. Obviously we would prefer to win but it does not diminish the enjoyment of the game or the fun of playing when we don’t." - Suzanne
“What’s stopping you? Clubs out there are actively seeking women players. You don’t need experience, you just need to have the motivation to get out on the pitch every week, and have a blast!” – Pokey
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