PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
On the Bench with Lori Depczynski
Team: Merewether United
Position: Centre Back or Striker
Merewether United captain Lori Depczynski started playing soccer at 11 years old for her local team, Moree Junior Soccer Club. Lori had a deep love for the game, however, never had the chance to compete in State or National competitions growing up due to living so far away.
In year 11, Lori moved to Newcastle and commenced school at Hunter Sports High School in their Targeted Sports Program for football. In that same year, Lori joined her first Herald Women’s Premier League (WPL) team and played alongside former Westfield Matildas Vice Captain, Joey Peters, for Valentine Football Club.
The following year, both Joey and Lori signed with Charlestown City Blues for the 2011 season. It was this season where Lori built a close rapport with fellow teammates Cassandra Koppen, Jamee Ellis and Ellie Withers; little did they know the four would go on to play together at Merewether, and eventually create the “Llamas” (as they like to call themselves).
Despite an ACL injury set back in 2012, Lori was back and fighting fit in no time, travelling to America for a season of college soccer.
In 2014, Lori signed with Merewether and has remained at the club ever since. Lori holds her achievements with Merewether to be “pretty special”, particularly “being the first team to win the double in 2015”.
Lori is a player who will not back down where a head challenge presents itself from a corner, however, still is working towards improving her stats this season.
“Personally, I’d like to work harder than the few previous years and become a bit more versatile”, she said.
In terms of the ‘Llamas’, their plans are pushing for a minor premiership – “I think we’ve got a team that could do it!”
WPL PLAYERS PLAYER:
Lori credits ex-Herald WPL and ex-Westfield W-League Newcastle Jets player, Adriana Jones. Lori said, “if you asked me last year I would have said, Adriana Jones”. Lori admires Adriana’s determination as a player, “she was so fiery and made you work as a defender”. As for this year, Lori said she’s looking forward to playing against her old teammate Sophie Jones, who now plays for Football Mid North Coast because she undoubtedly “puts up a good battle”.
OFF THE FIELD:
When Lori isn’t playing, she can be found lending a hand with the Merewether United FC’s 16s Herald WPL team. Lori has completed her degree in Engineering and now works as an environmental engineer. Otherwise, Lori will be found spending time with her boyfriend, usually walking his dogs together.