GROUP D – Players to Watch
Barnsley United FC – Sarah Taylor
Sarah Taylor is a central midfielder or striker at Barnsley United Football Club, having been at the club since 2012. She plays football for the friendship and love of the game. Earlier on in her footballing career, Sarah’s parents were influential figures as they took her to her games and would never miss any. Now, she recognises the role of her current coach, Clint, in reigniting her passion and love of the game. Sarah feels as though the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup provides younger girls an avenue and competition to strive and compete in.
Name: Sarah Taylor
Shirt Number: 9
Playing Position: Centre mid/striker
How long have you been at the club? Since 2012
Why do you play football? I play football for the friendships and really enjoy the game. I play with 14 of my best friends which is amazing, there are not many teams out there like us.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? My parents early on when I was younger they’d never miss a game, taking me here there and everywhere for rep and club games. And my coach now Clint, who has taught me to love football again.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? Women’s football in general is growing and it’s important for that growth to continue at a level like this so the younger girls have something to strive for.
Adamstown Rosebud Junior Football Club – Lauren Allan
Lauren Allan is a key striker and goal scorer for Adamstown Rosebuds Football Club, having returned briefly from playing college football in America. Having played football since the age of 5, she loves being able to have a ball at her feet and that football allows her to get away from everyday life and just have fun. She acknowledges the influential role her family has played in her football career, as they have supported and encouraged her more than anyone ever has since the beginning. Lauren believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is an opportunity to be noticed in Newcastle outside the already established premier competitions.
Name: Lauren Allan
Shirt Number: 5
Playing Position: Forward
How long have you been at the club? 5 years
Why do you play football? I started playing football when I was 5 and just loved the idea of being able to run around and have a ball at my feet. Now that I’m older, I still have the same love for the game plus it allows me to get away from everyday life and just have fun.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? I’ve had quite a few influential figures but to narrow it down I’d have to say either my family or my coaches from overseas. My family have supported and encouraged me more than anyone ever has since the beginning. Without them I wouldn’t have experienced what I have today and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play in America. My coaches Julie and Adam pushed me past my limits and guided me in the right direction as a football player.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? The State Cup allows more opportunity for women in the area to be exposed and play against players of all different levels. There isn’t many chances to be noticed besides the Herald Women’s Premier League or the Westfield W-League when it comes to women’s football around Newcastle. So I think it’s great that both younger and older players get another chance to show off their talent to everyone.
Kurri Kurri Women’s Football Club – Kali-Mae Anderson
Kali-Mae Anderson is the experienced goalkeeper at Kurri Kurri Women’s Football Club, having been at the club for 10 years. Kali-Mae attributes her continued involvement in the game to the fun and social aspect of the team environment. Kali-Mae couldn’t single out a particular influential figure in her footballing career. Rather, various players and family members have shaped her footballing journey. She believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is a chance for players in the region to showcase their talent and have fun outside the regular weekend fixtures.
Name: Kali-Mae Anderson
Shirt Number: 1
Playing Position: Goal Keeper
How long have you been playing for the club? 10 years
Why do you play football? For the fun and the social aspect of the team environment
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? Various players over the years and my family as they are all goal keepers.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? To showcase the talent of the women in the region and the girls to get together and have some fun outside the normal week to week games.
Northern NSW State League Referee – Verity Norris
Verity Norris has worked up the ranks in her refereeing career and has done it all with her family by her side, with her dad and her sister both officiating matches. With no playing experience, it has helped her focus on the game in a different point of view with no bias opinion. Varity has a lot of potential to grow in her career and she is continually working hard to improve her skills with officiating Premier Competitions, Zone Leagues and even Indoor Football!
Name: Verity Norris
Does anyone else in your family play football or referee? My Dad, Daniel and my sister, Maxine both referee. Sometimes if we’re lucky, the three of us get appointed to the same ground and it’s a ball. Dad plays on a Friday night socially. We love to go watch him and his good friends play football.
What first prompted you to become a football referee? Years ago, when Dad made his return to football after a significant amount of time, refereeing became an interest of my sister and I. Dad decided that he’d be more likely to get injured if he played so our Grandma suggested he started to referee again. He used to drag us out to his games each weekend and I’d play around and waste the day away with my sister, waiting for Dad to finish until one day, he was two linesmen short.
Maxine and I grabbed the two flags that Dad had buried in his bag and gave him a hand, flagging the in’s and out’s. It was from that moment on, after the praise from both All Age teams that kept me going. It felt amazing being involved and having an important role to play.
If you play football, how has becoming a referee changed the way you approach the game as a player? I don’t play football but I find that having not played, I’m able to see the game from a different point of view. I also have no issues with teams claiming that I’m biased towards my home team.
What is it about football that you love? I absolutely love the community and the weekends out in the sun. Being able to wake up and always have something to look forward to is great. On a game day when I finally get to the ground I’ve been appointed to, I’m always greeted with a friendly face and it’s lovely being known by so many people. The players are just as nice to me off the field, the coaches and people in the canteen, everyone makes me feel accepted. Although some games are more challenging than others and some calls are tight to make, I have fun. I’m always full of adrenaline and feel so happy.
What do you most enjoy about refereeing? Knowing that I get to do what I love and get fit at the same time. Having a purpose, some control over the game is great. I get respect from the players and technical officials, even when I’m not always right, I appreciate how patient they are with me and that they understand I’m only human.
GROUP C – Players to Watch
Merewether United Football Club – Rebekah Stuart
Rebekah Stuart is a young emerging forward that has been playing for multiple years in the first grade team of the reigning major premiers, Merewether United Football Club. Having been at the club since she started playing, she loves the culture and environment that exists within a footballing team and that the sport gives her the opportunity to push and develop herself. Due to the guidance, advice and belief in Rebekah that her current coach, Cassandra Koppen, has provided; Rebekah acknowledged Cass as an influential figure in her footballing career. Rebekah believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is an important opportunity for players from across the region to compete against each other, interact and display the growth of women’s football.
Name: Rebekah Stuart
Shirt Number: 4
Playing Position: Forward
How long have you been playing for the club? 9 Years
Why do you play football? I play football because not only do I love the sport, but I love the environment and the culture that exists within a team. The sport also gives me the opportunity to push myself and work towards being the best player I can be.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? My coach Cass has been an influential figure as she has been pivotal in my development through her guidance, advice and belief in me as a player for multiple years.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? The TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is an important opportunity for players from across the region to compete against each other, interact and show the growth of women’s football. I also believe it is an important stepping stone towards a nation-wide club competition.
Cooks Hill FC – Priya Gibson
Priya Gibson, is an emerging star fullback at Cooks Hills United FC. Having played football at the club for 8 years, she credits this to the thrill and excitement that comes with playing the sport. The dual sport international star, Ellyse Perry, is an inspiration to Priva. Ellyse has represented Australia in both cricket and soccer, and Priva is in awe of her talents and determination. She is striving to reach Ellyse’s level of success. Priva believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup provides a means of inspiration for young girls currently or looking to play football.
Name: Priya Gibson
Shirt Number: 2
Playing Position: Left fullback
How long have you been playing for the club? 8 years
Why do you play football? I play football for both the friendships I’ve created with my team/club mates and to allow myself the chance to enjoy the thrill and excitement that comes with playing soccer.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? Ellyse Perry has been my sporting icon since my first day on the football pitch. Being able to play both soccer AND cricket at a professional level for Australia never fails to inspire a sense of awe and respect from me. I’m always striving to reach her level of determination and sporting ability.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? Opportunities for women in sport is important in my opinion as it provides a means of inspiration and representation for young girls; of which more is always needed.
Football Mid North Coast – Courtney Anderson
Courtney Anderson is a young but experienced winger and midfielder for Football Mid North Coast. Having played for the club for approximately 10 years, she took the sport as a child and has played ever since. An influential figure in her footballing career is her former coach Brenton. Courtney recognized the impact of Brenton’s advice and feedback in developing her confidence and technical ability. Courtney believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup opens up opportunities for players to participate and showcase their talent.
Name: Courtney Anderson
Shirt Number: 11
Playing Position: Wing
How long have you been playing for the club? Roughly 10 years
Why do you play football? I Iove playing the game. I took to the sport as a child and I’ve played every year since.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? My former coach Brenton Doyle who has coached me previously for about 4 years. He is always at my games watching me play and gives me a lot of feedback which has helped me to improve and build my confidence.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? It opens up opportunity for women to participate and showcase our talent. We are able to compete against quality players and teams that we may not normally compete against.
Northern NSW Football State League Referee – Alison Macready
With over 13 Years’ experience, Alison Macready is a highly respected match official in Northern NSW. Last year she was awarded as Northern NSW Football’s 2017 Female Referee of the Year for her outstanding efforts on and off the field. Alison is continually challenging herself as well as there for constant support and guidance for her fellow match officials. Alison found it hard to summarise one reason about why she enjoys it, however, the one that stands out is because she loves contributing to the game she loves!
Name: Alison Macready
How long have you been refereeing for? 13 Years
What first prompted you to become a football referee? I was playing football and we never had any linesmen on our games so I started volunteering to do it and someone suggested to do the course and get paid to do it so I jumped at the chance!
What do you most enjoy about refereeing? It’s hard to summarise just one. I enjoy challenging myself and I love contributing to the game I love.
What is your advice for aspiring female referees? Definitely give it a go. There will definitely be challenges along the way but the positives far outweigh the negative. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends and develop your confidence and social skills that will serve you throughout life. You learn to have a thick skin. It’s so rewarding.
Why is it so rewarding? I am the person who is always looking for the next challenge, and refereeing certainly presents many of those whether it be stepping up to a new competition, refereeing the local derby or the pressure of final series. Coming away after those games knowing that you have given your all and that you have contributed to the game as a whole brings a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment.
GROUP B – Players to Watch
South Wallsend Football Club – Kailsta Hunter
Kalista Hunter is a star defender in her first season at South Wallsend Football Club and says she has found a home in the team. She continues to play football due to her love of the game, and that it is a way for her to keep fit and make lifelong friends. She believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is an avenue to ensure women have the same opportunities as the men. She established that with the growth of women’s football, the competition will encourage more to play, making the sport stronger.
Name: Kalista Hunter
Shirt Number: 14
Playing position: Fullback or Centre back
How long have you been playing for the club? It is my first season playing for South Wallsend and it has been such a wonderful season with my Wolfies family
Why do you play football? I play football because I enjoy it and it keeps me fit. I have found some great friends from playing over the years, I also just love the game itself and have always enjoyed watching it.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? It’s important that women have the same opportunities as men and with so many young girls and women playing football, the competition will encourage more to play making our sport stronger
Mayfield United FC – Aimie Neilson
Aimie Neilson is a speedy reliable striker or midfielder at Mayfield United Football Club. Aimie attributes her continued involvement in football to 3 main aspects; the friends, fitness and a general love of the game. Her sister Amber, who has 14 caps Australia and played for the Newcastle Jets in the Westfield W-League, is a pivotal figure in Aimie’s footballing career. Aimee believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is an important initiative for teams of all areas and competitions to compete against elite teams and showcase their skills.
Name: Aimie Neilson
Shirt Number: 3
Playing Position: Striker/midfield
How long have you been playing for the club? 4 years
Why do you play football? I continue to play football due to 3 things; friends, fitness and a general love for the game.
Who has been an influential figure in your sporting career? My dad and sister have been the most influential. My dad was my first coach of a female team, and my sister, Amber, played for the Matildas and the Newcastle Jets. She has been a big inspiration for me to play the game.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? The TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup has been a great initiative for women’s football as it is an opportunity for teams of all areas and competitions to showcase their skills and compete against elite teams.
New Lambton – Jenna Kennedy
Jenna Kennedy is a stalwart centre back of the newly entered team in the Herald Women’s Premier League, New Lambton Football Club. Jenna loves the competitive nature of the game and the bond that develops within teams. She attributes her love of the game to her brothers as she grew up watching them train and attending their training before she was old enough to participate. Jenna believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is the platform in which women have the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills across all levels.
Name: Jenna Kennedy
Shirt Number: 5
Playing Position: Centre Back
How long have you been playing for the club? This is my first year with New Lambton as they are new to the Herald Women’s Premier League.
Why do you play football? I play football because I really enjoy it, I love the competitive aspect football has. I also love the bond that is developed within the teams.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? Personally, my brothers because I grew up watching them play and going to training with them until I was old enough to play. Player wise, I have always admired Matthew Leckie because of his athleticism and his determination when playing.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? I think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is extremely important as it gives women an opportunity to showcase their talent and skills across all levels. It also allows other teams from different competitions to come together and verse different teams with different skill levels.
Thornton Redbacks FC – Anais Moore
Anais Moore is a young, up and coming centre back at Thornton Redbacks Football Club. In her 3rd year at the club, Anais credits the influential role of her father in her footballing career. Anais is extremely excited to be competing in the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup. She believes the competition is important to spread the word of women’s football and get as many players involved in it as possible.
Name: Anais Moore
Shirt Number: 27
Position: Centre Back
How long have you been playing for the club? 3 years
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? An influential figure on my footballing career has 100% been my dad
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? I think it is so important for women to have a State Cup to spread the word of women’s football and get as many players involved in it as possible. The TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup will support and encourage women’s football as much as possible as it is so underrated compared to male football.
GROUP A – Players to Watch
Warners Bay FC – Toria Campbell
Toria Campbell is a young emerging centre back for the reigning TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup champions, Warners Bay Football Club. Toria has W-League training experience with both Adelaide United FC and Newcastle Jets FC. Toria would like to mention the impact of two of her teammates on her footballing career. Firstly Toria recognises her captain Nadja Squires who has been a great friend and leader and an outstanding player that is constantly improving. Secondly, Sophie Stapleford inspires Toria through her tenacity, persistence and resilience. She recognises both of these players for their strength on and off the field and feels very lucky to have those girls in her team.
Name: Toria Campbell
Shirt Number: 4
Playing Position: Centre back
How long have you been playing for the club? 3 years
Why do you play football? It’s always been my favourite sport to play, I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. It is also a great way to keep fit and make a lot of good friends.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? I’ve always been surrounded by good quality players but I’d like to mention two people who have had big impacts on me and might not even realise it. Firstly Nadja Squires who is not only my captain but also a good friend who I’ve played with for many years now. She’s an outstanding player who just seems to get better and better and is also someone I love having a laugh and hanging out with. Sophie Stapleford is also someone I’ve known for a long time. Who for anyone that knows her, has been through a lot over the past couple of years and there is honestly nothing more inspiring than running out on the field with her and watching her put in nothing less than 100% every week. Not only is she strong on and off the field but is also a really talented player. I feel very lucky to have these two girls in my team.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? Growing up playing sport is so different for women and it’s hard to put into words how unfair it feels sometimes. Women’s sport is still nowhere near where it should be but it’s really good to see that it’s slowly but surely improving. The TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is just another step forward for women’s soccer and sport in general.
Wallsend FC – Sophie O’Brien
Sophie O’Brien is the captain and the heart of defence at Wallsend FC, having been at the club for 3 years. Sophie loves the round ball game and recognised the role it has played in developing lifelong friendships with her teammates. She acknowledged the impact of her Mum as an influential figure in her footballing career as she not only provided support and encouragement, but drove her a long distance to training four times a week for over four years during her time in the Emerging Jets program. Sophie believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup provides the platform to allow clubs from all over the region to play against each other and identify areas for future development.
Name: Sophie O’Brien
Shirt Number: 4
Playing Position: Central Defender
How long have you been playing for the club? 3 years
Why do you play football? I play football because it’s something that I love to do, it’s a hobby that I can do that allows me to forget about everything else going on in our busy lives and enjoy myself for 90 minutes every weekend. I love my team and the friendships I have built whilst playing the game. I enjoy both the ups and downs of the sport.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? My mum, she drove me 1 hour to training 4 days a week for about 5 years, I couldn’t have done that without her willingness, support and encouragement.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? I believe it is important for NNSW to have implemented this competition to allow clubs all over the region to play against teams from different competitions. This allows coaches, players and clubs to identify what development and training needs to be done to improve individually and rank against a range of other team
University Women’s FC – Grace Beissel
Grace Beissel is a tenacious and speedy striker at University Women’s FC. Grace believes football has an important role in developing the mind and body and it is a great avenue to meet people and enjoy their company. She recognises the investment her father played in her footballing journey having grown up in rural NSW and established his influence was the reason she started playing. Grace recognises how the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup provides the challenge and opportunity to play amongst high quality footballers at sophisticated facilities.
Name: Grace Beissel
Shirt Number: 13
Playing position? Striker
How long have you been playing for the club? 4 years
Why do you play football? It would be impossible to list every reason why I play soccer. The main reasons are that is so good for the mind and body and it’s a great way to meet people and have a laugh.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? My Dad! He’s not famous figure but he’s the reason I started playing soccer. I grew up in rural NSW and he invested a ridiculous amount of time and energy when I was younger to support me and drive me to games.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? The TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is hugely important as it promotes women’s football. It is a crucial time to celebrate and showcase the power and talent of women! The competition also provides the challenge and opportunity to play amongst high quality footballers at sophisticated facilities.
University Women’s FC – Nyssa Suchanow
Nyssa Suchanow is an experienced midfielder or forward for University Women’s Football Club. Having been at the club for over 9 years, Nyssa attributes her continued involvement to the creativity that football allows and the freedom for skill development. She believes the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup provides the opportunity for AA/W teams from across different zones to play other teams including Herald Women’s Premier League clubs that they would otherwise not come across in sanctioned competitions. She believes it is also a step towards equality in offering more opportunities for women to be involved in elite competitions.
Name: Nyssa Suchanow
Shirt Number: 8
Playing position: Midfield or forward.
How long have you been playing at the club? Since 2009 with a one year hiatus.
Why do you play football? I originally started playing when I was 14 as a friend asked me to come join her team. After 15 years I continue to play because I really enjoy being out on the field, the creativity that football allows and freedom for skill development. When I was younger I really wanted to get better, but now I enjoy the exercise. I also really enjoy the social aspect that team sports provide and am thankful for the amount of people I have become friends with through participating. I think I will be playing football until my body physically won’t let me run anymore.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? I think it’s important to provide opportunities for AA/W teams from across zones to play against the Herald Women’s Premier League teams and other teams who they would otherwise not come across in sanctioned competitions. It is a step towards equality in the offering of more opportunities for women to become involved in serious competitions that may lead towards the establishment of an FFA Cup style competition for women.
Boambee Eagles – Keira Plumbe
Keria Plumbe is a central midfielder for Boambee Eagles that is situated in the North Coast Football region. She has been at the Eagles for over nine years and she had to travel over 350 km per week in her youth just to play for the club. Keria acknowledged the influence that Jenna Tristram had on her footballing career. Jenna grew up on the North Coast and went on to represent Brisbane Roar in the Westfield W-League and Australia on multiple occasions. Jenna displayed to Keria that you can live in rural areas and still compete with those from the city. Keria believes that the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup will promote equality among men and women in sport, something her club has been trying to work for.
Name: Keira Plumbe
Shirt Number: 7
Playing Position: Central midfield.
How long have you been playing for the club? I started playing for Boambee FC when I was 14 years old as I grew up in a small country town where there was no longer a team for me to play in. In that it meant my parents had to drive about 400km a week just for me to play football. Since joining Boambee FC I have played 9 going on 10 years of my most memorable football.
Why do you play football? I play football because it’s all I know. I fell in love with the sport at the age of 5 and have played ever since. For me it’s an outlet from work and study and it’s also my social side of life. The girls I play with are an incredible bunch and I think we all agree that we’re more a family than a sporting team.
Who has been an influential figure in your footballing career? For me as a young girl with the aspiration of being the best footballer I could be, my most influential figure would have been Jenna Tristram. I believe this was because she too grew up on the North Coast and displayed to me that you can live in rural areas and still compete with those from the city. It made selections and achieving my goals look and become more achievable however this came with great sacrifice.
Why do you think the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup is important? I’m a bit of a feminist so I believe it’s important in order to have equality among men and women in sport. It’s a big thing that we the Boambee Eagles have been trying to fight on the North Coast over the past few years as Women’s football has no publicity and is totally over looked by our male counterparts. I believe it also gives the young girls who are developing and stepping up in their football journeys something to look forward to and aspire to compete in.