Today’s feature story for rebel Female Football Week is focusing our rebel FFW Player of the Year Award winner, Hannah Jones.
Hannah is a dedicated and driven footballer, who at such a young age, has shown tremendous commitment to the game.
On behalf of NNSWF, we would like to congratulate Hannah on her achievements.
Name: Hannah Jones
Club/teams you play for? I currently play for the Newcastle Jets.
Short description of your playing experience.
I have had many great experiences as a soccer player. I started playing for the Castle Hill Rockets at the age of three.
At the age of six, I moved to Mudgee and began playing for the Mudgee Wolves. I started rep soccer when I was ten and played my first game for the Western NSW Mariners, in the Sydney comp, at the age of 11.
I continued playing for this team until I was twelve. I was lucky enough to go to nationals for NSW country for the first time at the age of 12. I then moved to Port Macquarie and began playing for Mid North Coast when I was thirteen. During this year I got selected for the Northern NSW team to play at nationals, and I was given the opportunity to be vice-captain of the side. I was then chosen in the Jets team for the next season, and that year I was also chosen to represent Northern NSW at nationals.
I continued playing for the Jets and had many opportunities arise. I was chosen in the NTC team, and from here I was invited to my first national team camp for the Junior Matildas. I was very excited to be a shadow for this team due to a girl being unable to attend, I was able to go away with the team.
This was the best experience of my career so far, as I was able to learn from extremely talented girls and I also got the ability to play for my country. The experience was amazing and something I would hope to be able to do again in the future. On returning from this tour; I was invited to be able to train with the W-league for a few sessions and this was again a great experience. I have also been a member of a variety of futsal teams at national events for both NSW country and NSW country North and this year we were fortunate enough to win the tournament.
Why did you choose football?
I chose football initially because my brother played and I always wanted to be better than him in every way I could. I also would often have to watch my brother play games and a way for me to avoid this was to play myself so this was how I started playing rep soccer.
Why are you still playing?
I still play as there is always a new goal to strive for and achieve. When I was younger I used to never think I would be able to get to where I am today, but now I think I have got this far, so maybe I could get further and this is what drives me to keep playing- knowing that there is always something more to achieve and a new goal to strive for.
How has football-shaped/ influenced you?
Football has shaped me into a more confident person. It has also taught me to be more organised as I have had to manage my time more effectively and it has also increased my connections with others from different parts of the country. The people I have played with have also influenced how I act and football has also taught me a sense of professionalism and how you need to act in a more business-like society. This will, therefore, help me when I start working.
Best football moment?
My best football moment would have to be playing for the Junior Matildas in Thailand in September last year. It is something I have always dreamt of and is also something I will never forget. When my friends and I were younger we would often talk about how cool it would be to represent your country and so this opportunity was something I would cherish as it is a rare opportunity, that many dreams of. It opened up so many different opportunities for me outside of the soccer playing community as I was given the opportunity to speak at the primary school sports ceremony at my school. It has also allowed me to get many coaching jobs where I am able to pass my knowledge on to the future generation of players. The experience of playing other countries and the environment you are in is another thing I will never forget as it is very different from what I was used to.
What would you tell someone thinking of getting involved with football?
Never give up on your dreams.
They are always achievable with hard work and dedication. I never thought I would get anywhere near where I have so far, but with hard work; anyone can get there. It is also a great way to build strong friendships with others outside your school community and also make connections with people from across the country. Never give up on trying to achieve your dream.