PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Sporting the number 13 jersey for the Jets is big-hearted 20-year-old, Grace Macintyre. Commencing her football career at the age of 6 with her local club, the Kotara Bears, this home-grown talent has come a long way from being one of the only “ girls that played for the [Kotara Bears] club”.
At the age of 12, Grace was selected for the Emerging Jets program and remained with the program to build on her skills until the opportunity presented itself with the Jets.
Whilst in the Emerging Jets, Grace was selected for the Junior Matilda’s under 14s and toured Vietnam with the Australian squad. Grace was again selected for the Young Matilda’s under 17s in 2011, this time travelling to New Zealand. Most incredibly, at the age of 17, Grace was selected for the 19s squad and participated in the 2013 Asian Cup held in China.
Debuting for the Jets in 2012 at 16 years of age, Grace has had many experiences throughout the four years that she has played for the Jets.
“I came into the Jets quite young and have had some super good experiences, but I’d have to say my first game back against Melbourne City this season has been my biggest highlight”.
That first game will remain a highlight to Grace as it marks a personal goal in coming back to the game she loves after recovering from a torn medial ligament in the 2013.14 season and an ACL injury she sustained in the 2014.15 season.
Grace knew she had to work hard to gain her position back into the squad following her injuries, “I didn’t think I’d be able to get back into the Jets team, it took a lot of hard work to get back into the squad 2 years later”, explained Grace.
With her hard work paid off, Grace’s goal and hope for this season, as a team, is to make it to the finals series.
On a more personal level, Grace said she hopes “to learn and be pushed to the next level of football through the learning of the coaching staff and the players around me.”
Coach Craig Deans believes Grace’s comeback has shown a lot of confidence in how she plays on the field.
“Grace is a good story in many ways – she injured her ACL at a young age and has worked very hard to find her fitness.”
“She did great in her first game back in Round 1 against Melbourne City, unfortunately, she fell sick before the second match against Melbourne Victory, but since that setback you can see the confidence in herself as a player and this is noticeable in her game time”.
ON THE FIELD
Although Grace’s preferred position is a defender, she is an extremely versatile player which will prove useful as the season progresses. Despite a history of unfortunate injuries, this does not limit or impinge on her skill level, as Grace’s strength in ball technicality remains unmeasured. She is powerful and assertive in one on one situations and to top this young gun off, she has an extraordinarily powerful shot!
OFF THE FIELD
When the boots are off Grace keeps herself busy working and studying at the University of Newcastle. Grace is currently in her 2nd year of Occupational Therapy and loving it! She also works part-time as a nanny and support worker. But when away from these commitments, she will be found attending gigs, exploring the great outdoors and taking time out on Sunday to go to church.