HUNTER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Danielle has been in the competition since the early days and has played with three different clubs in the Herald Women’s Premier (WPL) League. After having 18 months off due to an ACL injury, Danielle has come back stronger than ever and is enjoying her football. She also contributes off the field, coaching an U11ʼs Emerging Jets side while balancing full-time employment. Danielle chatted with Lindsay about her thoughts on her new club, Wallsend, and why her dad has been so influential on her career.
Tell me about your playing history – What teams have you played for and when?
I started with Rutherford Dragons at the age of 6 in 2001 and started being a goalkeeper there in U8s. I then played with the Hunter Hawks from 9 years old to 13 years old. I was then picked to play in the Emerging Athlete’s Program and the Johnny Warren Program which was awesome! After this, I was selected to play with the NSW Institute of Sport when I was 15 years old but I did my ACL so I had 18 months off. I spent 2 years playing with Adamstown in the Herald WPL then moved to Thornton for 2 years and now Iʼm at Wallsend. Fingers crossed for more than 2 years!
You played at Thornton last season, what made you make the move to Wallsend and how are you finding it so far?
The move from Thornton took some time to process as I had a good relationship with the coach, Al Primmer. When Marc called me and told me the direction of the club and how he wanted to play, it became a very easy decision as they had what seemed to be a good vision of what they wanted to achieve in the near future. I am enjoying the style of football that we play. It is a very positive club with a friendly and family atmosphere where it doesn’t matter if we win or lose, there is always someone there when you walk off the field to shake your hand and say well done. The girls always have such a good attitude regardless of the score and that is a credit to the club and how they portray themselves.
You have been playing in the League since 2014, are you happy with how the competition has progressed?
I thought the competition was going strong and progressing very well and the addition of another team was great until we lost 2 first grade teams. I feel as if the talent is not spread across the competition which sets the competition back a step.
Who has been your favourite player to play alongside with this year?
It would be hard to say one player in particular. It’s great playing alongside a few of the girls that I used to play with in previous teams and programs but it is also nice to play with some new girls and make new friends.
Which player is the hardest to play against? And why?
There are obviously a few good players that I come up against but I’d have to say, Jenna Kingsley. She is quick as well as tidy with the ball. She can put in 100% for 90 minutes and works hard until the closing minutes of a game which shows how classy of a player she really is.
What do you like to do in your spare time when youʼre not playing football?
I don’t really have much spare time. I work full time, I play with Wallsend and I also coach an Under 11 girls team for the Emerging Jets. With the little spare time I do get, I try and spend it with my partner Dillon.
What do you do for work? Are you currently studying? Or have you graduated?
I work in childcare. I finished my Diploma at the end of July and will be starting my 0-5 teaching degree.
Who is the most influential person in your career?
My family and my partner are all really supportive but I’d have to say, my Dad. He is the reason I am a keeper and he has coached me throughout my whole career. If he wasn’t my coach, he would be helping me in his own time to work on anything that I needed. He is one of the first faces I look for in the crowd at half-time or at full time to talk about things on what I could have done to prevent a goal or to improve.
Whatʼs your plans for the future of your career? Where are you hoping to progress?
I’d love to play for the Westfield W-league but I feel like I’ve missed that boat, so I’m going to continue to play in the WPL for as long as I am enjoying it and still being competitive. Hopefully, I’ll still be coaching with the Emerging Jets and I can coach at levels that I didn’t reach in my playing career.