Following on from Part 2 of our Diamond League retrospective, we talk to our interviewees about their memorable experiences within Diamond League!
What are your most positive memories from your Diamond League playing days?
Taylah – Definitely Kanga Cup. Being able to travel for football at such a young age, stay in hotels, play at a really high level and bond in the freezing cold winter of Canberra with my teammates are memories that will never be forgotten.
Mackenzie – I remember our Diamond League team as being the place where everyone worked at the same pace to improve. It was fun and inclusive, but everyone was motivated. Going to Kanga Cup as a group was memorable as we got to spend all our free time together. I have some other crazy memories like the code word we had for our press was “pineapple.” Other teams used to look at us funnily when we would be screaming out the word pineapple. I also remember a night learning to kick a ball properly up against the fence at Montview Oval. That one coaching session really stands out in my mind. (Fernando Clarence was that coach)
Anabel – There are so many positive memories. In G11 our coach gave us scrapbooks which we had to fill in. I still have mine. One of the Mums made us all homemade knitted beanies for our trip to Kanga Cup. The beanies, hair ties and sense of fun was actually more important than winning it. We had a cupcake bake sale to raise money for our Kanga Cup trip. The sense of everyone at our club working together to get us to Canberra was an awesome feeling. Every time we got to sing our song as a group after winning a game was memorable. I remember the night that Fernando taught me how to kick a dead ball. It just clicked and it is probably the one coaching moment I will always remember.
Chloe – My most positive memories from my time playing Diamond League has to be the friendships formed with all of the girls. Whether it was on or off the field I just remember laughing and loving every moment of the game with absolutely no pressure. Because our team was so close, we played great football which led us onto many competitions like Kanga Cup and Champions of Champions which was an amazing opportunity and definitely a massive highlight.
Where did your football journey take you after Diamond League?
Taylah – After Diamond League in 2015 I spent two years at North-Shore Mariners, a highlight definitely being able to travel to America for a few weeks to play against some phenomenal football teams, before making the move to Northern Tigers for my under 15’s season. That year saw a lot of opportunities for me as I was chosen to play for, and co-captain the NSW Football State Team at the annual state championships, then came back to Sydney to be offered to play up for women’s reserve grade for the rest of the season. The following year I was offered a full-time position in the Northern Tigers reserve grade squad and was given the opportunity by Football NSW to travel around Europe and play against some of their highest regarded women’s teams. I was given the chance to officially debut for Northern Tigers First Grade at 15 years old in 2019 and continued to play for Reserve Grade until 2021.
Mackenzie – Following Diamond League I went to play at Northern Tigers for five years right up until the Under 17s. This year I’m playing in the NSFA Women’s Premier League with a whole bunch of ex Diamond League and Northern Tigers Teammates.
Anabel – I played for Northern Tigers until the Under 15s. I was dropped at the end of 2018 and then played for an NPL2 club – Gladesville Ravens. We had a great year in 2019 but with HSC and study commitments quite a few of us decided that playing local WAA Prems was every bit as competitive as NPL 2 but with extra flexibility and much less travel to fit in all the study. Luckily a few of my friends from the G11 / G12 Diamond League were in the same boat and we have happily formed this new team with Turramurra United. This has been the best team yet. Not just competitively but also socially. We have clicked again after all these years and are enjoying our football more than ever.
Chloe – I played for Northern Tigers for five years but this year am enjoying being back playing community football with a lot of my old teammates.
What was the most memorable game or moment that you were involved in during Diamond League?
Taylah – The most memorable game/moment(s) for me as a Northbridge Player was probably losing to our biggest rivals, Hornsby Heights in the Kanga Cup Grand Final, then within two days travelling back to Sydney and beating them in the State Cup Grand Finals. One of my best friends now was in the Hornsby Heights Team, and whenever this memory is brought up it still brings us into a massive brawl as to who the real champions were (it was definitely Northbridge!)
Mackenzie – The three big grand finals we played that year. We won Kanga Cup and Champion of Champions and lost the State Cup on penalties. There was no pressure to do well, rather we all just had a bunch of fun while playing. The support we got the day we won the Champion of Champions Grand Final was incredible though.
Anabel – Definitely the Champion of Champions Grand Final against Camden Tigers in the G12s. They had a team that was bigger, taller and faster. We had to really dig deep. We were playing for each other, and we had each other’s backs. Knowing that you are the best G12 team in NSW for the 2015 season was a great feeling. The other memorable moments for me were the big clashes that Tayla and I used to have. Maybe we were both a bit uncoordinated but we always seemed to find each other on the field and some of our tackles were a bit rough. Then two years later we were teammates at Tigers and now again at Turramurra.
Chloe – Just how lucky we were to play in the big three Grand Finals that year. Kanga Cup, State Cup and Champion of Champions. It was an incredible year.
Click here for Part 4!