Victoria Martin mentoring Spirit FC’s emerging footballers

Screenshot 2023-07-30 at 2.52.22 pm

In light of the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the importance of creating a level playing field for all has been heavily stressed, with the development of young female athletes on a grassroots level taking centre stage. As a growing number of female Australian footballers flourish in European leagues, the platform that these players have to inspire more women to take up football has advanced. Amid record breaking attendance numbers being seen for women’s football matches in Australia and around the world, the focus remains on encouraging more women to play football from a grassroots level and onwards.

Spirit’s own Victoria Martin is a prime example of the new wave of women looking to establish themselves into the world’s game. Starting her footballing journey at local NWSF club, Beecroft Wombats, Victoria was inspired by her father’s love for football from a young age. After “giving all sports a good crack,” Victoria’s love for using her feet and working in a team helped her in discovering a new-found passion for football. After being scouted while playing for the Wombats, Victoria was selected for the pre-SAP development squad, kicking off her journey through the ranks at NWSF. With a passion for leadership and taking charge, Victoria acknowledges the welcomeness and ‘feeling of home’ that NWSF gave her even from the early stages of her time in the pre-SAP development squad. Taking inspiration from first grade players at a young age, as well as finding an early desire to make it to the top level of football, Victoria worked hard to consolidate and perfect her game, as she now strives to get a starting spot in Spirit’s first grade women’s’ team.

As well as playing in Spirit’s first grade team, Victoria also coaches Spirit’s under-15’s girls’ side, as she looks to open up pathways for herself in football outside of the pitch. With the ambition of creating “positive” and “resilient” athletes, Victoria utilises her own experiences at NWSF’s developmental pathways to teach her under-15’s players on how to build confidence and ensure that each player understands how to make mistakes and use those mistakes to help them better their game. Influenced by Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Victoria’s enthusiasm and gusto on the sidelines aid her in driving her team on and motivating to keep pushing themselves from the first whistle to the last. As well as Klopp, Victoria draws significant inspiration from Spirit’s women’s first grade coach, Tee Gauci, in the organisation and clarity that she provides in training and on matchdays.

With high dropout rates among female footballers after age 18, Victoria aims at ensuring that more girls continue to play football as long as they can. With the aforementioned Women’s World Cup currently being played, Victoria believes that the broad awareness of the World Cup can motivate more women to take up or continue to play football for their local clubs, increasing the pool of talent that Australia has for the future.

By Renesh Krishnan
Renesh Krishnan is an aspiring football journalist at NWSF who currently studies a Bachelor of Media and Communications at Macquarie University. Playing for NWSF club, West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Lions FC, since under 5’s, Renesh and his family have been a part of the NWSF community since 2009. With a passion for creative writing, public speaking, and all things football, Renesh looks to tell the unique stories and journeys of everyone at NWSF, helping bring the community closer together.

Connect with Renesh on Instagram / Twitter / email


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