Jo Powell from North Coast Football’s Westlawn Tigers has been officially announced as the Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) Community Female Player of the Year as part of rebel Female Football Week.
Jo has been playing the game she loves for almost forty years and throughout those years, has continuously displayed her dedication, mentorship and exemplary behaviour on and off the pitch is widely appreciated and loved.
Earlier in the year, Jo won Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Community Female Player of the Year Award at FFA’s Female Football Awards Ceremony and has also previously been a Newcastle Permanent Coach of the Month back in 2016 for her incredible efforts in developing young female footballers.
NNSWF Head of Football Development Peter Haynes said it is great to have national recognition, and now local recognition, for a member of the NNSWF football family who is such a strong advocate for the women’s game.
“Joey should be very proud of the contribution she makes to the game and this recognition, from amongst a very strong field of nominees is well deserved and something that should be celebrated,” Haynes said.
Jo says she’s learnt so much from playing football and loves being able to share those lessons with the girls around her.
“I love football and I will play for as long as I can,” she said.
“The opportunities football has provided me throughout life has shaped the person I am.
“Female participation gives the girls an outlet where they can grow and develop their football skills and life skills. We are providing a platform where the girls can be who they want and express themselves through their football.
“Football is a place for nurturing dedication, teamwork, accountability and it now provides an avenue for women to their dreams of playing professionally.”
It’s been a long career for Jo and one that’s seen many notable moments, but although she’s experienced highlights at elite levels, she says some of her most favourite times have come recently at a community level alongside girls she’s coached.
“As I continue to grow as a person and player, my favourite moments change,” she said.
“I scored a header against Japan in a B Class International while playing for the Matildas and that was something special and is something I will cherish forever.
“Recently, however, I played in a Grand Final with a group of young girls and their mums. I had coached the girls from under 6’s all the way through to them stepping out onto the pitch in the women’s ranks. It was a very proud moment.
“I would have to say being a part of their development and watching them own the pitch was one of the best moments I have been a part of.”
Jo encouraged others who may be interested in taking up the game to “get involved” and experience for themselves, the fantastic skills football can bring.
“The opportunities football has provided me and the friendships I have made along the way are something that I will cherish forever.
“It doesn’t matter what your ability is you become part of a team and a part of something. Football has certainly shaped my life.”
rebel Female Football Week runs until June 30 and contains various exciting events right across the region. To see the calendar of events, see here.