Female Football Week Community Awards

Maxwell Gratton and Shell Tims

FFV CEO Maxwell Gratton presenting Shell Tims with her award. Image courtesy of FFV

Marie Spagnoletti and Michael Carter

FFSA CEO Michael Carter and Marie Spagnoletti with her signed Matildas shirt. Image courtesy of FFSA

A number of individuals have been recognised for their efforts and contribution to women’s football through the Female Football Week Community Awards.

The awards were established to identify players, coaches, administrators, referees and males who have gone above and beyond in women’s football.

Female Football Week’s national ambassadors assessed nominations and selected a winner for each category based on a set of criteria.

“There were a number of exceptional nominations received from both Hyundai A-League clubs and Member Federations from right around the country which made the task difficult for the judges to decide,” said FFA General Manager Women’s Football, Sarah Walsh.

“It is great to see so many dedicated members of our football community working towards growing the women’s game and supporting females along their journey in football, and we thank all of those who provided nominations for these awards.”

“All of the nominations were worthy candidates and it highlights the efforts of many in our game.”

Each of the winners will receive a Westfield Gift Card and a signed Westfield Matildas playing shirt.

Female Football Week 2017 Community Award Winners

Category Winner Hyundai A-League Club / Member Federation
Player Shell Tims Football Federation Victoria
Coach Marie Spagnoletti Football Federation South Australia
Administrator Kathie Bestwick Northern NSW
Referee Alexandria Georgopoulous Football NSW
Male Champion Strat Kapolos Northern NSW

Player

Shell Tims (Football Federation Victoria)

An enthusiastic, dedicated mother of two, Shell was the classic football mum on the sideline, shouting encouragement and positive words to her kids’ teams. This involvement uncovered an interest in actually pulling on the boots and wanting to play as well. Knowing she wouldn’t be able to commit to a full season, and rather than search around for a club to join, Shell decided to start a team herself – a social team for mothers and women over the age of 25 who had never played the game before and were keen to get involved.

Within a few months, Chelsea SC mother’s team had over 40 women – predominantly new players – attending training each week. Soon after more and more mothers teams, inspired by Shell’s example, were emerging in the Bayside Area. By the end of the year, over 80 women had taken part in a Social Ladies Gala Day (with an average age of 43). In response to overwhelming demand, Football Federation Victoria announced that they would launch a social competition for senior women in 2017.

Shell is the driving force behind the mothers/masters women’s program at Chelsea SC which has been such an inspiration to other clubs. It has given women a greater sense of belonging in the community, lifted spirits, increased women’s fitness, and brought women and mothers onto the pitch for the first time.

Coach

Marie Spagnoletti (Football Federation South Australia)

Marie started playing football in her late teens before becoming the founding member, player, committee member and now Head Coach of Metro United Women’s FC. As a player Marie was exceptionally gifted, excelling in State/SASI/WNSL and for her club.

Marie started coaching the Under 13 Team at Metro United in 2012 after completing her senior coaching licence. Her skills as a coach were evident as she was able to accommodate a variance of abilities within the team, succeeding in achieving a playing environment that benefited all levels of players and assisting players in their development.

In 2013 Marie coached the Under 17 team at Metro United, the team going through the season undefeated. Marie is committed to developing players and her reward is seeing the players move through the player pathway. In being able to achieve this, she is committed to upskilling and developing as a coach and as a consequence she undertook the Asian C licence in October 2013. Following the completion of this course she was appointed as Head Coach of Metro United WFC in season 2014 and has held this position since.

Marie has lead the club to win Back to Back Championships in 2015 and 2016, being the first coach to win the PlayStation 4 Women’s NPL South Australia in 2016. Marie continues to be committed to her own personal development by undertaking coaching courses, attending coaching conferences and also working with other coaches to assist in her own development. One of her development highlights has been coaching the Under 13 State Development Squad with Sharon Black, ex-matilda, whom she holds in high regard.

Administrator

Kathie Bestwick (Northern NSW Football)

The current President of the Football Mid North Coast High Performance Committee, Kathie is responsible for the administration of the FMNC WPL and NPL squads.

During her time at president of Green Point Rovers, Kathie developed the club into a vibrant community club with the highest female participation in the zone (over 50% females), she also ran a Miniroos competition recognised as the most organised of the southern FMNC clubs.

Organised all coaches in the club and pushed them to gain accreditation and manage venue training times. Became FMNC WPL coordinator in 2013, managing all coaches in the WPL and organising communication between assistants & coaches, players records including match times and training attendance on all WPL players.

Kathie is well respected by all NNSWF WPL clubs and visiting teams including technical directors and coaches. Kathie’s three daughters have all played for FMNC clubs and FMNC WPL squads. From Kathie’s influence, the three girls have also all coached FMNC female club teams.

Referee

Alexandra Georgopoulos (Football NSW)

Pinpointed as one of NSW’s aspiring bright female referee stars of the future, Alexandra is 17 years of age and is a unique all-rounder in the world game as she also plays, coaches and holds a position as a committee member at the Strathfield Strikers Football Club.

Alexandra earned the opportunity to travel to FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich to attend a Fan Focus seminar and was one of the youngest attendees there. She was one of 26,200 fans to complete a FIFA Fan Survey and her story won over the FIFA officials.

Alexandra appeared in the 2016 Football NSW and Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association’s campaign for encouraging officials to register for the new season.

Male Champion

Strat Kapolos (Northern NSW Football)

Strat has been involved at Wallsend Football Club for over 20 years taking on a myriad of roles over this time including coach, finance manager and president.

Most recently Strat has been appointed General Manager of Wallsend FC Women division after several years of advocating for female football within the club and the subsequent growth due to his passion. Strat has always put the game of football and his club first, although the addition of three daughters has changed his perspective and focus regarding football to one that advocated and includes females.

Strat has led the club with distinction over the years and has worked tirelessly towards the clubs transformation to include female football in all areas. Strat has helped establish several female community teams at Wallsend FC in both U12 and U14 and has been instrumental in gathering interest in NNSWF Aldi MiniRoos Kick-Off for Girls programs that are run by NNSWF.

His passion also extends to the Northern NSW Football Women’s Premier League. In 2014 Strat was instrumental in securing Wallsend FC a place in the competition after applications were opened for an extension to the competition.

Strat is keen to see a link at Wallsend FC between the community teams and the WPL and has created a culture at the club which is holistic and inclusive of all abilities and aims to create a pathway for females.

In the past four months Strat has established the Wallsend Girls Development academy for girls aged 12- 18. The programs aim to attract more females to Wallsend FC and develop participant’s football skills throughout the offseason and improve confidence going into the next season of football. His personal business ‘Kapalos Building’ has been an annual player sponsor for the Newcastle Jets Women’s team.

Source : Football Federation Australia

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