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Lisa DeVanna signs for South Melbourne

May 24, 2017 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, WA on the world stage

South Melbourne signs Matilda Lisa De Vanna, showing its intent to secure a W-League licence

SOUTH Melbourne has secured a coup in its bid for a W-League licence, with Matildas star Lisa De Vanna set to play for its Women’s National Premier League team. understands that De Vanna will play for the club — potentially as early as this weekend — while also potentially holding an off-field role.

The former NSL powerhouse has made it clear it will bid for both an A-League and a W-League licence, with De Vanna’s signature a clear statement of its intent to play a key role in the women’s game.

One of the best footballers Australia has ever produced, De Vanna has made 121 appearances for her country, scoring 40 goals.

De Vanna has previously played in the US, Sweden, England and has represented Australia at two Olympics (2004 and 2016) and three World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015), while she was a member of the Matildas side that won the 2010 Women’s Asian Cup.

For De Vanna, who last year spent part of the off-season with American side Orlando Pride, the move allows her to maintain fitness for her W-League and Matildas commitments without the travel and intensity of an overseas stint.

Lisa De Vanna celebrates a goal with teammate Caitlin Foord.
Lisa De Vanna celebrates a goal with teammate Caitlin Foord.Source: Getty Images

The Matilda has played for Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Canberra United over the past three seasons, though the latter was on a guest contract.

South Melbourne is understood to have heavily focused on improving and marketing its women’s program in recent months.

The club initially missed out on an NPLW licence when the competition was launched last year — despite having a long, successful history in the previous incarnation of the state league — but was granted a licence for this year’s league in October 2016.

Aside from De Vanna, several W-League players have committed their winter season to South Melbourne, as the club looks to claim the state league title.

Young Matilda and Melbourne City striker Melina Ayres was at the top of the recruiting list, while Melbourne Victory’s Alexandra Gummer — who has also played in England — and Alex Cheal also signed on.

Were South to claim a W-League licence, it could spell further trouble for Melbourne Victory, which claimed the wooden spoon twice since Melbourne City entered the competition.

A large proportion of Victorian talent has elected to sign with City over the past two years and a third Victorian side would further stretch the local talent pool.

While no dates have been set for W-League expansion, the current nine-team format, with a team having a bye each week, is less than ideal. One more team would see the league on par with the male equivalent, with 10 teams.

South was set to unveil De Vanna’s signature at its 2017 Jersey Night on Friday night.


May 24, 2017 By: Penny Category: WA on the world stage

Matildas Captain De Vanna joins South Melbourne
South Melbourne FC is excited to confirm that Australian Football icon, Olympian and current Matilda Lisa De Vanna has joined the club.

De Vanna will have a dual role with club, where she will immediately join our NPL Victoria Women’s team for the 2017 season. She will also take up a newly formed role of Women’s Football Ambassador at the Club, which will allow her to work with the club on numerous and exciting projects relating to increasing the profile of women’s football at our club and throughout the country.

De Vanna is a household name with football fans across the world through a career spanning 11 years across England, Australia and the United States.

The attacking player however is best known for her long and decorated career with the Australian National Team, The Matildas. With 121 international caps and 40 goals to her name, she remains only 2 goals behind Kate Gill to become Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Speaking at the SMFC Jersey Night, De Vanna was excited to have joined the club. “It’s wonderful to have joined a club with great history and ambition.

I am looking forward to playing a role on the park throughout 2017, but assisting the club in its goals off the park promoting women’s football and assisting young players achieve their dream. Thank you to Gabrielle Giuliano and Socrates Nicolaides for this wonderful opportunity.”

SMFC Women’s Football Director Gabrielle Giuliano was pleased with her acquisition. “I am delighted that Lisa has joined SMFC as an ambassador for women’s football. Whilst still focussed on her national journey, South will partner with her to help transition into her future after football. From a capacity of mentoring, coaching and identifying upcoming talent, this partnership will help propel us to the next level.”

We look forward to seeing her in our colours in the coming weeks

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Westfield Matildas squad announced for Algarve Cup

March 22, 2017 By: Penny Category: Competitions, WA on the world stage


Westfield Matildas stars Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley.

Staff writer
A host of big name stars have been joined by some returning players in the 21-player squad selected by Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic for the upcoming Algarve Cup in Portugal beginning on 1 March 2017.

With a 25-player squad having concluded a three day camp in Canberra today, Stajcic has narrowed that list down for the tournament that will see the Westfield Matildas play their first international matches since last year’s Rio Games where they reached the Quarter Finals.

A host of Westfield Matildas mainstays over the past two years including 2016 AFC Women’s Player of the Year Caitlin Foord, veterans Lisa De Vanna and Clare Polkinghorne, Westfield W-League 2017 Championship winning captain Steph Catley and German based duo Elise Kellond-Knight and Emily van Egmond will all travel to Portugal alongside a number of players who find themselves back in the fold with another opportunity to stake their claims.

Teigen Allen, Emma Checker, Emily Gielnik, Hayley Raso and Gema Simon all return after time away from the national team, Gielnik the latest of the quintet to feature in a Westfield Matildas squad after she was part of the squad for the Rio Games qualification tournament last year.


Gema Simon“These players that have come back into the squad have shown plenty during the W-League season and their performances have been at a good level,” said Stajcic.

“As I’ve stated before we’re heading into a new cycle so there is an increase on the competition for places and we’re looking for who can provide that extra depth and quality.”

“Having positions covered by more players and building that depth is really what we’re looking for.”

18-year-old Adelaide midfielder Alex Chidiac is another who is back in the senior setup after making her solitary Westfield Matildas appearance against New Zealand back in February 2015, while Sydney FC’s Amy Harrison has also been included after making a successful return from a knee reconstruction that saw her miss all of 2016.

Stajcic has been forced to leave out striker Michelle Heyman as she continues to recover from an ankle injury that kept her out of the latter part of the recent Westfield W-League season.

“It’s great that Amy has managed to come back but we’ve also got Emma Checker who has come back from a major injury, Chloe Logarzo as well so they’ve all done really well to get themselves back up to speed,” said Stajcic.


Chloe Logarzo in action for Australia against New Zealand last month.“Unfortunately Michelle Heyman can’t be in line for selection as she hasn’t recovered quickly enough, but to have a number of players on the verge of coming back to full fitness makes it even more exciting about how this team is going to be.”

“Increasing the experience and capacity of players who have been in the team for a long time and continuing to improve them both on and off the field is certainly something we’ve spoken about this week in terms of improving the quality of the squad from within as the first port of call.”

The squad will assemble in Sydney’s west for a three day training camp on Monday prior to departing for Portugal on Wednesday night.

Currently 6th in the FIFA women’s world rankings, the Westfield Matildas have been grouped alongside Sweden (ranked 8th), Netherlands (ranked 12th) and China P.R. (ranked 13th) for the tournament.

“This tournament is a starting point towards looking ahead to the Asian Cup next year, the World Cup the year after and then the Games in Tokyo in 2020,” said Stajcic.


Westfield Matildas boss Alen Stajcic with Co-Captain Lisa De Vanna.“We’re really looking to test the players and see who is going to be part of this squad moving forward. The Algarve Cup gives us four matches against high quality opponents and I’m sure the team will learn and grow a lot from competing in this tournament.”

The Westfield Matildas’ first match of the Algarve Cup is against Sweden on Wednesday 1 March at 6.30pm local time (5.30am AEDT, Thursday 2 March).

Westfield Matildas squad for Sydney training camp (20-22 February) and Algarve Cup


Date of Birth


A International Caps (Goals)

Teigen Allen 12/02/1994 Melbourne City FC

39 (0)

Mackenzie Arnold (gk) 25/02/1994 Brisbane Roar FC

11 (0)

Ellie Carpenter 28/04/2000 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

5 (0)

Steph Catley 26/01/1994 Melbourne City FC

53 (2)

Emma Checker 11/03/1996 Canberra United

3 (0)

Alex Chidiac 15/01/1999 Adelaide United

1 (0)

Lisa De Vanna 14/11/1984 Canberra United

117 (40)

Caitlin Foord 11/11/1994 Sydney FC

50 (8)

Emily Gielnik 13/05/1992 Brisbane Roar FC

9 (1)

Katrina Gorry 13/08/1992 Brisbane Roar FC

49 (13)

Amy Harrison 21/04/1996 Sydney FC

3 (0)

Elise Kellond-Knight* 10/08/1990 FC Turbine Potsdam, Germany

76 (1)

Alanna Kennedy 21/01/1995 Sydney FC

48 (2)

Sam Kerr 10/09/1993 Perth Glory

46 (8)

Chloe Logarzo 22/12/1994 Newcastle Jets

12 (0)

Clare Polkinghorne 1/02/1989 Brisbane Roar FC

92 (7)

Hayley Raso 5/09/1994 Canberra United

14 (1)

Gema Simon 19/07/1990 Newcastle Jets

5 (0)

Kyah Simon 25/06/1991 Sydney FC

70 (20)

Emily van Egmond* 12/07/1993 VfL Wolfsburg, Germany

57 (14)

Lydia Williams (gk) 13/05/1988 Melbourne City FC

57 (0)

* Based in Germany and will join the squad in Portugal

Algarve Cup 2017 – Westfield Matildas matches

Group C

Westfield Matildas

China P.R.



Westfield Matildas v Sweden

1 March 2017

Albufeira, Portugal

Kick-Off: 6.30pm local time (5.30am AEDT, 2 March)

Westfield Matildas v Netherlands

3 March 2017

Vila Real Sto Antonio, Portugal

Kick-Off: 3.00pm local time (2.00am AEDT, 4 March)

China P.R. v Westfield Matildas

6 March 2017

Albufeira, Portugal

Kick-Off: 3.00pm local time (2.00am AEDT, 7 March)

Group A

Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Russia

Group B

Iceland, Japan, Norway, Spain

The two teams with the best classification of the three groups will play in the Final on 8 March 2017. The third highest ranked team and the best runner-up will play in the third place match.

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Coup for Canberra as De Vanna signs

January 16, 2017 By: Penny Category: W League


Westfield Matildas co-captain Lisa De Vanna

Staff Writer
Westfield Matildas co-captain Lisa De Vanna will be back in action in the Westfield W-League after signing for high-flying Canberra United.

Top of the standings after stunning wins over Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar, Canberra’s impressive stocks received another boost with news that De Vanna has signed up for the Green Machine for the rest of the season.

De Vanna, who has scored 33 goals in 75 Westfield W-League appearances, will be turning out for a competition-record fifth club after previous stints at Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.

“She’s been around national team level for a very long time now, and she’s been right up there with one of the world’s best in terms of a world-class player and a match-winner,” said Canberra coach Rae Dower.

“(She is) probably one of your top five Matildas that we have ever produced.”

Canberra’s attacking options already includes Westfield Matildas Michelle Heyman, Ashleigh Sykes, Hayley Raso and American striker Jasmyne Spencer.

De Vanna has made 117 appearances for the Westfield Matildas, scoring 40 goals since her debut in 2005.

Canberra’s next game is against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Wednesday 28 December and will be broadcast on Fox Sports/ABC TV.


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Lisa De Vanna eyes coaching future

December 05, 2016 By: Penny Category: WA on the world stage

Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna insists she’s not ready to walk away from soccer despite taking a break from playing that has extended to this year’s W-League season.

The nominee for Asian Player of the Year has been a noticeable absentee from this year’s domestic women’s football league.Lisa De Vanna is taking time away from playing to become a certified coach.Lisa De Vanna is taking time away from playing to become a certified coach. Photo: FFA

After playing in every previous W-League campaign, De Vanna is watching her Matildas teammates from the sidelines as she rests from a taxing 18 months which included a World Cup, Olympics and Olympic qualifying tournament and two club campaigns at home and abroad.

But she revealed her break was about more than just physical and mental recovery.

“You can’t play forever so I’m starting to look at different avenues in my life,” she told AAP.

“I’m doing my coaching stuff and have to really focus. I don’t think I can play football and do this at the same time.”

De Vanna is chasing her coaching badges and is completing a C-Licence, ruling out any W-League action in 2016.

But she is likely to get involved in the new year, with the Matildas next assignment – the Cyprus Cup – looming in early March.

The fleet-footed forward said national team coach Alen Stajcic gave his blessings to her plan.

“Staj is happy that I’m doing this coaching course but he also made it clear that I’ve got to start playing again to go to the Cyprus Cup,” she said.

“He’s been really understanding.

“My life after football is something that I need to think about even though Staj says I could play until I’m 38 which I don’t want to do. I’m 32 on Monday and that’s a bit scary.

“The Olympic Games, emotionally and mentally, was a big drain. It was so intense. I needed a mental break away from football, focus on other things, and then I’ll get back into the swing of things.”

De Vanna turned out for title-winners Melbourne City last season but said she “hadn’t put a thought” to which club she might turn out for when she leaps back into the league.

The Asian player of the year award will be conferred on December 1, with fellow Matilda Caitlin Foord among the three nominees.

Kate Gill (2010) and Katrina Gorry (2014) are the most recent Australian winners of the award, for which Elise Kellond-Knight was also nominated last year.


Matildas stars Caitlin Foord and Lisa de Vanna nominated for Asian Player of the Year

December 05, 2016 By: Penny Category: WA on the world stage

Caitlin Foord celebrates a goal against Germany

Caitlin Foord was the youngest ever player for the Matildas.

Reuters: Paulo Whitaker

Matildas players Caitlin Foord and Lisa de Vanna have been nominated for the prestigious Asian Player of the Year award.

Two of the three nominees were Australian, with China’s Tan Ruyin the other player named by the Asian Football Confederation.

The male contenders are the UAE’s Omar Abdulrahman, Hammadi Ahmed Aldeeaa of Iraq and Wu Lei of China.

The winner of each award will be announced at a gala event in Abu Dhabi on December 1.

Veteran forward De Vanna has long been the talisman of the Matildas side, having accumulated 117 caps and 40 goals.

Foord made her debut for Australia at the tender age of 16 back in 2011 and now has 50 caps.

Both players were key to the Matildas topping the Asian qualifying tournament for the Rio Olympics and the side’s subsequent run to the quarter-finals at the Games.

Tan Ruyin has 39 caps for China and caused a splash in Rio with a 35-metre goal against South Africa.

Katrina Gorry was the last Australian to win the award, in 2014.

Women’s World Football Show interview with Lisa DeVanna 2016

December 02, 2016 By: Penny Category: WA on the world stage

Interview with Amy Harrison (Sydney FC) and Lisa DeVanna