My Westfield Matildas Story: Lisa De Vanna – ‘I didn’t choose football, football chose me’
She will go down as one of Australia’s greatest-ever footballers, and Lisa De Vanna insists that it was destiny that drove her to take up the round-ball game.
The 34-year-old made her debut for the Westfield Matildas against New Zealand way back in 2004 and in that time has witnessed the women's game soar in popularity as it has made the transition from amateur to professional.
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In an exclusive interview for matildas.com.au, De Vanna credits her support network for helping her achieve her dream, and explains how kicking a ball about on the streets of Fremantle in WA led her all the way to the top of her sport.
“I’ve been very blessed to have good coaches, good mentors and good friends,” De Vanna said. "My mum and sister are a big influence on my life.
"To follow my dream I had to move to Adelaide [from Western Australia, to join Adelaide Sensation] and my mum had to send me money. I didn’t have any money or anything.
“But to see how the game now has grown, and the opportunity the girls have, it’s fantastic that the game just keeps going up and up and up. Hopefully in the future it becomes even better.”
Asked why she chose football at a time when the women’s game was far from the major sport it is today, De Vanna explained she had little choice in the matter.
“I got involved because my brother played,” she said. “It became such a ritual in the neighbourhood and was the only outlet for us kids. It just became such a norm to be able to hang out.
“I always believe that I didn’t choose football, football chose me.”
Watch the full video at the top of this page.
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