Julie Dolan is recognised as a pioneer of Women’s football in Australia. First playing for Australia when she was 16, she enjoyed a career spanning 10 years which included the first Women’s World Cup held in China in 1988.
Playing for St George Budapest in Sydney at only 14 years of age wasn’t easy, particularly when living on the Far North Coast of New South Wales.
“I would get on the bus on a Friday night, arriving on Saturday morning. Saturday would be training and the game would be on Sunday. Sunday night would be back on the bus before getting back before school on Monday morning.”
The #1 Matilda was Australia’s captain at only 16 years of age, leading the team out against New Zealand in 1979.
The women’s team only played on sporadic occasions throughout the 1980s, with only a limited number of major international competitions available.
Despite the limited opportunities Dolan played 34 matches for Australia – 18 full internationals in a 10-year career.
Dolan’s contribution has been recognised by the game with the FFA announcing the annual awards would be co-named in her honour alongside national football icon, Johnny Warren. The top award in women’s football, the Julie Dolan Medal, is also named in her honour.
“It sends a message to everyone and all other codes that women are worth celebrating.”
“It’s giving the women’s game the recognition it deserves.”
Dolan is the football technical director at the International Football School on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
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