Today we would like to highlight and acknowledge Belinda Barter (pictured LEFT) as part of our Female Football Week.
Belinda Barter was an ex-Matilda and is the current goalkeeper coach for the South Coast Flame women’s team.
Belinda also gives up a lot of her time to give back to the community – where she shares all her experience and knowledge of the game from her own football career to both male and female players.
Belinda was first involved with football at a very young age.
During this time, her only option was to be a part of an all-boys team for many years until ‘female football’ was eventually introduced.
“After training with all-boys for several years, a father who attended my training told me that I was too good to be playing in a local side,” Belinda explained.
“He took me up to a representative side, the Sutherland Sharks, which was essentially the start of my career.”
It would prove a success for Belinda after playing in a representative league, later being selected into a NSW team.
She was then selected into the young Matildas in 1993 and six years later, was chosen to attend an Olympic Athlete Program for the 2000 Olympics as part of the Matildas’ squad.
“I trained for four years with the Matildas squad, but it was difficult as I was told from the beginning that there would be three goalkeepers,” she said.
“It was always going to be competitive, and I knew that.”
In 2002, Barter was invited back to the Matildas for the Athens Olympics to join the training squad, however, she had put football aside to follow another dream of her own – joining the police force.
Today, Belinda is a part of Football South Coast and has been for the last 12 years.
She plays for Russell Vale Pink and is also the women’s goalkeeper coach for South Coast Flame.
She also spends her Thursday evenings coaching and mentoring boys as well as working alongside FSC on Friday nights where she is joined at the field with women, both young and old, for goalkeeper training.
“I absolutely love coaching,” Belinda said.
“There is so much young talent around, both goalkeeping and on the field and it’s just so amazing to see and to be a part of.”
Belinda has been a true role model and inspiration to all female players and has given up a lot of her time to help build a strong football community.
“For me, Female Football Week is a great way to recognise our women and really showcase how amazing they are on and off the pitch,” Belinda explained.
“The number of opportunities females have now is outstanding, and it’s great to see a continuous and ongoing support system from the whole of the community.”
Story by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_