Danielle Maria 1

Today we would like to highlight and acknowledge two local major club committee members: Danielle Foster (Thirroul) and Maria Cazzolli (Port Kembla) as part of our Female Football Week celebrations.

Danielle Foster (pictured LEFT) and Maria Cazzolli (pictured RIGHT) have both been involved with football for over two decades now and have done so much for their clubs, the community and for the game.

Danielle Foster is currently the secretary for Thirroul and has been for over 20 years now. Danielle has played a major role within the committee and is always giving back to the club where she can enjoy watching the player’s progress and help them in any shape or form.

Danielle has also been involved in the Junior Association committee and was a part of the very first Football South Coast board.

In 1978, Danielle and a few more Thirroul committee member’s put forward to the Junior Association about potentially having all girl’s teams in the club and suggested that they played on Sunday’s.

“We suggested the day Sunday, specifically so we could pick up girls from netball and give them an opportunity to join us rather than compete with us,” Danielle said.

One year later was the beginning of an all-girls’ team and has been successfully maintained ever since. Currently, Thirroul have four women’s teams and had as many as five in previous years in which they have retained the majority of their players each season.

“Last year we had a few junior players come back from taking a break and studying in Sydney and it was so nice to see them after so many years,” Danielle said.

“This year we have all-girl’s teams in the U12’s, U14’s, U15’s and U16’s competition alongside four women’s teams.”

“We also have teams in the MiniRoos, which was something we previously tried to do in 2019 but were unsuccessful. However, today we have three age groups involved and they are operating very successfully across the board.”

Forster has enjoyed every minute of being a part of a great football association and has inspired many females to continue their football journey from all her support and helping hand within the Thirroul community.

On the other end of the scale, we would also like to acknowledge another woman who has also done a lot for her club. Maria Cazzolli is currently the Treasurer for Port Kembla FC and has been for the last 29 years. She has been in several different roles during her involvement with the club and has been involved with both the juniors and seniors (male and female).

“I think what has inspired me to continue on being a big part of Port Kembla for so many years is the long family commitment. I already had a family connection with the club before I was a part of it, but once I got even more involved, over the years I have made many more family connections,” Maria said.

“That is definitely what keeps me going, alongside the respect and friendships I have made with all of the players as well”.

In 1987, Maria was not only involved with the juniors but was also involved with the women’s senior teams and enjoyed every bit of it. She has helped in all areas of the committee and has helped build Port Kembla FC into the club that it is today.

“Overall, we are a very strong united club and committee. I have always treated the players like they’re my own children, I just love being there,” Maria said.

From a Football South Coast perspective, we are proud to see two females continue on their journey behind the scenes within the Football community and we hope that all their support and 20 plus years of commitment towards their clubs can inspire females to not only be a part of football on the pitch, but also off the pitch as well.

Story by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_

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