Greatest Ever Australian Female Player

Joanne Peters- Midfielder

A veteran of 109 ‘A’ internationals, Joanne Peters kicked off her career at 17 years of age in 1996 during a match against New Zealand and scored her first of 28 goals during her debut match. She represented her country in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2004 Olympic Games (Athens). After having played for Northern NSW Pride, NSW Sapphires, Sydney United and Sydney Olympic, Joanne joined Newcastle Jets for the inaugural season of the Westfield W-League competition. Her club career has also taken her overseas playing for Santos in Brazil, New York Power and Charlotte Lady Eagles in the USA.

For over a decade she led the way for young female footballers paving a tangible professional pathway for female footballers in Australia. A pioneer of Australian Women’s international football, Peters was one of the first to play professionally overseas and helped lay the ground work for future Australian women to ply their trade internationally at club level.

Joanne retired from international football in 2009 after a long and stellar career and in that year was fittingly awarded the “Australian 2009 Women’s Footballer of the Year”.


Cheryl Salisbury- Defender

Cheryl Salisbury is the most capped football player for her country in any code. She made 151 A international appearances for Australia in a career which began in 1994 against Russia. She scored the first of her 38 goals on debut. Cheryl represented Australia in the 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games and the 2006 and 2008 Asian Football Confederation Women’s Cup.

She was captain of the Matildas from 2003 until her retirement in 2009. Another leader on and off the field, Cheryl was an inspiration to many thousands of young players and always demonstrated the true values of fair play, team work and sportsmanship. FIFA has twice honoured Cheryl by naming her in the FIFA Women’s World XI squad in 2004 and 2007. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport, Cheryl’s club teams have included Adamstown and Lambton as a junior as well as Newcastle Jets in the Westfield Women’s League season. She has also played with Victoria and Northern NSW in the old women’s national soccer league, and she played for two years in the US Women’s League and three years in the Japan Women’s League.


Julie Murray- Striker

A world-class striker with a great understanding of the game and good vision. Makes fantastic runs off the ball, has mesmerising close ball skills, and can shoot from any distance. Renowned for scoring stunning goals, and is a big-occasion player. Inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame 2008. Inducted into the ACT Hall of Fame 2009. Awarded Centenary Medal for outstanding contribution to women’s football. FIFA Ambassador for Women’s Football since 2005.

First selected into the Australian Team in 1986 at age 15.  International debut in December 1987 against Hong Kong scoring her first international goal. Played in 12-nation FIFA International Women’s Tournament in China in 1988 where Australia reached the quarter-finals.  Played in the Oceania Qualifiers for the 1st World Cup in 1991. Played in the Oceania World Cup Qualifiers in November 1994, scorer of the single goal to give Australia a crucial 1-0 win against New Zealand to send Australia to the 2nd World Cup. Played in the Oceania World Cup Qualifiers in 1998 and celebrating her 50th international cap in the final scoring a fantastic solo goal after just two minutes. Awarded the honour of the Australian Captaincy in 1994.  Played 67 ‘A’ international matches scoring 19 goals.

Played as a midfielder for all her international career until August 1997, in what was her first match back after a 2 year absence, scored the winning goal in Australia’s 1-0 victory over Sweden (at the time, that was Australia’s greatest ever result). Selected to take up a full-time residential scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra in 1998 for the Sydney 2000 Olympic preparations.

Selected for the first ever female FIFA World All-Stars Team which defeated Olympic gold medallists USA 2-1 on 14 February 1999, as part of the World Cup draw ceremony. Awarded Australia’s inaugural International Player of the Year award for season 1998/99. Scorer of Australia’s only two goals in the 1999 Algarve Cup Portugal, equalising against both Denmark and Sweden.

Captain of the Australian Team for the 1995 and 1999 World Cup in the USA and played all 270 minutes of the Matildas’ three matches in the USA scoring two of Australia’s three goals, one each against Ghana and Sweden. Selected in the Australian Olympic Team that competed at Sydney 2000, Australia’s first Olympic women’s football team, earlier that year suffering a serious ankle injury in that required surgery and sidelined her from full training for five months and was advised by Dr’s that she would never run again. Selected as a member of the first World Stars Team which competed against World Cup champions USA in the 12-city indoor Victory Tour 1999.  Member of the second World Stars Team which played the USA in the second promotional indoor in 2000.

Julie and Australian teammate Carol Vinson were the first Australian female players to gain an overseas contract, both signing up for Fortuna in Denmark in 1990 & 1992 seasons. The first Australian to be signed up for the WUSA 2001, America’s professional league for the Bay Area CyberRays. Winner of the 2001 WUSA scoring 2 goals in the final against the Atlanta Beat.  Winner of the Most Valuable Player in the final match of the WUSA Championship game.  Highest goal-scorer for the Bay Area Cyberrays with 13 for the season.

New South Wales Institute of Sport ‘97-00; NSW State Senior Team ‘95; ACT State Senior Team ‘83-90, ‘91, ‘93; ACT State Junior Team ’83. Won the 1995 National Senior Championship as a member of the NSW State Team. Scored a sensational hat-trick in the final of the 1997/97 Ansett Summer Series, giving New South Wales the 3-2 victory over South Australia. Member of the NSW Sapphires team which won its second Ansett Summer Series title in season 1999/2000 as second highest goal-scorer. Previous clubs (in chronological order) are 70’ Boys Select (USA), 69’ Gators Select (USA), Weston Creek (ACT), Fortuna Ladies (DEN), Sydney Olympic (NSW), Sydney Cosmos, Eastern Suburbs. With Weston Creek, won the ACT 1st Division every year from ‘82-93, NSW WSL Champions with Sydney Olympic ‘94-95, and MVP in ’97 and NSW Waratah Cup Champions ‘94-95 with Sydney Olympic.  Winner of the Julie Dolan Medal as 1998/99 National League Player of the Year.



Collette McCallum- Midfield

McCallum is one of the Matildas most technically astute players ever to have worn the green and gold. Selected in the FIFA All-Star squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 World Cup, McCallum has featured in 53 A-International matches scoring seven goals including several impressive free-kicks, most notably in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Since moving to Australia from her Scottish homeland, McCallum has been an integral member of Matildas, including appearances at the 2004 Australia’s FIFA U19 Women’s World Championships, the 2006 AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2006, the 2006 FIFA U20 Women’s World Championship 2006, the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 and most recently Australia’s historic win at the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2010.At club level McCallum has had successful stints in the USA and Australia including winning the WPS Championship in the USA with Sky Blues FC in New York.
Alison Forman- Defender/midfielder

Alison Forman is one of the veterans of the Matildas. At home and overseas she built one of the finest reputations in her branch of the game. She blended the midfield skills of a gifted technician with spirited ball-winning aggression and strong defence. Playing in two World Cups and an Olympic Games were career highlights, but she was also the first foreign player to appear in 200 matches with the Danish club Fortuna Hjorring.

At 15 she played her first school game and by 1989 she was chosen for her national team debut in a tour of Japan, making the first of 77 appearances in full A internationals. She played in the 1995 World Cup in Sweden and was vice-captain in the 1999 event in the United States.

Forman interrupted her career in Denmark to accept a full-time scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport through 1999 and 2000. She was named player of the match when the Matildas defeated Italy 1-0 in the final of the 1999 Australia Cup. From October 1999 until mid-2002 she held the Australian captaincy, leading her country’s first Olympic women’s team in Sydney 2000. After the Olympics she returned to Denmark to continue playing with Fortuna Hjorring until 2003. She was the clubs player of the year in 1996 and 2003 and won five Danish championship gold medals.


Heather Garriock- Midfielder

Garriock first represented Australia in October 1999 in a friendly against China at 16 years of age. She has represented her country in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney as well as the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She has also appeared for Australia in the 2003 and 2007 editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

She signed with Adirondack Lynx of Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2006. She made 6 appearances in 2006 before returning to the Australian National Team. In 2007, she made a further 5 appearances. In total, she made 11 appearances for Adirondack Lynx, while scoring 10 goals and chipping in 8 assists.

Garriock was on the move once again in 2008, playing in Denmark, before moving back to her homeland Australia to play for Sydney FC in the Australian W-League. 2009 marked a great honour for Garriock as she was selected for the prestigious Women’s Professional Soccer league in the United States. In the 2008 WPS International Draft, she was picked 12th overall by Chicago Red Stars.


Lisa da Vanna- Striker

Da Vanna was born in Perth, Australia. A striker with lightning pace and world class dribbling skills, in her career for the Matildas she has scored more goals coming off the bench, and has been labeled as the ‘Super-Sub’.

In October 2006 De Vanna signed for Doncaster Rovers Belles, departing the English Premier League club in March 2007. De Vanna played for Swedish club AIK for the 2008 Damallsvenskan season. De Vanna had a very successful season, being the 5th highest goal scorer with 15 goals, helping AIK to their most successful season.

Lisa was named in the FIFA’s Women’s World Cup All Star Team and she was also nominated for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award. She was named Western Australian Sportswoman of the Year in 2007.


Julie Dolan- Midfielder

A commanding central midfielder, Julie Dolan played 34 matches for Australia in a 10-year career. Dolan started playing soccer at the age of 14 and contested the Asian Cup two years later in 1975. Between 1978 and 1988 Dolan played in 18 full internationals. She was Australian captain on six occasions and played in the World Invitational Tournament twice, the first Oceania Cup in 1983 and the pilot World Cup in China in 1988. That same year the Australian Women’s Soccer Association created the “Julie Dolan Medal” for the best player of the year.


Joanne Millman- Defender

Born in Brisbane in 1961, Joanne Millman became involved in football as a young girl. She spent her entire career with Brisbane Eastern Suburbs, playing as a sweeper and midfielder. Millman first represented Queensland in 1979 as a youth player. She developed quickly, going on to play 600 senior games in eight international tours (40 games), 15 national championships (110 games), 15 State championships (90 games) and 16 domestic seasons (360 games). In 1983 Millman made her first international tour to Hawaii. She was named Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, and has been a committee member of the QWSA executive and treasurer for five years.


Melissa Barbieri – Goal Keeper

Growing up in Melbourne, Barbieri began playing football regularly from the age of 14 as a left sided player. In 2002, Barbieri suffered a near career ending back injury. Unable to continue as an outfield player Barbieri, moved into the goals and quickly asserted herself as the Matildas number one goalkeeper.

In 2006 ‘Bubs’, as she is affectionately known, became the first female player to appear in a men’s professional competition when she began playing for Richmond Eagles FC. Since making her Matildas debut in 2002 Barbieri has won 73 caps for her country. Barbieri took over the captaincy vacated by Cheryl Salisbury (retired 2009) in 2010 when the Westfield Matildas resumed their program following nearly 12 months without a match. Since then Barbieri has a near-perfect record as captain and was the first Australian to lift the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in May 2010.

In 2011 Melissa lead her team out at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany where the team reached the quarter finals for the second consecutive tournament before being knocked out by Sweden. Melissa played in 3 of the 4 matches at the World Cup including the team’s thrilling 2-1 win over Norway.