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AUFC's female role model, Kirsty Whiting

I first got back into football in 2016 - after I’d recently played a season of summer football (after not playing for over 10years) and I got the itch… fast forward 4 years and I would never have guessed just how passionate and involved I would be today.


After the first year of returning to play I found myself as goalkeeper for Albany United’s women’s team - I still am. I LOVE to be part of a team, to get together twice a week for trainings and games with the girls, to create life long friendships with the girls, to see us all grow as people and as a team. The team consists of women of all ages ranging from 18-60years old, and most of us return year after year. As a team we have made it to the cup final 3years in a row and finally won the cup in 2019 - such a great feeling and a very proud achievement for all involved.

Team photo after we won the Cup in 2019
Team photo after we won the Cup in 2019

Playing goalkeeper isn’t for everyone - it can be emotional - with ups and downs in one game and throughout the season, it varies from game to game, if you lose you can feel like you’ve let the team down, it can be dangerous - I’ve only broken 2 bones in my body and that was from playing goalkeeper. But it can also be rewarding, to save shots that can help you win the game, in penalty shootouts if you save more goals than the opposing goalkeeper - the celebrations with the team make it all worth while. 

Kirsty Whiting playing Goalkeeper
Kirsty Whiting playing Goalkeeper

In 2018 I decided, studied and qualified to become an official referee. One reason I did this is because our women’s team is in division 3 with games played on Sundays - we VERY rarely get official refs for our games so I decided to become one. Rather than moan/complain there’s not enough - lead the way. I have been lucky to be involved in some great games, including some Kate Shepard games as an assistant referee, and some mens NRFL games. I particularly enjoy refereeing the girls games on Saturday’s - I’ve mainly done U14 & U13’s - I find this rewarding because I can give back to football, to help put female referees on the map, I hope I can inspire the younger next generation to also one day become a referee themselves. I probably wont make it to  the Olympics/FIFA as a player/goalkeeper now - but there could be opportunities as an official and I’m excited to see where my future goes.

Kirsty (centre) with the other female referees within nz
Kirsty (centre) with the other female referees within nz

I enjoy all aspects of football, there isn’t many weekends throughout the winter season that you wont see me at the Albany clubrooms/fields either taking photo’s of the games, playing goalkeeper with my team, putting the secretary hat on if needed, helping with events or even officiating a game - my winter months are for football and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Harbour Sport Award for contribution to football
Harbour Sport Award for contribution to football

To all young girls/females out there thinking about playing football - give it a try! 

If you see me around Albany club, or officiating within your club - don’t by shy, come say hi! 

Kirsty with the Cup her team won in 2019
Kirsty with the Cup her team won in 2019

Kirsty Whiting

Roles within the club:
Unofficial photographer (probably more senior teams though)
Events Chairman 2018
Club Secretary 2019, 2020

Quick facts:
I’m left handed
Can play using both feet
Grew up in the UK and moved to NZ when I was 14 nearly 15
Broken 2 bones in my life, in my pinky & ring finger since playing GK
I haven’t come from a sporting background - my parents are quite surprised/shocked at how involved I have become

Awards won:
Players player x2
Bert Ford award 2018
First Year Referee of the year 2019
Harbour Sport Excellence awards, NZ Sport.TV Sporting acknowledgement  - Contribution to Football 2019


Level 1 Referee of the year
Level 1 Referee of the year



 

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