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Class of 2021 graduate from Future Wander Women program

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Roar Guru
9th March, 2022
10

The 34 players from the inaugural Future Wander Women program have officially graduated.

The class of 2021 were supposed to have their graduation ceremony at the double-header between the Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix at CommBank Stadium a fortnight ago, however, the bad weather resulted in the A-League matches and also the ceremony being postponed.

Despite this, neither the bad weather, or COVID, has done anything to dampen the excitement these girls have for their future in football and the Wanderers.

Blacktown Spartans’ junior Chelsea Barton took part in the 2021 program and admits it has motivated her even more to pursue her footballing dreams.

“I loved using the great facilities, with good coaches and the potential opportunities that can hopefully come from this,” said the 16-year-old. “Seeing women’s football give opportunities to local young girls to develop is inspiring to me.

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“Hopefully I can give back in the future to this program.”

The intensive program develops skills as well as tactical nouse, all within a professional environment. There were initially 188 girls who trialled, with 34 girls aged 14-17 making the final cut.

The coach was former W-League star Linda Khamis, who worked with Wanderers technical director Ian Crook to develop the program. Current Wander Women Bryleeh Henry and Libby Copus-Brown assisted Khamis.

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In what is fantastic news for girls in western Sydney, the 2022 program has been expanded with girls aged 10-16 now able to take part. The number of spots available has grown to 60, with 30 places for girls aged 10-12 and 30 for those aged 13-16.

The 2022 program will also go for 20 weeks, with training taking place each Wednesday night during terms 2 and 3.

Madi Gabila, who is 11 years old and a Wanderers fan, admits she is excited about the program expanding to include her age group.

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“Exciting news about being able to trial for the Wanderers, to test myself against the best girls in Sydney,” she said. “For me this is another step into making my dream of playing for the Wanderers come true.”

Word has it that Madi was so excited when her mother signed her up for the trials today, that she went out and trained in the rain for nearly an hour just to get herself ready for the trials in April.

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The program is funded by the Wanderers Foundation and its generous donors. It is free for the girls that trial and who get a spot in the program.

Outgoing Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas, a long-time advocate for giving local talent a chance to be Wander Women, says he is delighted the successful program was running for a second year in a row.

“Following the success of the Future Wander Women Program last year, we are proud that the Wanderers Foundation and our generous donors have come together again to not only continue the program, but also expand the number of participants,” he said.

“It is very important for us to give an opportunity to young female athletes in Western Sydney to continue their development and growth, and we hope that the Future Wander Women Program can continue for years to come.”

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The class of 2021

Isabelle Antoniou
Janaya Baroudi
Chelsea Barton
Ariane Brown
Neve Burns
Deana Caronna
Ciara Casamento
Abbey-Rose Cryer
Olivia D’Alessandro
Samantha Edwards
Layla Etherington
Isla Giron
Aimee Hall
Helena Halios-Lewis
Elissa Hariri
Sharina Harris
Isabelle Harris
Sienna Havill
Denise Justice
Matilda McParland
Kitwarla Mkali
Layla Mouawad
Ava Parry
Ava Piazza
Rojin Polat
Isabella Raad
Maria Roumeliotis
Jessica Saliba
Kaylie Shannon
Tahlia Sharrock
Ella Sievwright
Caley Tallon-Henniker
Emilija Vidakovic
Alice Webster
Kate Woosnam

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