Broome 7 v Newman 2 Our new women's side defeated a Newman side in the first ever Broome Women's Rep game, August 2008. Ironically at a venue called Male Oval.

In 2008, the West Australian mining town Newman had an established local women's soccer league with four sides. Located in the remote Pilbara region, they were keen to test the mettle of their finest on the field against another regional side.

With limited options for competition in the Pilbara, Newman looked north to the Kimberley, and challenged the Broome Soccer Association (BSA) to a game in Broome. Newman is 1050 kms away from Broome by road, which is around the distance you'd need to travel to get from Canberra to Adelaide (a route which crosses three states and a territory) In the face of such enthusiasm, and despite the absence of any locally organised women’s football, the BSA obliged.

A game was organised for the evening of Saturday, August 27th.

The Broome Side

Michael Dawson and Mike Doyle were bestowed the honour of coaching Broome's first Women's rep side. The first priority was locating enough players for a team.

Prior to the establishment of the women’s competition in Broome, opportunities for players seeking competitive soccer were in the newly established and mainly manly BLiga comp.

Around a half a dozen women played in BLiga in 2008.

Hagan’s Heroes (later to become Meatworks FC) was the club with the higher female representation; Kristen Orazi, Monique Ellis and Karen Salkilld all donned the green and red.

Monique & Karen with Hagans Heroes team mates in 2008.

Alyssa Byron played as striker for Broome City and defending champions Pearl Coast Pirates (later merged with Broome City) had Julia Marley in defence.

Julia Marley (far right, second row?) with 2007 BLiga Champions Pearl Coast Pirates.
Claire Carson (far left) had been a stand out as goalkeeper for Ireland in the annual novelty St Patricks Day Aus v Ireland football game in 2008.

During a St Patrick's day social match in March, Claire Carson had played exceptionally well in goal for the Irish side (as featured below in a local TV news story of the event) and was prepared to don the gloves again - this time for Broome.

The surprise of the game came in the form of 13 year old Kate Thayer. Having been brought down to bolster Broome's numbers by Hagans Heros hardman (and father) Gary, Kate would score a hat trick and reveal talent that later secured a scholarship to the US with William Penn University.

Kate Thayer - Hat trick hero for Broome. These days, Kate plays in the Women's National Premier League with East Fremantle.
Kate completes her hat trick.


Newman travelled with a match day squad of 16 and a number of supporting volunteers, all sporting infamous 'Spiderman goes to a rave' playing kits.

The road trip for Newman to Broome was a round trip of 2100 kms.

Broome's Michael Dawson and Newman's Damien 'Damo' Gregson had coached as rivals in the Goldfields Soccer Association Women's Comp in prior years. Dawson with College and Twin City and Damo with Boulder City.

Newman with the kick off.
Pre-match in the elegant player facilites of Male Oval.

The match

The game was played on a touch field (in the days before the BSA had a linemarker) on Male Oval, in China Town. Match officials consisted of Gary Thayer as ref with Chris Stainton and Bill Shaw's youngest son as assistant refs.

Broome defenders work to close down a Newman attack.

Newman kicked of the first half, and within 6 minutes were behind to a strike from Alissa Byron. Broome's young prodigy Kate Thayer scored a second shortly after. By the 20 minute mark, Newman managed to pull a goal back during a frantic goal mouth scramble, but by half time were 4-1 down following two more goals from Byron.

Left: The Newman side embrace bokeh • Centre: The sky takes on shades of Newman's playing kit in the later stages of the game • Right: A shot flies towards the Newman goalkeeper. Photos: © Warren Bartlett, 2008.

Following the half time break and team talks, Newman rallied and looked to be taking control of the game. Then a goal against the run of play from Byron crushed the Newman spirit and weary heads went down. Thayer scored two more to complete her hat trick and Newman grabbed a late consolation goal to finish the game 7-2.

Left: Mon getting shoved. Bottom right: Newman's first goal was scored from a goal mouth scramble.

The Legacy

In 2009, following the success of this game and other initiatives, the BSA launched the Woman's BLiga. The comp still successfully runs today. That same year, Newman visited Broome for a rematch. With the extra advantage of organised competition and more planning time, Broome again won, this time 6-0.

The players from 2008's Broome V Newman game... and Newman coach 'Damo' (left, front row).


Photos ®2008 Warren Bartlett and broomesport.com. Story by M Dawson.

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