Malli Blanch: Thriving in Football's Goalkeeping Challenge

Football has the power to transform lives and provide incredible opportunities for personal growth. Malli Blanch, a talented goalkeeper for Charlestown Azzurri first grade, shares her journey and passion for the game. From her initial introduction to football to her memorable achievements, Malli's story is one of perseverance, excitement, and the love of sport that has become a vital part of her life.

Discovering Football: A New Challenge 

At the age of 20, Malli embarked on her football journey after years of playing tennis. It was her partner's deep involvement as a player and referee that piqued her curiosity. Intrigued by the enthusiasm surrounding the sport, Malli joined a local football program called Kick-On for Women. After two programs, Malli and a group of passionate ladies from the program decided to form a new team at Dudley, becoming the third women's team in the area.

The Love for Football: A Lifestyle and Community

For Malli, football offers much more than just a game. She thrives on the challenges of being a goalkeeper, relishing the adrenaline rush of making crucial saves during heated matches. However, what truly captivates her is the environment that a club shares with its community and players. Football becomes a lifestyle, fostering camaraderie and a sense of belonging.

Malli fondly recalls her first-ever game while playing for Dudley, she says, "Our first game as a team was definitely a memorable one. Despite the nerves that permeated the team due to it being many players' first match, there was an instant connection and we felt it the moment the match started."

She goes on, "Winning the game and attempting to sing our team's song for the first time was truly a magical moment - it really solidified the camaraderie of the sport for me, watching mothers and wives revel in their own sporting accomplishments was truly something special. And from that moment on, I was hooked."

Greatest Achievement: Grand Finale Triumph, the State Cup and Thriving in the NPLW

Among Malli's notable accomplishments, winning the grand final stands out as a significant milestone in her football journey. Additionally, she cherishes the experience of playing in the Women's State Cup. These achievements highlight her dedication and commitment to the sport she loves.

Excited for the FIFA Women's World Cup, Malli says, "I'm eagerly anticipating the FIFA Women's World Cup, and can't wait to watch the best of the best battle it out. The upcoming event holds the promise of inspiring performances and showcasing the incredible talent of women in the sport."

In addition to being fortunate enough to play in the Women's State Cup, Malli has also been listed in the NPLW which was a euphoric moment for Malli. Initially hesitant to make the leap, she received overwhelming support from her family, partner, and the Dudley girls. The joy of having loved ones on the sidelines cheering her on is an unforgettable experience. 

Playing football has had a profound impact on Malli's life. It has provided her with an amazing journey full of unforgettable experiences. Malli eagerly looks forward to the future and the incredible opportunities that lie ahead. Malli Blanch's experiences exemplifies the power of passion and determination in embracing new challenges and excelling in football. Her journey from tennis to becoming a skilled goalkeeper showcases her commitment to personal growth and the impact the sport has had on her life. Through her experiences, Malli inspires young girls to pursue their dreams, embrace the journey, and relish the incredible moments that football brings. 

This web story is by the NSW Government under the NSW Football Legacy Program.