Anna Senjuschenko

Anna Senjuschenko, considered by all who knew her as one of the most talented soccer players Western Australia has produced, died at the age of 17, in 1979, in a tragic car accident, 2 weeks before her 18th birthday.

She was an all-round sports girl, playing and representing her school in most sports, including tennis, netball and softball. In netball she represented the Under-16 National side in 1976 and in softball she competed at state and national level as well as at this same level in soccer.

For the entire length of her soccer career she played for Inglewood Kiev, from the age of 12, starting in 1973.  Anna played in 3 National Championships. She first gained selection in the State soccer team in 1976, at age 15, playing alongside her sister-in-law Jenny. In 1977 Jenny represented Queensland and was back representing WA again in 1978 alongside Anna. Anna was selected to play for Australia in 1977 from the Open Age National Championships and again in 1978 at the Women’s World Invitation Tournament in Taiwan, where she was also selected in a World 11 – as the only Australian. For this she received a trophy (refer photo attached) and medallion an honour which very few players ever achieve. Before gaining selection in the world team in 1978, she was voted star player of the Australian team. Following her performances at National Championship and World Championship level, were offers to play for clubs overseas. Anna rejected these offers, saying she was too young.

Anna could read the game well and with great anticipation. Her position on the field was usually centre mid-field, in which she could dominate the game with her strength, height (175cm tall), skill and speed. Her specialty in the game was scoring from drives 30-40 metres from goals. In 1979 she was named Youth Of The Year by the Bayswater Shire. Anna possessed a happy character and was liked by all. She always stood out because of her tall stature and fluffy blonde hair. In her memory, the Anna Senjuschenko Memorial Shield was formed after her employer, Boans, donated the shield (previously the cup was known as the Welding Services Cup). The 1979 WAWSA fixture book pictured Anna with the trophy she received in the Taiwan Tournament.

Reference: Penny Tanner (1991), Women’s Soccer, No Longer A Gentleman’s Game p. 83 and Penny Tanner archives.

In 1996 Anna was posthumously inducted into the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia. Her brother Alex was inducted later.

Football West featured an article in 2020 of the Western Australian Dream Team, in which Anna was selected by the public as one of the best players to represent the state in its entire history (see WA State Dream Team).