Jude Pettitt was a skilful, confident centre forward, midfielder and goal scorer who in 1972 at the age of 10 played senior football with the Ascot Women’s team. Pettitt showed a gift and love for the game early on that was fostered at a club filled with huge personalities, and elite coaches of the time (Syd Smith). Pettitt’s apprenticeship was surrounded by prominent Australian and WA state football genius, such as Julie Clayton (Gorton), Carol Blunt, Linda Blunt, Donna Pendreigh (Gorton), Jill Syson and Martha Ryan (McManus).
Stepping into the senior women’s Western Australian State side at age 15, Pettitt went on to represent WA and Victoria State Teams at 12 national open women’s championships between 1977 and 1994, touring with Western Australia to Asia in 1977 and India in 1980.
Pettitt was one of the youngest players in the 1978 WA side who won the National Championships, and as a result her performance gained her selection in the first Australian Team. She played in every match of the 1978 International Tournament in Taiwan for Australia. The ability to hit the back of the net at club and State level, earnt her 14 caps for Australia between 1978 and 1987, racking up 8 goals.
In a career that spanned more than three decades, Pettitt played with the best players of the time in the Western Australia and Australian teams, including Sandra Brentnall, Pat O’Connor, Anna Senjuschenko and Teresa Varadi (Kozak).
After heading back to WA from Victoria in early 1993, Pettitt continued to play and coach at several clubs including Stirling Vasto, Perth Italia, Sorrento, and Subiaco.
- At club level, Pettitt played for Ascot 1972-1979, Ferndale 1980-1988
- Represented Western Australia and Victorian State Teams from 1977 through to 1994.
- Twelve tracksuits for WA and one National Championship trophy in 1978
- Four tracksuits for Victoria, culminating with 2 National Championship honours in 1989 and 1992.
- Travelled with the WA Team into Asia in 1977 and India in 1980
- Represented Australia 1978-1984. 1978 being the very first International Women’s Tournament (The World Women’s Invitational Tournament) that Australia competed in which included seven West Australian players.
- Awarded a long service medal by Women’s Soccer WA for 20+ years in Western Australia
- In 1992, awarded the Australian Women’s Soccer Association long service medal for attendance to National Championships
- First WA woman to win a Coaching Award in 1994, the Ron Tindall Award, further qualification at the AIS in Canberra mentored by Alistair Edwards Alen Stajcic
- 2000 Awarded Australian Sports Medal for service to Sport.
- Inducted into the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia 2012
Reference the 1980 WA Tour to Malaysia, Jae remembers (include the black and white tour photo of Jude and goalkeeper colliding)-
‘I actually remember the moment like yesterday, the turn, the surprise of “OMG” Where did she come from and then the hurt…’
Source: Jude Pettitt herself