Sandra

Szopski

Chops
Player
Mulan Taipai, Asian Cup, 1980 courtesy Sandra Szopski

Photo: Mulan Taipai, Asian Cup, 1980, courtesy Sandra Szopski (located bottom row fourth from right in photo)

Of Ukrainian origins, Chops, as she is familiarly known (due to the pronunciation of her surname), has led an incredibly long career in Western Australia football. It spans 6 decades and started as a young player in the second year of the Western Australian Girls Soccer competition with South Perth United, in 1973.

A school teacher for over three decades, Chops has mentored, fostered and developed players, coached teams, helped create school soccer specific programmes, played football at club and state level, toured nationally and internationally, represented Western Australia at Open Age National Championships and World Masters tournaments. Some fellow state team players include Jude Pettitt, Sharon Mateljan and Sandra Brentnall.

Whilst working with the WA Women’s Soccer Association (WAWSA), Chops was instrumental in setting up girls primary school leagues and the modern day National Training Centre programme structure (then called the High Performance Centre). She was part of the WAWSA Committee that secured Gibbney Reserve as the first home of women’s soccer in WA at Gibbney Reserve, in Maylands in 1992. This helped grow the sport exponentially, along with a very forward thinking female strong Association committee lead by Janette Spencer in the 1990’s and 2000’s, before Football West emerged.

Referenced from Penny Tanner’s archives and Chops herself!

Photos in gallery: Opening of the State Football Centre 2023 (courtesy Penny Tanner), Western Australian State Team mid 1990’s- bottom row third from left (courtesy Chops), 1988 Western Australian State Schoolgirls Team (courtesy Chops)