Lisa De Vanna eyes coaching future

Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna insists she’s not ready to walk away from soccer despite taking a break from playing that has extended to this year’s W-League season.

The nominee for Asian Player of the Year has been a noticeable absentee from this year’s domestic women’s football league.Lisa De Vanna is taking time away from playing to become a certified coach.Lisa De Vanna is taking time away from playing to become a certified coach. Photo: FFA

After playing in every previous W-League campaign, De Vanna is watching her Matildas teammates from the sidelines as she rests from a taxing 18 months which included a World Cup, Olympics and Olympic qualifying tournament and two club campaigns at home and abroad.

But she revealed her break was about more than just physical and mental recovery.

“You can’t play forever so I’m starting to look at different avenues in my life,” she told AAP.

“I’m doing my coaching stuff and have to really focus. I don’t think I can play football and do this at the same time.”

De Vanna is chasing her coaching badges and is completing a C-Licence, ruling out any W-League action in 2016.

But she is likely to get involved in the new year, with the Matildas next assignment – the Cyprus Cup – looming in early March.

The fleet-footed forward said national team coach Alen Stajcic gave his blessings to her plan.

“Staj is happy that I’m doing this coaching course but he also made it clear that I’ve got to start playing again to go to the Cyprus Cup,” she said.

“He’s been really understanding.

“My life after football is something that I need to think about even though Staj says I could play until I’m 38 which I don’t want to do. I’m 32 on Monday and that’s a bit scary.

“The Olympic Games, emotionally and mentally, was a big drain. It was so intense. I needed a mental break away from football, focus on other things, and then I’ll get back into the swing of things.”

De Vanna turned out for title-winners Melbourne City last season but said she “hadn’t put a thought” to which club she might turn out for when she leaps back into the league.

The Asian player of the year award will be conferred on December 1, with fellow Matilda Caitlin Foord among the three nominees.

Kate Gill (2010) and Katrina Gorry (2014) are the most recent Australian winners of the award, for which Elise Kellond-Knight was also nominated last year.