Soccer veteran off to Auckland for World Masters Games


PENNY Hoath will write a new chapter in her decades long history of representative soccer when she jets to Auckland for a second World Masters Games at the end of the month.

Hoath dropped hockey in favour of soccer when she was in high school and has never looked back.

“Hockey was my game until I saw (Argentine international) Diego Maradona playing – I thought he was so cool and soccer was so exciting so I switched,” she said.

“Melville was my first club back in the early days when I was the baby of the team before I moved away for university.

“Now that I’ve moved back into the area I’m back with Melville, where I also coach my daughter Rose Maree in the Under-11s.”

Hoath made her debut for WA as a 17-year-old and has travelled across Australia and the world to play soccer nearly every year since.

“I’ve been part of both 11-a-side and Futsal squads for WA and played all over Europe,” she said.

“In 1993 I was vice caption for the Australian team at the World University Games in Canada where we got whooped by retired American star Mia Hamm and a team full of Chinese internationals.”

Four years ago Hoath played in her first World Masters Game in Italy, helping her WA side reach the knockout stages of the tournament.

She said the Games promoted participation just as much as competition but admitted the WA Black Swans were out to win.

“We have an amazing spread of players – international players, state team players and some players who have come out of retirement,” she said.

“There are some of us who are pretty competitive and we still play at a high level, a handful of us are still running around in the State League women’s competitions with the 16 and 17-year-old spring chickens.”

Hoath will be joined in Auckland by her daughter Rose Maree and said her focus would shift to junior coaching following the World Masters Games.

“I get as excited about coaching as I do about playing, which I’m starting to do less of,” she said.

“Rose’s fixtures are at the same time I would normally play but coaching is my priority this year so everything else is on the backburner.”

Fundraising to help cover the costs of the WA teams travelling to New Zealand for the World Masters Games is ongoing and anybody interested in contributing can contact Penny Hoath on 0408 921 832.

The World Masters Games run from April 21 to 30.