As part of our Female Football Week series focusing on females in football at Gymea United we asked our Women’s Head Coach Natalie Blacker some questions to learn more about her journey. Read what had to say below!


What would you like GUFC Giants to know about you?

Pretty much what’s on my Instagram bio; Educator, ocean lover, avid reader, knower of useless facts which makes me great at trivia nights.
What is your first memory of football?

My father waking us up at all hours to watch Italy play in world cups and European championships
How did you get from this first memory to where you are today? 

Growing up in the Eastern suburbs, I was heavily involved in lifesaving, netball and touch football. I only started playing football (soccer) during university when I played for UNSW and participated in summer comps with some friends that played for Maroubra United. I discovered I loved the complexity and strategy that goes into the game and the team work that goes into scoring and defending goals. I was told that I was a good midfielder because I was able to see plays before they happened and somehow get the passes through. That  knowledge of the game has certainly helped me in my current status. After returning to the game in 2019 I can honestly say that being part of a team is the best part of my week. Recurrent ankle injuries limits me to playing in goals which I only tried for the first time in the 2023 season and I found that I LOVE it and am somewhat successful mainly due to the absolute legends that are the defensive players in the SWB1’s. My other passion in regard to football is coaching. I have coached the Open Girls Soccer team for my school for the last few years and currently am in charge on the W14B’s. Coaching combines two of my passions, education and football and I am hopefully making a difference in the experiences for the players.
What is your favourite team locally & internationally? 

Sydney FC, Arsenal WFC, and of course The Matildas!
What do you think of Football in the Shire and how does it compare to similar competitions in Australia?

Football in the Shire is next level! So much interest and enthusiasm from such a a young age. It’s great to see so many people continue playing long into adulthood. I think what makes the Shire unique is how much of a community feel there is. The soccer-filled weekends are ingrained in the culture of so many families – its our happy place!
What does female football week mean to you?

Anything that brings awareness and promotion to the female football experience is a great idea. Having conversations, learning about the experience of others and thinking strategically about how to make positive change in football is very exciting.
How do you think football has changed for girls and women since you were a child?

Two words – The Matildas. Being Australia’s favourite sporting team has brought an awareness to the game like nothing else has. Being inspired by them has prompted the current generation to fill academies, strive for selection in regional, state and national teams and I hope it continues.
What made you decide to be on the GUFC committee?  

The Blackers have always been involved with GUFC and volunteering has always been an important part of my upbringing. I had this idea one day when I was out with my team so I rang GUFC President, Anthony Severino and said something along the lines of “You know what the club needs? Someone looking after Women’s Football and I think that someone should be me!!” And that’s how it all started!

What changes do you want bring to GUFC? 

Streamlining the grading process, supporting coaches with getting the best out of their junior players and making sure there is a clear pathway to the SPL for our female players.