CLAIRE Coelho is making waves in the football world at the moment.
The Port Macquarie player is the first-choice goalkeeper for the Newcastle Jets in the W League and is following her sporting dream.
Meanwhile, there’s also plenty of work going on off the field. Coelho is completing her Higher School Certificate at MacKillop Senior College in Port Macquarie.
Coelho must balance travelling to and from Newcastle for training with her study
commitments. Coelho’s dedication on both fronts is paying
The Jets are doing well early on in the new season.
Coelho kept a clean sheet in the opening match, a 1-0 win over defending champion Melbourne Victory.
“We were very happy with that,” she said.
A 2-1 loss to Perth Glory followed, and Coelho was philosophical about that match.
“Most of us thought a draw would have been fair,” Coelho said. “But they’ve recruited well in the off-season.”
The team is gearing up for a round four clash against Brisbane Roar, who sits a place below on the ladder.
Roar hasn’t won a game yet, but Coelho and company are still wary.
“We should hopefully get on top of them,” she said.
“We will look to keep building each week.” Coelho must keep doing well between the sticks, with two other keepers breathing down her neck for a spot in the starting side. “I’ve earnt it through training,” she said of the firsts spot.
Eliza Campbell’s spot opened up after the Jets keeper went to play in Norway.
It isn’t bad considering Coelho was a field player just three seasons ago.
“I was getting bored in the field,” she said.
It’s certainly interesting now. When she’s not stopping goals, Coelho has her head in a
She credits her MacKillop teachers and family for their valuable help in making sure commitments are met.
Coelho’s parents Col and Trish often do the driving to let her study in the car.
“And the teachers have been really good,” she said.
The Jets have also been helpful.
“The coaches and club have been good,” she said.
Should football fall over, Coelho has a back-up plan for the future.
“I’ve applied for law at Newcastle University,” she said.