Current Sydney FC and Manly United defender Ally Green has had quite the rise through Australia’s Football ranks.
From Harbord, to Manly United, through to Sydney FC, as well as winning a W-League Championship and scoring a hat-trick for her country. She’s experienced some massive highs and some difficult hurdles.
As part of a new weekly series highlighting the MWFA grassroots players who have progressed to higher honours through the MWFA / Manly United pathway, we spoke to Ally about the path she has taken.
Green’s journey started when she was just five years old playing for Harbord, which back then was Harbord Seasiders United.
“I started playing because my older brother played football and it was mixed teams,” Green said.
She knew she loved the game early on and Manly United recognised that talent because they picked her up from the U10s. Those early years were particularly crucial to Green’s development as a player.
“We focused on getting the basics right early on because at that point my career was still developing. They wanted me to develop my Football brain rather than just being an ‘athlete’ at that time.”
She played for Manly right up until the U14s when, unable to make the team, she returned to Harbord and spent the year playing with the U16s boys’ team. This made her, in her own words, a “much more defensive-minded player” and “not afraid of anything”.
The setback would have hurt many players but Green took it on with ease.
“You were forced to be more tenacious and physical as a player, otherwise you would be bumped off the ball or tackled hard. It was definitely different to playing with girls. But I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that was given to me.”
She came back to Manly after her season with Harbord a tougher, more versatile player and continued her progression at Manly United before she signed on with Sydney in 2017.
Since then the highs have included winning a W-League Grand Final (2018-19), as well as the W-League Role Model Award (2019-20) but she also missed an entire W-League season due to a serious ankle injury, another setback.
“I had just come back from the Young Matildas and did three ligaments in my left ankle, which was very disappointing to be ruled out for my debut W-League season. But I was still extremely fortunate to be in a highly professional training environment,” she said.
Ally takes pride in representing both clubs, but she perhaps has an ever-so-slight preference for Manly United, with whom she won the NPL1 Grand Final last year: “It’s quite a high-end feeling when we succeed with Manly United because a lot of the girls are my best friends and we’ve been playing together since we were young”.
Ally and her Sydney FC team mates will be in action again at Cromer park on February 21 when Sydney FC takes on Adelaide United.