For many people, football and family are intertwined. There is a great example of this at Manly Allambie United – Brett Turton (more commonly known as Bluey) has been with the club for 40 years, while his daughter Piper was recently named as Manly Allambie’s Club Person of the Year.
Brett’s initial involvement with football was at Allambie Soccer Club, prior to their merger with Manly Soccer Club.
“I actually started as an Allambie kid, I was a chocolate soldier [a reference to Allambie Soccer Club’s colours, brown and white]. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that Manly Soccer Club and Allambie Soccer Club joined together.
“My parents were heavily involved. My father’s a life member, he played at Allambie as well, so the kids are third generation and it’s part of our lifestyle now.”
Brett described himself as “extremely proud” when Piper won Club Person of the Year, and she was also named MWFA Women’s Rookie of the Year.
“The Manly Warringah award was a big shock, especially for a 16-year-old playing in the Premier League and it’s only her seventh year playing, so it’s a great achievement.
“I believe she’s the first person outside of the committee to win that award [Manly Allambie Club Person of the Year]. I thought she might have been nominated for Senior Player of the Year, due to her age she’s still eligible for Youth Player of the Year, but yeah, with the club award I had no idea either.”
Over the last 40 years, Brett has done it all for Manly Allambie: playing, coaching, managing, groundskeeping and serving on the committee. This club spirit has clearly been passed down to Piper, because when she’s not playing for the Manly Allambie Women’s Premier League team, Piper is busy keeping things on track for the club’s Men’s AL1 squad. She enjoys the camaraderie that comes with being their team manager.
“My Dad’s good friend is the head coach. Last year, it wasn’t registered as my job but I did a lot of the paperwork that they needed.
“It’s fun because I get to watch soccer every weekend, I get to spend time with my Dad and with friends down there.”
Piper isn’t afraid to try new things, and despite her youth she is already helping the next generation of players. The MWFA Women’s World Cup was her first foray into coaching, as Piper put her hand up to coach the Manly Allambie U11s at the tournament.
“I had so much fun, the girls loved it so much as well. I’d never coached before, so it was about learning that side of the game.”