Congratulations to Alanna Kennedy who will be inducted into this years Roll of Excellence in the Sportsperson category.
Alanna was registered with the Ambarvale Little Athletics Centre in Sydney for 8 years from the 1999/2000 season when she registered as a Tiny Tot, through until the 2006/2007 season as an U12. Alanna still holds Ambarvale LAC records in every age group from U7 to U12, being:
|2002 U7||60m Hurdles 12.1 Sec
Pack Start 1:52.5 min
|2003 U8||Long Jump 3.34m
Pack Start 2:31.5min
|2004 U9||60m Hurdles 10.8sec
Long Jump 3.83m
High Jump 1.24m
|2005 U10||High Jump 1.35m|
|2006 U11||High Jump 1.40m|
|2007 U12||High Jump 1.41m|
Alanna competed in the Little Athletics NSW State Cross Country Championships in 2002 and 2003, winning the gold medal as an U7 in 2002 and finishing 5th as an U8 in 2003. She also competed in the Little Athletics NSW State Multi Event Championships in 2006 as an U11, where she finished 9th out of a field of 65 and again in 2007, as an U12 where she finished 27th.
Alanna qualified for the Little Athletics NSW State Region Championships every year from U8 to U11. For U8 athletes, this is the highest level to which they can progress and in 2003, Alanna’s U8 results were: 1st 400m, 1st Pack Start, 1st Long Jump, 3rd 6om hurdles.
Alanna qualified through Region to the State Track & Field Championships in 2004, 2005 and
2006, winning the high jump as an U9 and U10 and finishing 2nd in the high jump as an U11.
Alanna’s State results are:
|2004 U9 High Jump 1st 1.24m|
|60m hurdles 5th 10.8 sec (NB: this was won by Matilda’s team-mate Caitlin Foord)|
|2005 U10 High Jump 1st 1.35m|
|Long Jump 10th 3.65m|
|2006 U11 High Jump 2nd 1.40m|
Alanna is a member of the Australian women’s football team ‘the Matilda’s’ and has established herself as one of the world’s best central defenders. She has been described as “smart and composed on the ball, resolute in defence and can thread a pass like a midfielder”.
She is a multi-talented central defender and has become an increasingly key figure for the Matildas since debuting in 2012. Although she is a centre-by trade, such is Alanna’s skill-set that she could excel in just about any position on the pitch.
She often shields the defence from a deeper-lying midfield role for NWSL side Orlando Pride and is more than capable of a spectacular goal, and is a dead-ball specialist.
Alanna is already approaching a century of caps at just 24 years of age, and is considered technically proficient, and strong, both on the ground and in the air.
Kicking her first football at age 4, in her backyard with her older brother. She made her on field debut with her local team the Campbelltown Cobras as soon as she was old enough; started playing ‘reps’ at age 10;attended the Australian Institute of Sport at age 14; and made her debut for the Matildas against New Zealand in 2012, at age 17.
In 2014, at age 19, she was named to the Matildas squad for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. She appeared in three games, as Australia finished Runner-up to Japan.
In 2015, she was named to Australia’s 23- player roster for the 2015 World Cup and although she was the second youngest player on the roster, she played in all five matches for Australia. The Matildas finished second in their group and advanced to the knockout stage. They defeated Brazil in round 16 but lost to Japan in the quarter finals.
Alanna attended her first Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and played every minute of Australia’s four matches. She was part of the Matildas squad that won the 2017 Tournament of Nations and defeated the United States for the first time ever.
At the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Kennedy scored two goals for Australia. The second goal she scored was a stoppage time equalizer against Thailand in the Semi-final. Australia went on to win the game in penalties.
In May 2019, Alanna was named to the Matildas squad for the 2019 World Cup. At her second World Cup in France 2019, Alanna started all four of Australia’s matches, played for 374 minutes; passed the ball 334 times; and covered 39.8km.
After making her Westfield W-League debut for Sydney FC as a 16-year-old in the 2010-11 season, Alanna has now played for four clubs in the Westfield W-League including: Sydney FC (current), Newcastle Jets, Western Sydney Wanderers, Perth Glory.
She won titles in both the Westfield W-League (Sydney FC 2012/13 and again this year 2018/19) and the National Women’s Soccer League (Western New York Flash 2016).
At present, Alanna splits her time between Australia and the US, playing for Sydney FC in the Australian W-League and the Orlando Pride in the US National Women’s Soccer League. Alanna was the Sydney FC Player of the Year in 2015-16 and won the Orlando Pride Golden Swans: Coaches Award in 2017.
There was much talk around her amazing talent earlier this year, when she scored a memorable bicycle kick goal for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League in April.
Alanna is now regarded as one of Australia’s best athletes. She has 82 international caps; has scored 7 international goals. She was named as one of the defenders on the FIFA Pro Women’s 2017 World XI shortlist. The only Australians to make the shortlist were Alanna Kennedy and Samantha Kerr. (The top female footballers from around the world select one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. The 5 goalkeepers, 20 defenders, 15 midfielders and 15 attackers who received most votes appear on the shortlist of 55 players. This year, more than 4,100 female player sat the highest level in 45 countries, voted for the World XI).
In March of this year, Alanna Kennedy was interviewed by Fox Sports and talked about her days in Little Athletics, competing against her Matilda’s teammate Caitlin Foord.
But while their stint as housemates was short-lived such is the nature of the football nomad – a friendship first forged through Little Athletics well over a decade ago endures.
…..“I’m surprised we’re here right now,” Kennedy said with a laugh.“But I think she’s a crack-up. I’ve known Cait for -a lot of people probably don’t know this -but I’ve known Cait since we were about seven or eight. We used to verse each other in athletics, and she was like my biggest competitor. We were both running”.
“I don’t know if you want to know this but we used to run the 800m and she’s obviously fit but I was pretty fit too. And I would like lead the whole way and I would pace us and like on the home stretch -you know, you leave the last bit ’til the end -and I’m like ‘okay, I’ll leave a little bit’. But she’s obviously quicker than me so she would like sprint past me and just beat me, every single time”.
“But I did beat her once, so we talk about that all the time -because our sisters also versed each other. So, they’d be at like the discus cage being like ‘go Caitlin, go Alanna.’”
“So, I’ve known her for ages….”
The 2019 Roll Of Excellence will be held at Aloft Perth on 19th October 2019.
|Pre Dinner Drinks||6:30pm – 7:00pm (Aloft Perth)|
|Dinner and Awards||7:00pm – 11:00pm (Aloft Perth)|
|Location||The Springs, 27 Rowe Ave, Rivervale WA 6103|
|Host||Melinda Gainsford Taylor|
|Dress Code||Lounge Suit|