Australia Women news

Perry told to quit cricket by football club

Daniel Brettig

May 29, 2012

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

Ellyse Perry runs in to bowl, Australia Women v New Zealand Women, 4th ODI, Melbourne, February 17, 2010
Ellyse Perry became the first woman to represent Australia in World Cups for two sports © Getty Images
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News : Ellyse Perry quits football club
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Ellyse Perry, Australia's dual international cricketer and footballer, has been told by Canberra United to quit cricket in order to devote herself completely to the W-League football club.

Winners of the W-League last season, Canberra has since had a change of leadership. The new coach Jitka Klimkova has made it clear to Perry and club management that she does not want any Canberra players splitting their time between sports.

Perry became the first woman to represent Australia in World Cups in two sports, and currently holds down a place in both the Southern Stars national cricket side and the equivalent Australian football team, the Matildas. Now 21, she has successfully split her time between national commitments since the age of 16.

Perry is among the highest profile female athletes in Australia for her feat, and has shone a strong light on women's sport in both cricket and football. However the Canberra chief executive, Heather Reid, has said that if Perry wishes to improve further she will either have to make a choice, or leave the club.

"We have basically given Ellyse an ultimatum," Reid told ABC Radio. "Ellyse needs to choose whether she wants to be a full-time Canberra United player and commit to training every day like everyone else does, or if she still wants to try and mix her cricket commitments with football. Then perhaps she will need to find another club."

So far, Perry has said she wants to go on playing for Canberra while also continuing to play cricket. However she is open to the possibility of leaving the club in order to find another that is more open to her carrying on in both sports.

''I've been very fortunate to be involved with Canberra United for the last three W-League seasons but there are some changes at the club and the coach, Jitka Klimkova, has some different ideas about how the team needs to be run,'' she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

''I fully respect her philosophy, it's certainly her prerogative to change [how things work]. But mixing my football and cricket commitments doesn't work so well in her framework. It seems I'll have to start looking for a new club.

''It's still a long time until the W-League season begins [in November] so I'll weigh it up between now and then. I still want to play both [sports] and hopefully I can play for a club that allows me to do that.''

Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia are known to be supportive of Perry's dual status and wish it to continue, as the Matildas coach Tom Sermanni and the Southern Stars chief selector Julie Savage have worked together to juggle Perry between their various fixtures. However, at least one member of the Matildas has spoken out, arguing in favour of Perry making a choice.

''About time someone lifted the professional standards of women's football. Having [a] name should [not] get you in a team,'' fellow Matilda Lisa da Vanna said on Twitter. ''Players and teams deserve better. Hopefully these standards carry on to the national team and performance becomes all that matters!''

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by zenboomerang on (June 1, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

So a domestic comp soccer coach tells Ellyse to quit international cricket... lol... Considering that Ellyse has played many more internationals in cricket for Oz than soccer & that she also decided to play in the 2010 T20 WC rather than the conflicting soccer Asian Cup shows where her higher loyalty lies... Also cricket has given her many more opportunities to pursue other interests (study, media, higher profile) as well as a financially secure future, it may have been hard for her not to laugh at the CUFC coach...

Posted by Meety on (May 30, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

First time I've seen more than 10 comments on a women's cricket article!

Posted by azzaman333 on (May 30, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

I hope for the sake of our national teams she continues to play both sports. She's an absolute superstar.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (May 30, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

So she is being given a choice between playing cricket for her country or football for some club. Shouldn't really be too hard for the girl.

Posted by Simoc on (May 30, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

So Canberra won last year and have a new coach who wants to change things. Sounds like a recipe for losing. So Perry will go then the coach will get the boot from the team as they go on the slippery dip. da Vanna was a good player a while back and obviously wants to be the centre of attention. Perry is the centre of attention.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Who's Lisa da Vanna? Seems she's a bit jealous of Ellyse's profile and abilities. All the best with your two chosen sports Ellyse, and unlike Lisa, concentrate on what YOU can achieve for your yourself and your team.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Too easy, Ellyse, find yourself another club. Who'd want to live in Canberra anyway, seriously? Talk about a blessing in disguise!

Posted by Timmuh on (May 30, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

If Canberra FC played 38 weeks a year, paid a full time wage, etc, the move frm the coach would be understandable. The reports here in Canberra are that she will move to Bling (Sydney) FC and continue to play both sports. Apparently some of the administration are seething that the coach made that particular call, they don't want to lose a key player and major marketing point (Canberra don't have team in the mens A-League). She could be a very cheap marquee player for Sydney FC's womens team. Its rare that womens soccer or cricket rate a mention in the Australian media. Only Ellyse Perry sems to manage it for either sport.

Posted by MrArmchairCricket on (May 30, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

Since the inception of the W-League, Ellyse has been able to play both soccer and cricket at a high level, so well done Canberra, you've basically just handed the W-Leagues Western Sydney team a world class soccer player.

Posted by Hippiantor on (May 30, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

Would be a terrible shame if she left cricket but was pleased to hear she still wants to play both. @kapsy-- what are you trying to say? It's obvious which direction CU is trying to push her in.

Posted by PYC1959 on (May 30, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Canberra's loss another clubs gain. Bad move Canberra. Good Luck Ellyse.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Lots of people play more than one sport at a top level, why force her to choose?

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Players and teams deserve better? What a ridiculous thing for da Vanna to say. This is high profile because Perry is the best in both the sports she plays in. I don't like the way people with bitter jealousies try to grab the spotlight on these sort of occasions.

Posted by randomwaffle12 on (May 30, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

So Soccer is the world game? Cricket is better any day of the week. I'd rather play a proper sport than act, like the pros do in soccer...

Posted by Chris_Howard on (May 30, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

It's disappointing that her Matilda's team mate, Lisa da Vanna, sees it that way. I'm sure Ellyse isn't being picked for soccer just for her name. She certainly performed in the World Cup. And I don't reckon anyone should be made to choose unless the sport in question is providing them a full time income to go with an expected full time commitment.

Posted by yocasi on (May 30, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

I hope she gets the support to keep playing both. Bo Jackson & Deion Sanders have shown that if one is good enough, two pro sports can work. Keep doing it, Ellyse! From a Windies fan.

Posted by ham1990 on (May 30, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

This is a joke. She is a one of a kind woman athlete, and it's not like there won't be another Football club who will accept her with open arms and allow her to devote her time to both sports. Canberra United by the looks of it will be losing a valuable player for a nonsensical reason.

Posted by azb195 on (May 30, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

What a disgusting choice...!

I'm guessing that Ellyse makes next to nothing playing either of these sports and that she plays both for the sheer enjoyment derived from her participation (that's how it appeared in a recent interview given to an Australian TV station aired during the recent cricket series with India).

Ellyse, my advice (backed up by many studies), go find a football team that understands and values the benefits each sports bring to the other. Ian and Greg Chappell were also "forced" to choose between cricket and baseball (their grandfather was a champion at both) and, judging by recent comments made by Greg, seem to regret (and perhaps even resent) being made to make auch a choice.

Continue to be a role model for young girls who are being forced by pseudo-interested parties (read "phoneys") to specialise. In your case, I suspect you owe these parasites nothing...!!!

Posted by shah_of_usa on (May 30, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

I saw her play and I think she is a real talent...the club should not dictate her career path....instead, they should be glad that she is giving her 100 percent for Australia

Posted by silly_mid_on on (May 30, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

A great cricketer Ellyse. Hopefully a job offer from Channel Nine or Cricket Australia will come your way. It would be a sad loss for cricket if you left. If you retire from football and devote yourself to cricket, you will be rewarded and your cricket teammates will love you. But the reverse would be different, football will just treat you like a number. No Ashes, no World Cup, no Wisden. Please stay with cricket Ellyse!

Posted by Nerk on (May 30, 2012, 3:18 GMT)

Well, that certainly backfired for Canberra United. They are on the verge of losing one of their best players. I am sure one of the other W-league teams would be interested in Perry and be willing to work with her instead of against her.

Posted by line.and.length on (May 30, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

Elyse Perry is an elite athlete, and while I agree with Lisa da Vanna's views on professional standards in football being lifted, I hope she's not suggesting that Elyse Perry isn't being selected for either the national cricket or football team on anything other than merit, maybe the other athletes need to lift their standards so that Perry's double-dipping is no longer good enough to dominate, but until then........ hopefully she is picked up by one of the other W-league clubs and is still allowed to play cricket as she is awesome in both..purely from an appreciation of elite athletism

Posted by kapsy on (May 30, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

CU didn't ask Ellyse to quit cricket. CU said that she should decide on one sport 'cos CU want full time committment. So, should Ellyse wish, she could hop across to any other football club and there will be plenty who will fall over themselves to have her on their side. Why are you misreporting this story, Daniel Brettig? This is exactly why some people think doomsday is coming in December 2012! (For thise who are unaware of this, the Mayans made predictions well into centuries. their last calendar was until December 2012. This simply meant that they'd stopped making calendars beyond this date. Someone not unlike Daniel Brettig misconstrued this to mean that the world's coming to an end.)

Posted by Chris_P on (May 30, 2012, 1:00 GMT)

@Imran.Bush. To answer your question, yes she is that good to play at the highest level in both sports. We have 4 major football codes in Australia & it is always soccer that tries to convince juniors to give up summer sport to train for their sport over our summer months. Cricket, surf lifesaving, athletics are but a few sports that are affected by the single minded pettiness of the Soccer federation in our country. I have coached junior cricket & surf lifesaving for many years and it is only one code that attempts to arm-twist youngsters from participating in other sports. The whole scenario, imho, should really be looked at by the government. I really wish women's cricket was professional enough for Perry to stay there only.

Posted by JesseV on (May 30, 2012, 0:47 GMT)

Not only is she talented enough to play in both teams, she makes people interested in these women's sports! Hope she finds a club that lets her do both, its a win win for womens soccer and cricket in Australia.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 0:23 GMT)

Bad call by Canberra United football club. Their going to lose their best player. Ellyse is known more for her feats in cricket. She will either take up cricket full-time of find another more supportive soccer club, perhaps in her native Sydney. If she's good enough to play both sports she should be allowed to play both sports. What Canberra United are doing is not in Australia's national interests. Its just a selfish call which will hopefully work to their detriment. Canberra will not win the W-league without Ellyse Perry

Posted by Masud_BITK on (May 30, 2012, 0:12 GMT)

As I am fron Canberra, it is a big news in cricket communities. The Football coach (Russian or EU) clearly instructed her to choose either game. It clearly indicates that the coach advised her to leave cricket, based on football's popularity. However, Football (soccer) is not the number one game in Australia but other footies. She is top quality football and cricket players. I think, she could go another football club where she can carry both desires. Although Canberra United is a top Football club. CA should step up to keep her cricket desire.

Posted by redneck on (May 30, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

so quit canberra and play soccer for another team. it doesnt sound like either national teams mind shareing! and nor should they! i doubt the woman get paid enough to have that demand made of them anyway!!!

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Wake up Canberra United. There is a reason neither CA for FFA have made her choose previously. THEY ARE BOTH SCARED SHE WILL CHOOSE THE OTHER CODE...

Posted by Muzgrob on (May 29, 2012, 23:43 GMT)

I enjoy watching her play both sports and as an admirer of both I hope she continues to be a dual international, if she has to leave Canberra United to do so, so be it.

Posted by Leonb on (May 29, 2012, 23:29 GMT)

I saw Ellyse at the MCG as a teenager in a women's T-20 before the Aus v Ind T-20 in early 2008 and was really impressed. She is an awsome talent and I am pleased to see that both Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia recognise this and are supportive. So short-sighted of Canberra and I hope that Ellyse will find a club that supports her dual sporting. @Imran.Bush - As for Lisa da Vanna - I agree with you - if she is good enough to be selected, what is the issue! Jealousy?

Posted by Meety on (May 29, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

Flick soccer please!!!!!!!

Posted by themagpie on (May 29, 2012, 23:15 GMT)

The problem for Canberra United is that if they wanted her to be 100% dedicated to football, then they need to pay her a full time wage. Otherwise, she is going to need outside employment to supplement her wage (for note - the W-League has a $150,000 salary cap for the entire 15-20 player squad).

I'm sure last night that the 7 other W-League teams all made offers to her to play with them, and still play cricket.

Posted by Danube on (May 29, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

I'd say Ellyse is probably a more standout cricketer than footballer (despite that sensational goal she scored against Sweden at the 2011 World Cup), however, Football offers much more dynamic opportunites than cricket for Australian women, so it will be interesting to see if she does opt for one over the other shortly.

Posted by JeevesJ on (May 29, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

It is rare to find a sports person good at 2 sports at the international level. Elleyse will bring crowds to both sports for that reason.

Posted by mcj.cricinfo on (May 29, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

Ellyse is a skilful athlete, her goal against Sweden in the football world cup was a cracker. A good move by Ellyse to move clubs to get away from this new coach, Jitka Klimkova, so she can still play cricket for Australia.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Lisa da Vanna gets out the handbags! Perry doesn't rely on her name to get into either side. Given that De Vanna was sent home from a training camp in 2011 for unacceptable behaviour, she's hardly one to talk about someone else's professionalism.

Posted by Imran.Bush on (May 29, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

Big question: Is she good enough to play in both teams? If the answer is yes, then what is the problem? The coaches should select the best teams and if that includes Perry, then she plays. Otherwise, she sits on the bench like many of us have done in our careers.

Posted by PratUSA on (May 29, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

I saw Ellyse during 2010 World T20 final at Kensington Oval. She was the reason why New Zealand couldn't chase successfully. No one could play her with sort of confidence. She is surely the best pace bowler in women cricket today, and I hope if it comes to picking one of the two sports, she picks cricket.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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