Hannah Brewer was born and raised on the Central Coast but her football talents have seen her play for the Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory and most recently Canberra United. But it’s here on the Central Coast she wants to see the next Westfield W-League team.
Like most female footballers of her generation, Brewer started mixing it with the boys at a very young age before progressing through the ranks of Central Coast representative football.
Now an accomplished 24-year-old defender, when Brewer was 15 she tried out for the inaugural Mariners’ Westfield W-League team. The trial was a joint try-out for the Mariners & Sydney FC W-League teams and although she was picked for Sydney, the born and bred Coastie was heartbroken she didn’t make the Mariners team.
“I started playing at the age of eight with the Berkeley Vale Wombats before progressing into representative football on the Central Coast,” Brewer said. “Everything for me growing up was based on the Central Coast and when I finally had the opportunity to play professionally within Australia I moved up to Newcastle where I played for seven years.
“At the age of 15 in the first season of the Westfield W-League I tried out for the Mariners, the trials were Sydney FC and the Mariners held together and I was chosen for Sydney which was such a bummer really. Sydney was impossible to play for with the travel required at the age of 15 so that’s where it all started in Newcastle.
“It actually made me quite sad that I could never return to the Central Coast to represent my home town,” Brewer said. “I grew up playing here, to have the opportunity to represent the Central Coast is something that I’ve always dreamt of,” Brewer said.
Last season, Brewer starred for Canberra United where she played her most enjoyable season of professional football.
“I love Canberra,” Brewer said. “Last season was the most enjoyable in the W-League and for me I got the most out of my football there. When I’m playing for Canberra I still feel like I’m representing the Central Coast but it would be great to play on my home turf in front of Coasties week in week out,” Brewer said.
With the Central Coast Mariners Academy growing in numbers year-on-year, especially on the women’s side, Brewer said that having a professional team right here on the Central Coast would be a fantastic development for women’s football for both the local region and Australia.
“For the next generation of girls coming through playing football on the Central Coast it can only be positive for there to be a professional team here,” Brewer said. “They would have something to aspire to, they have dreams that could potentially come true here on the Central Coast – I unfortunately haven’t been able to achieve that yet but hopefully it’s a reality in the coming years.
“For the younger generations it would be huge, for the Central Coast Community it would be huge – it will only grow and develop women’s football further on the Central Coast so it’s a very exciting prospect,” Brewer said.
The Berkeley Vale junior praised the current crop of talented women coming through the Academy program where she believes there are players good enough to compete with the best.
“You look at the Central Coast Mariners Academy now and there are quality girls playing there week-in-week-out,” Brewer said. “At the moment, they don’t have a pathway to go further on the Central Coast and of course you would need to pull players from other regions to build depth in the squad but I think there are certainly girls here on the Central Coast that are capable of playing in the Westfield W-League.
“I certainly see a place for the Central Coast Mariners in the W-League and I would love to see one there. Who knows what the future may hold, I might even be there myself one day,” Brewer said.