Iso-Chats is a series talking with Tasmanian women in soccer. Coronavirus restrictions on sporting events came into place a day after the Summer Cup Final. In response, the official season for women’s competitions in the State have been delayed.
Our first chat is with Carolyn Ferrier. Carolyn is the Clarence Zebras Team Manager, who has provided us a taste of how this break has been.
‘It’s been really hard to do anything’
Pre-season saw a ruthless Clarence Zebras dominate as victors of the Summer Cup.
Rather than build off the early success of the newly formed merger club, the following six to eight weeks after the final was full of uncertainty. Speculation flew surrounding whether the regular season would kick off and how that could look.
“The critical thing from [Head Coach] Chris [Hey] and my perspective was that the girls maintain those connections over this period… to keep that team spirit together.”
Off the bat, Carolyn stresses the importance of social media platforms and player driven encouragement to each other to continue exercising. The online interaction had the additional benefit of keeping the team connected.
“People would just put up little short, sharp posts about what they’ve done, even if it was just a line saying, you know, I went for a run.”
From a Team Manager’s perspective, the positive during this time was the leadership group, consisting of a mix of former Zebras and Clarence players, particularly with co-captain Danielle Kannegiesser stepping up, utilising her experience as a personal trainer.
Once restrictions eased enough for players to hit the park, early thoughts of Carolyn skipping training were quickly thrown out the window. Despite strict rules over the amount of players permitted on the marked out field at a single time, there was a vital role that needed to be filled.
“I get the balls that go beyond the flag line.”
The entry of ball fetcher to Carolyn’s Team Manager resume is in addition to inventory “housekeeping”.
The Covid-19 disruptions hit the new club early, with the arrival of the playing kit for pre-season tournaments delayed. Lockdown provided Carolyn the chance to sort all the kits used during the Summer Cup, as well as the new ones that have now arrived. The “mundane” element of the role is important for the team to look professional and feel comfortable in what they are playing in.
‘In a brave new world, it’ll be a change again next week.’
The brave new world, and constant change being the key observations from the time we spoke at the start of June, where training had resumed, with rules changing almost weekly.
Lockdown provided the opportunity to focus on player-lead nurturing of team culture, one element that the Clarence United and Hobart Zebra merger wanted to maintain and see flourish. The other element, producing a winning mentality, will soon be under the spotlight once the season restarts.