This week Emma Evans speaks with former age-group international, ex-Melbourne Victory player, and captain of the Capital Football National Women’s League Squad, Briar Palmer. Palmer was instrumental in Capital’s success throughout the National Women’s League campaign, and this year features in the 2017 W-League for Wellington United before setting her sights on a professional contract in Europe later in the year.
Q & A with Briar Palmer
What age did you start playing football? And what made you get in to football?
My brothers were avid footballers when I was growing up, so we would all being kicking around in the garden. This started around the age of 8.
What age did you first represent New Zealand?
I was 17 when I represented New Zealand at the U17 World Cup.
What is your favourite footballing memory?
One of my favourite footballing memories would be the warm up games for the U17 World Cup in 2012, where we flew to Argentina. It was the first opportunity for us all to travel with the NZ team. We performed well and we were all best friends, so it is a really happy memory.
What was your most challenging moment as a footballer? How did you overcome it?
My most challenging moment in football was missing out on a team selection. It’s easy to lose a lot of motivation and not feel good enough, which can be really tough to overcome at a young age. I think it’s important to remember that if selections (in this case) don’t go your way, its only one coach’s opinion. There are always going to be setbacks in football as with life in general. You’ve just got to ride the lows with the highs and remain positive and determined.
How did it feel to captain the National Women’s League side in 2016 and take them through to the NWL Grand Final?
It was a privilege to play alongside such a cool bunch of girls who really had a love for the game. They put the hard work in at training throughout the season which was portrayed each week when it came to game day. It felt great to be a part of the final because I feel we really deserved being there.
What was your favourite part about being back and playing for Capital Football in the National Women’s League?
It’s always nice playing in front of a home crowd and playing with friends and past team mates from previous years. It was nice having friends and family who were able to watch the games, it really gives a little extra to your game. It was particularly cool to come back and play alongside younger girls who have moved up to the big league. It’s awesome to see how much they’ve grown as a player and person.
What are your goals/aspirations for your own football career? Can you talk us through your plans for Europe and pursuing a career in football?
It’s an amazing feeling playing for your country and I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far playing for New Zealand. Looking to the future, I’ve always hoped to play in Europe and I think the time will come for that, which is an exciting prospect.
What advice would you give to young female players who wish to become future ferns/professional footballers?
Always do a little extra than everyone else, it goes a long way.