WA LEGEND Sandra Brentnall has received another honour. She has been inducted into the Football Federation Australia Hall of Fame.
Sandra was one of five who were recently recognised by the ruling body.
The others were former Perth Glory striker Damian Mori, Socceroos forward Mark Viduka, AFC Women’s Asian Cup winning Matildas coach Tom Sermanni and long-time football administrator Stefan Kamasz.
Speaking at the induction ceremony which was held at Coopers Stadium prior to the Westfield FFA Cup Final, FFA CEO David Gallop paid tribute to the unique contributions that each of the inductees has made for the benefit of Australian Football.
“Tonight we honour the meritorious service to the game of five people who made a substantial and sustained contribution at the national and international level,” said Gallop.
“Each of this year’s inductees are truly worthy of this recognition and each in their own way is a pioneer. Induction into the Hall of Fame is an honour that connects the greats of the past with the stars of the present.
“I’m guided by the old adage that those who drink from the well today should recognise those of yesteryear who found the water. In this way, the game’s history is always a part of our journey.
“Sandra Brentnall was one of the originals who played in the Matildas first ever A-International match against New Zealand in 1979. Damian Mori was the Socceroos most prolific goal-scorer up until Tim Cahill recently surpassed his tally. Mark Viduka captained the Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and had a distinguished domestic football career in Australia and Europe. Tom Sermanni coached the Matildas to our first continental title winning the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and developing countless players during his tenure, and Stefan Kamasz helped administer the sport through the tough times and the good for nearly 40 years.”
“Without the contributions of people like this in our sport, we would not be where we are today and for those efforts the whole football family is truly thankful,” concluded Gallop.
The newest inductees to the FFA Hall of Fame were also presented to the capacity crowd at Cooper’s Stadium at half-time of the Westfield FFA Cup Final.
Sandra Brentnall holds the distinction of scoring Australia’s first international goal during her debut in the first Test match against New Zealand in Sydney in 1979. A compact striker, she was born in Nottingham, England, and arrived in Perth in 1974 at the age of 12. She represented Western Australia from 1977-84, and again in 1987 as captain.
Brentnall was a versatile, highly mobile and hungry forward who had the ability to elude the defence. She was selected in the national up-and-coming squad in 1976 and held her place in the national squad for eight years. She scored four goals in the return Test series in New Zealand in 1980, including a hat-trick in the third match in Christchurch which Australia won 3-2. This was the first hat-trick by an Australian in women’s international football.
Sandra became the first woman to be included in the Hall of Legends at the 2012 Football Hall of Fame WA induction ceremony.
Stefan Kamsz has strong WA links.
Both his brothers Stuart and David carved out lucrative football careers in WA – Stuart as a very successful coach and David as a formidable winger at club and State level. They were both inducted into the WA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Stefan was born in England and played football in Leeds with Farsley Celtic in the Yorkshire League. He migrated to Newcastle, Australia in 1969 as a 19 year old and played with Weston Bears, winning three championships.
He was Treasurer of Northern NSW Soccer Federation in 1978 and President 1979–82, which included the first season of Northern State League. He became a member of ASF Executive in the same year. Stefan managed the Socceroos team which won the Merlion Cup in Singapore in 1982 and then became General Manager of the National Soccer League in 1982–88 and again 1996–2004. He also held the post as CEO of NSL club Sydney Olympic from 1990–93.
When Damian Mori retired as a professional football player in 2008 he was the country’s leading international goal scorer with 29 goals in 49 games (45 A Internationals, 29 goals). Born in Melbourne in 1970, Mori represented Australia (U23) at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games helping the team to the bronze medal match. Domestically Mori played 447 matches and scored 240 goals in the National Soccer League and Hyundai A-League for South Melbourne, Sunshine George Cross, Bulleen, Melbourne Croatia, Adelaide City, Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners and Queensland Roar and also had a short stint with Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany (1996/97).
Tom Sermanni played professional football as a midfielder for clubs in Scotland, England and Australia. After his playing days ended, Sermanni began coaching in Canberra at the AIS and in the NSL with Canberra Cosmos.
He was appointed to coach the Matildas, guiding them to the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup and stayed on as coach up until 1997, before heading to Japan and the USA. He returned to coach the Matildas where they reached the final of the 2006 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 in China. The crowning glory of Sermanni’s tenure came in May 2010 when he coached the Matildas to claim the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. It was the first major continental title won by Australia since joining the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.
Mark Viduka captained Australia at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany which was the culmination of a career that began with Melbourne Croatia juniors and took in Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.
He was top scorer, player of the year and the young player of the year when Melbourne Knights won the National Soccer League in 1994/95. Viduka represented Australia at all levels and played 45 senior international games (43 A matches) for the Socceroos scoring 11 goals.