Spiranovic girls forge own reputations on the soccer pitch

Posted: Monday, December 7th, 2009. Categories: News.


Author: Joel Cresswell          Courtesy:   http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au

SOCCEROO defender Matthew Spiranovic’s two sisters have shown that soccer talent runs deep in the family following a series of storming displays in the Victorian Womens Premier League.

Amelia, 19, and Laura, 18, Spiranovic helped their South Melbourne club come agonisingly close to championship glory this season, only to fall cruelly short.

Defying expectations following a relegation-threatened previous year, South Melbourne finished third on the ladder and was just one game away from the grand final before crashing 4-2 to Heidelberg United in the preliminary finals.

The Spiranovic sisters, who live in Highton, were a driving force behind South Melbourne’s season, with Amelia, the club captain, picking up the coach’s award at the end of the year.

Laura fared even better, named MVP and player’s player by her club and coming second in the competition’s best and fairest vote and second in the goalscoring charts.

“The defeat against Heidelberg was very disappointing, they started very strongly and it took us a while to wake up,” admitted Amelia.

“But it was a good season because we stepped up from last year. Laura did very well. She had set goals for herself and she strived to meet them. She’s very ambitious and she’s got a lot of drive.”

Laura and Amelia have played soccer together since they were 11 and 12 years-old, respectively.

The sisters, encouraged by a soccer-loving father, played at North Geelong Warriors, the club where Matthew started his career before his move to Europe with professional German club Nuremberg.

“Matthew has had an amazing influence over us,” said Amelia.

“He’s had such determination to make it and he’s made big sacrifices.

“He’s taken extra training sessions and obviously he’s moved overseas without family and friends.

“We come from a big soccer family. Dad always played and Matthew has played soccer since he was six or seven years-old.

“He does his best to watch us play whenever he’s back here. He’s a defender like me, so he’s always got tips for me.”

Amelia admitted that she didn’t enjoy seeing the Geelong representative women’s team struggle badly in the Premier League this year.

The GRFA team finished bottom of the ladder and was relegated having lost 15 of its 16 games.

The team was hampered by a severe lack of players and appealed to locally-based stars such as the Spiranovic sisters, who previously played for the side, without success.

“They wanted Laura and me for this season but we didn’t feel we were done with South Melbourne and needed another season there,” she said.

“There just wasn’t enough depth in the Geelong team. I would’ve liked them to do well and I was sad to see them struggle.”