The Western Sydney Wanderers’ Brave Hart


Vanessa Hart is the dark horse and quiet achiever of the Western Sydney Wanderers W-League squad.

Vanessa Hart is the dark horse and quiet achiever of the Western Sydney Wanderers W-League squad.

She may not have received the accolades and recognition of her more illustrious and experienced midfield counterparts in the W-League – but you ask any player in the Wanderers and they will speak highly of her work ethic and commitment to the game.

Hart has been one of the most consistent players for the Wanderers W-League squad thus far, proving to be a tower of strength in the defensive midfield in the team-s inaugural season.

But a year ago this quiet and unassuming girl from Dubbo had just returned from Southeast Missouri State University where she completed a degree in Exercise and Sport Science and was at a crossroads in her footballing career.

The 24-year-old was working in an abattoir and performing odd jobs for neighbours in order to earn a living, with her ultimate desire to one day become a paramedic.

“I did not have any idea of what I wanted to do football wise, and I thought that it was a good time to find a job and grow up,” says Hart.

“But it turned out I was becoming bored of no longer playing football and then I received a call from Lisa Warrener and Stephen Roche asking me to play in the NSW Women-s Premier League.”

Hart has never looked back on her decision to move to Sydney, and has quickly settled in, securing full-time employment in a dental surgery in North Sydney.

After an impressive season in the NSW Women-s Premier League, Hart says that she jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the W-League and is now playing alongside players that she once revered as a young girl growing up in the country.

“I always looked up to Sarah Walsh and Catherine Cannuli when I was growing up,” says Hart.

“I was a country girl and they were both from the city, so having the opportunity to play with them instead of watching from the sideline is amazing.”

Hart developed her passion for football growing up in Dubbo as a young girl and being dragged by her parents to her brother-s football games.

Not content with her role as spectator, occasional ball gatherer and taking a backseat to her brother-s footballing aspirations – Hart began to practice with him in the backyard and showed rapid improvement.

She played in the NSW Country State squad, subsequently secured an American college scholarship and has since returned a more accomplished player.

“Ever since I was a young girl I have been kicking around a ball in the backyard with my brother,” she says.

“I have loved football ever since and would like to continue as long my body lets me!”

Hart says that after her first season in the W-League she is very impressed with the quality of football on display, yet it took some adjusting to again familiarise herself with the Australian style of football.

“I think the standard of the W-League is excellent and I am really enjoying my football at the moment,” says Hart.

“The style of play is more technical and not as physical as it is in the American college system, so it took me a couple of games to figure it all out.

“But I am learning a lot, especially from senior members who are giving me some very helpful advice.”

Hart hopes that the Wanderers can secure a finals berth in what is a very close competition and she will do her upmost to help the squad achieve that goal in its first season.

Undoubtedly, the city of Dubbo and her late father would be very proud of this young lady-s achievements.