Who’s who in W—Brianna Davey

This week Westfield Matilda Sally Shipard took some time out with goalkeeping prodigy Brianna Davey (who’s also featured in this month’s Dolly magazine).

Written by Westfield Matilda Sally Shipard

This week Westfield Matilda Sally Shipard took some time out with goalkeeping prodigy Brianna Davey (who-s also featured in this month-s Dolly magazine). For someone so young, Davey possesses a very mature outlook on life and has achieved a solid balance between her studies and football commitments. She in currently in Year 11 and attends the Melbourne Girls- College.

Sally: When in camp at the AIS how do you discipline yourself while studying and not just sit around and chat?

Brianna: Well, everyone loves a chat or a catch up with friends and sometimes it-s hard not to get caught up in it all. But I suppose I have future goals that motivate me to actually go and make sure I get all, if not as much as possible, of my study/assignments finished. I haven-t got a particular end-of-year score that I am aiming for, but I am striving to aim high for my VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education), which is equivalent to the HSC. So, being a student athlete does take a lot of hard work to balance school and soccer, but if you want to be successful at both you need to put in the extra time and work.

Sally: Who decides what work you bring away?

Brianna: I decide what work I take away. I know what work I need to get done and what work can be done at other times.

Sally: How many hours do you think you would commit to studying while in camp? How many hours are expected of you?

Brianna: I think it changes from camp to camp, but ideally I would like to at least get one hour of study done per night, if not more, and that is also what is expected of me. However, my teachers also do understand if sometimes I can-t get everything done at once, so they may give me an extension for me to finish the work if they find I am struggling.

Sally: What kind of support do you get from your school?

Brianna: My school isn-t too bad with dealing with student athletes. Towards the start of the year I felt the teachers didn-t really understand and were unaware of the workload and commitments I was making while doing school, and so sometimes they would find it hard to understand why I can-t get everything done. But now that has improved and the teachers are starting to become more aware about my situation and more understanding and are there to talk to me when I either need advice or help on something. Overall, I think the support I get from my school is pretty good.

Sally: You mentioned to me about being pro-active with your teachers ... They must enjoy your attitude in that you care enough about your studies to approach them (speaking from personal experience, they always did). How do you go about approaching your teachers?

Brianna: I have spoken to my dean, who is the head of Year 11, and he emails all of my different teachers about roughly which dates I may be away so they are aware of my future commitments. But it is up to me to remind them a few days before going away so they can get together the work I am going to miss out on while away.

Sally: Now that you-re back at school, are you expected to be back in Canberra next weekend for the Young Matildas?

Brianna: Yes, I am expected to be back at camp for the Young Matildas, which is very tough. This means I am away almost every weekend (three out of four weekends) with both Matildas and Young Matildas, and it can become very challenging with the physical workload and then plus the school workload.

Sally: What do you hope to be when you-re older? Or are you still undecided?

Brianna: I-m not 100 per cent sure yet what it is that I want to do, and I know my mind could always change, but at the moment I would like to do something to do with sport. Something like a PE teacher or a professional coach of a particular sport (preferably football). I-ve always been interested in becoming a PE teacher, as it is involved with sport and I find a real enjoyment in working with other people and teaching people new skills.

Sally: Bri, thanks a bundle for your time. You're an impressive young lady. I can assure you, the footballing future of Australia is grateful we have players of your calibre coming through the ranks. Keep enjoying yourself.