Meet Jessika Nash – Sydney FC’s new blazing defender

-

Jessika Nash is the youngest newcomer for Sydney FC, but she is ready to make her mark with the Sky Blues in the A-League Women this season.

Despite being 17, Nash has demonstrated her outstanding leadership characteristics as captain of the Junior Matildas and 2021 winner of the University of Canberra Rising Star Award.

Embed from Getty Images

Her football journey started as a four-year-old when she watched her older brother competing in a match with his team.

“I absolutely fell in love with the game when I saw my brother playing at Doonside Hawks Football Club,” Nash said.

“He made it just look like so much fun. And I remember asking my parents can I apply to [join the club] and they got me straight into it.”

From that moment, Nash was inspired to start playing for her local club, the Doonside Hawks, for eight years until she moved to Blacktown Spartans as a 12-year-old.

While there, she was one of the first members of the Spartans girls’ SAP program and competed in her first round of the National Premier League with the club.

Embed from Getty Images

Through this experience, Nash got chosen to attend the NSW Football Institute, which provided her with new opportunities to play overseas. This included participating in the 2019 AFC Youth Championships and the Junior FIFA Women’s World Cup.

However, the highlight of Nash’s career was making a glorious debut with Canberra United last season.

“This, to me, was a major milestone. And I was pretty young when my eyes were open to the opportunities that could open up with the hard work and dedication and commitment that I showed to the game,” she said.

Embed from Getty Images

She quickly adapted to her new position and became known for keeping a level head in high-pressure situations, holding her ground against older opponents and successfully reading the game with well-timed tackles and critical clearances.

Nash’s football experiences have not only shaped her into a disciplined and confident individual but have also taught her important life lessons.

“It has taught me the true meaning of resilience and dedication, as well as commitment, not just in my football, but in my school and family life,” she said.

While juggling her busy schedule with Sydney FC, Nash is also focused on completing her HSC next year at the Hill Sports High School. She is able to successfully manage her commitments through her support system and planning out a schedule.

“I have an amazing support system. And we utilise my time management skills, and I stick to a schedule that allows me to effectively manage my schooling and football life,” she said.

“All of my teachers at the Hills Sports High School, especially my sports director, Mr. Tetley have helped me through so much by organising schoolwork when I go away for three weeks at a time with the Junior Matildas [and] giving me extensions needed on assignments.”

Embed from Getty Images

By moving to the Sky Blues, Nash is hoping to further develop her football abilities and make a positive contribution to the team.

“My ability to work in a team environment and positively encourage others around me. I think, as well as building those positive relationships within the team are all skills that will help will hopefully help me succeed at my new position,” she said.

Embed from Getty Images

For young girls hoping to make their mark in the A-League Women, Nash recommends staying committed to your team and showing respect to your fellow players and coaching staff.

“By excelling in all aspects through commitment and dedication to your training, as well as respecting all players and coaching staff,” she said.

“I think being that person to help pack up or being that person to help a teammate when they’re down or when needed will help you become that best version of yourself and that’s when you’ll become the best footballer you can be.”

Featured image credit: Dan Ullman

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Olivia Nunes-Malek
Covering Sydney FC for the 2021/2022 season. Currently studying a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism and Digital and Social Media) at the University of Technology Sydney.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required