Team mates inspire Pilley

Eastern Suburbs youngster Hannah Pilley is reaping the rewards of playing alongside a number of current and former New Zealand representatives.

The 15-year old made her Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier debut off the bench in round seven against Glenfield Rovers and earned three successive starts following that, including finding the back of the net twice.

Taking to the field for Mauro Donoso’s side has seen the youngster line up alongside a number of current and former New Zealand internationals such as Grace Jale, Tayla O’Brien and Kate Carlton.

“Initially it was daunting playing alongside such skilled older players and it definitely put me outside of my comfort zone,” Pilley said.

“However, the team have been incredibly supportive and believe in my abilities; once I start playing, I only focus on how I am playing and connecting with the team so age no longer matters.

“At the end of each game I feel I have made a real positive contribution to the team; I am very lucky to have Mauro coach me – his knowledge and expertise, along with his belief in my abilities as a player, have progressed my game to the next level.”

Training week in week out with the internationals inspires the budding youngster who grew up playing in England and now has her sights set on representing New Zealand on the world stage just like they did.

“I started playing football when I was three at the football club my dad ran at my Primary School in England; my brother went and I didn’t want to miss out,” Pilley Said.

“Now, training alongside these players at Suburbs has taken my training and games to the next level.

“Their attitudes and professionalism has inspired and motivated me to work hard each training and really helped me to improve my game as well as my confidence.

“My ultimate goal is to represent New Zealand and go to a World Cup just like they did.”

Photo courtesy JLS Photographs