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Driving Ellyse Perry out of Canberra. A good move? [With poll]

By johnboy - 30 May 2012 24

The Roar is mulling over the efforts of Canberra United to drive away their star player Ellyse Perry by making her choose between cricket and soccer.

Perry is by far the highest profile woman in Australian football and cricket. But her club have decided she can only play one.

“Ellyse needs to choose whether she wants to be a full-time Canberra United player and commit to training every day like everyone else does,” Canberra United chief executive Heather Reid said in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Or if she still wants to try and mix her cricket commitment with football, then perhaps she will need to find another club.”

For mine I’m a firm believer that a winning team makes stars not the other way around. Also that nurturing prima donna’s is corrosive to any team.

On the other hand it’s hard to let the stars go…

With Ellyse Perry Canberra United should...

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24 Responses to
Driving Ellyse Perry out of Canberra. A good move? [With poll]
bd84 6:20 pm 30 May 12

It was going to happen one day no matter who she played for, Ellyse has even said it herself that at some point she will need to make a choice between the two.

I can see CU’s point when they need to know that they will have a player for that week’s match and one that work well with the rest of the team. Most professiona teams would also have a problem when you have a player who lives in Sydney, can’t train with the team and whose availability is determined on a week by week basis to only play a handful of games, choosing cricket over the grand final. While the sport isn’t fully professional, it’s not social park football either and the players should commit to pretty much the entire season.

Holden Caulfield 4:14 pm 30 May 12

My opinion could be changing, or at least I’m becoming more understanding of the coach’s objective:

Although, I still think it would be a shame not to make an exception for Perry.

Rollersk8r 1:41 pm 30 May 12

Firstly, Ellyse is no prima donna. Secondly, this is actually fair enough by the club. The simple fact is the seasons overlap – that is the main issue. She’s rightly going to choose playing for cricket for Australia over soccer for Canberra – at the business end of the soccer season. Ellyse is a great talent and seems like a great person but she is going to have this problem as long as she continues to pursue both.

vg 12:10 pm 30 May 12

johnboy said :

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

He fights in the offseason against blokes most people could beat with a celery stick, and trains in a block leading into an individual fight.

This young lady is being asked to choose between elite sports. SBW is leagues away from being considered an elite fighter. There’s only 1 heavyweight in the Asia Pacific who could be considered elite, and you won’t see SBW anywhere near him.

Being NZ Heavyweight champ is like being the Gungahlin HW champ

knuckles 10:42 am 30 May 12

johnboy said :

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

Sonny Bill isn’t making a serious go at having a boxing career. If he was he would be in the US chasing fights with real boxers. Also, he hasn’t let his boxing interfere with his rugby commitments.

As a coach of a teenage rugby team I am always reminding my boys of the need to be committed to the teams goals in order for them to achieve what we want to achieve.

Ellyse Perry wasn’t able to play in the Canberra United grand final last year as she was off playing cricket. I would rather have my team roster filled by someone I knew I could rely on to turn up.

pajs 10:38 am 30 May 12

I’d hardly call her a prima donna. Seems pretty modest, down-to-earth and focussed on what she is good at, from the interviews I’ve seen and read. If CU can find a replacement as good as Ellyse Perry is even as a less than full time presence, for what they’ll be able to pay, then good luck to them. But I doubt they will.

chewy14 10:32 am 30 May 12

johnboy said :

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

Not really. He’s had what one or two fights against complete nobodies in the off season?

I dare say that they wouldn’t be willing to give him anywhere near the leeway that Perry requires.

Kerryhemsley 10:28 am 30 May 12

CU have suddenly decided they are MU. Good luck with that without big money to pay athletes.

Holden Caulfield 10:19 am 30 May 12


You make some reasonable points.

For me, I see it more as making an exception for Perry because, well, she is an exception. How many other W-League players are capable of playing another sport at the highest level available? Really, it’s not like every W-League club is battling with the same issue is it.

Surely the benefits of having a player of Perry’s stature makes it worthwhile to bend club structure.

As a pretty loose analogy, the Capitals seem willing to get partial seasons out of Lauren Jackson. Sure Jackson can only manage to be good at one sport, but the commitment factor to her team, if that is the real issue here, still applies.

Would the Caps make such concessions for any other player, or is it about doing what you can to have one of the sport’s best players here to boost profile? And make a sizable contribution to a few wins, of course.

I get the whole commitment angle, I just think there will be plenty of other W-League clubs willing to sign up Perry, who is arguably the country’s highest profile player. I doubt it will be Perry’s loss if she continues her W-League career elsewhere.

johnboy 10:11 am 30 May 12

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

redmelon 10:09 am 30 May 12

CU – disgraceful.

Rarely do we celebrate multi-talented, elite athletes – rarely do they come along.

I hope Ellyse finds a new club much more accommodating to her talent, ambitions and goals.

ma7trlb 10:06 am 30 May 12

There’s obviously some thought been put into this by Canberra United. They were without one of their best players for their finals run last season, as she was playing cricket, and that has to be annoying enough to want to make a key player decide.

If there was more money involved in women’s sports, it would be a whole different picture. Could you imagine Melbourne Victory or its fans being happy at Harry Kewell missing half a season to play international cricket? It may be that she has to look further afield for soccer – WPS in the US plays April-August, which fits around cricket seasons?

We have enjoyed Ellyse’s dual success for a good few years now, and we should congratulate her on her achievements, but if she wants to help the professional image of either of her chosen sports she either needs to chose one, or find a way of making both work evenly without impairment…

Postalgeek 9:54 am 30 May 12

Personally I’d follow the money and become a plumber.

JimCharles 9:38 am 30 May 12

I can see both sides of it.
If Canberra are trying to build a professional structure and treat women’s football as a serious sport, they might feel that giving preferential treatment to one player is going to encourage a non-professional culture and not do much to further the sport’s credentials….which is the only way it’s going to attract funding in future.
The argument that females should be paid more money so they don’t need two careers is invalidated if they can’t give total commitment to one of them…thus showing their own lack of total commitment to either?
I read that Ellyse has already chosen cricket over football in a previous tournament clash…so football might be right in thinking that they need to concentrate on giving the career opportunity to a “totally” committed player?
Is it a business, or is it a game?
They have every right to insist that Ellyse has to make the choice that she obviously hasn’t been able to make of her own volition up to now.
There’s nothing to stop anybody playing multiple sports but if you want to be a full time professional sportsperson you need to choose the one that you’re best at….or are they saying that women’s sport isn’t important enough to treat with the same level of professionalism as the men’s?

Was it Don Bradman who seriously thought about playing both tennis and cricket, only to realise that he had to make a choice ? And just being a cricket player seriously impacted on his health… what kind of potential would he have wasted if he’d have split his loyalties?
All i think they’re asking Ellyse to do is make a professional career choice on her priority desire, and there’s nothing wrong in that.
If she can find another club who will let her do both….then good luck to her as well.

It’s also important to state that as an international cricketer or footballer….she can have a full-time career playing abroad in the off season.

Holden Caulfield 9:18 am 30 May 12

Unfortunately, the only prima donna here seems to be C United boss and I think she’ll probably find there will be another club willing to sign up Perry.

On the surface, it appears to be a pretty dumb move.

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