Kick it to Condon: Emily leads by example

Kick it to Condon: Emily leads by example
2022/23 tickets on sale.

Emily Condon’s poignantly titled new book ‘Don’t Kick It To The Girl’ serves as a timely reminder for young aspiring female footballers to follow their dreams no matter what. 

Such is the motivation behind her book and on the field; Condon has drawn on her past experiences growing up playing the game in a generation that first believed it was just for the boys.

The 24-year-old, however, does credit a healthy introduction to the game growing up in Port Pirie as a positive experience that helped shape her into the player and person she is today.

It was only when Condon originally moved to Adelaide that she subjected to ignorant remarks questioning her participation in the game she always loved.

“I grew up playing locally with the boys in Port Pirie in an all-boys team and all-boys league due to lack of opportunities for a girls team back home,” she said.

“And to their credit they respected me a lot and amongst those group of lads, I was one of them and there was a mutual respect there for sure.

“It wasn’t until I moved down to Adelaide for a season and played in a boys team here in a boys league when I started hearing those comments: ‘don’t kick it to the girl, there’s a girl training, why is she here?’

“I’m definitely not the only female footballer who’s heard these comments throughout their development so this book is all about helping girls find the courage to continue on and keep working towards those goals.

“Through the book and hopefully how I go about it as well I wanted to share my story on what motivates me to provide a bit of inspiration to others potentially going through the same thing.”

Emily Condon debut for Adelaide United
Emily Condon makes her debut for Adelaide United on Sunday, 5 January 2014

Condon leads by example on the field as well, setting the standard with her professionalism and fitness which is further bolstered by her work as a strength and conditioning coach, all while offering one-on-one training with young footballers. 

She is also Adelaide’s all-time appearances leader with 83 matches played in a stellar nine-year career to date.

Condon’s debut as a 15-year-old in the 2013/14 season marked United’s youngest-ever player, and she proceeded to score her first goal in just her second match a week later.

Her rise as one of Adelaide’s first-picked is particularly impressive considering her parents completed the 460km round-trip to Adelaide from Port Pirie two to four times a week for her State Development training.

“It’s a massive credit to my parents for driving me all that way for training when I was starting out as a footballer,” Condon said. 

“And going into my tenth season this year for my hometown club is very special for me and my family.

“A lot of hard work was required to get here and to play for Adelaide is something I take pride in, and I’m just really happy to be here and excited again for another season.” 

Emily Condon Adelaide United Finals
Emily Condon playing in Adelaide United’s first finals match

Condon’s commitment to the Reds was rewarded with a first finals appearance last season for the team she idolised as a youngster.

It was one that almost never occurred, thanks to a 15cm grade two hamstring tear that occurred with just two matches remaining before the finals series.

The attacking midfielder had started in every game before then, and it was a minor miracle that she was cleared in time to feature in the semi-final loss to Melbourne Victory.

Condon’s typical ‘team first’ attitude got her through that tough injury moment and acknowledges that finals experience will only drive her and her teammates forward to further success.

“It wasn’t very good timing (to get injured) leading into finals for the very first time for our Club and having to miss that game that got us there,” she admits.

“Honestly, I had full faith in the team to win that last game we needed to qualify, and I think you can put that down to everyone who is a part of the Club and the most important thing about being in a team sport.  

“It’s not all about you, there’re 11 others out on the park, and 30 plus members of staff included, so everyone comes together to put our best foot forward.

“Fortunately, I was able to make it back after four weeks of intense rehab work and I did everything I could to make it for that game.

“While we didn’t get the win, I think that’s something we’re going to improve on this season for sure.”

Emily Condon Training
Emily Condon training ahead of Liberty A-League 2022/23 Season – Round 1

Condon and her team have put together a strong pre-season ahead of the launch of the Liberty A-League 2022/23 campaign this weekend. 

Adelaide United take on reigning Champions, Sydney FC, at ServiceFM Stadium on Sunday, 20 November at 3:30pm (ACDT).