In Pursuit Of A Dream
From Central Western New South Wales to the Gold Coast, Michelle Le Poidevin’s passion for football has seen her travel around the country in single minded pursuit of a dream: the Hyundai A-League.
From Central Western New South Wales to the Gold Coast, Michelle Le Poidevin-s passion for football has seen her travel around the country in single minded pursuit of a dream: the Hyundai A-League.
A precocious junior player, Melbourne Heart FC-s Administration Manager was raised in an archetypal football family, regularly spending weekends at the grounds of local team Blayney, where her father was President.
Based in a regional community, Blayney is a major hub for the round ball, with Qantas Socceroo and rising star Nathan Burns among the players to have hailed from the club and made an impact on a national scale.
Inspired by her father-s zeal for the game, Le Poidevin embarked on a journey to work in football at the elite level, studying at Queensland-s Griffith University before moving to Melbourne and gaining employment with renowned law firm Browne and Co.
But when an opportunity arose at Melbourne Heart FC, Le Poidevin was unable to resist the temptation of pursuing a lifelong dream, joining the Hyundai A-League-s latest football club.
And with experience belying her years, Le Poidevin has quickly emerged as an integral member of the Heart-s back office.
Le Poidevin spoke to www.melbourneheartfc.com.au to discuss her journey and the challenges faced in helping build a sporting club from the ground up.
As a university graduate, how have you found the experience of working with a start-up sports organisation and have you enjoyed the challenge so far?
Definitely, it-s fantastic to see the club evolve each day. Being involved in Melbourne Heart from its beginnings has been an invaluable opportunity in my development as a sports administrator. Having only a small (but growing) staff base has meant that I have been exposed to many different aspects of the club, enabling me to see where my interests and strengths may lie. This is often a difficult decision for new graduates. It has also enabled me to work closely with and learn from highly experienced people such as Scott Munn (CEO), John Didulica (GM Football Operations) and Brad Rowse (GM Commercial Operations).
What appealed to you about working for Melbourne Heart FC?
I have played football since the age of 7 and closely followed the A-League since its inception. Its expansion is fantastic for the fans and for the development of the game in Australia. Working within sport and in particular football has always been a goal of mine. I recently travelled overseas to experience European football leagues and came back to finish my degree in Sports Management and Exercise Science to give me the best chance at gaining a role. I must admit, my opportunity came earlier than I expected, given that jobs in sport are highly contested.
What has been the highlight of your time with Heart to date?
As we are a new club, it-s the small developments or milestones that have so far proved to be the highlights. Our first player signings, our first press conference, and the development of our logo, colours and strips have all been exciting to be a part of.
As a unique and fresh venture, the club is obviously in a constant state of evolution. How has this affected your role on a day-to-day basis?
It has meant that I have had to be highly adaptable to many different tasks. It-s also a role where you have to always be using your initiative and thinking ahead. As I am assisting in many areas, time management has also been key.
The role sees you work alongside an experienced sports administrator in Scott Munn. What have you learned so far in the role and what do you hope to gain in future?
Scott is a great person to work alongside as he has a very broad background in sport across different codes. Scott strongly values an open and honest dialogue with fans and involvement within the community. I really hope to work closely with fans, volunteers, students and business people to develop this welcoming culture and also play a part in the development of football in regional areas.
We are currently entering an exciting and potentially landmark period for Australian football, with the expansion of the Hyundai A-League, the Socceroos- World Cup campaign and 2018-2022 World Cup host announcement to take place this year. Has the feeling of anticipation been palpable within the offices of the Heart?
Most definitely. Not everyone on our staff is from a football background; however the excitement of being part of such a growth period in the game is certainly mutual amongst all. Football is the world game, and it-s hard not to become caught up in an anticipation which is shared globally.