Humans of MUSC: Anna Leonedas
In this instalment of Humans of MUSC we talk to Anna Leonedas. Anna is a club veteran having joined the club back in 2013, presently playing as the RB for the Women’s State 3 North. Off the field Anna is the current secretary for the women’s divisions which also doubles as a position on the Board that represents the whole of MUSC. We will explore her unique and long-lasting connection with the club, both as a player and a leader.
Hi Anna, can you introduce yourself please.
Hello Mario! My name’s Anna and I’m a member of the women’s State 3 North team and Secretary of the women’s division.
Why did you choose to play at the Melbourne University Soccer Club?
I grew up playing for the Brunswick Zebras and when I started uni, I wanted to go to a club with a few more women’s teams so I could find the level I was best suited to. Melbourne Uni was a local club and at that time, had teams in State 1, 3 and 4, so I knew I could turn up to preseason and be placed in a team that I would feel comfortable playing for.
I was actually studying at Monash Uni – big reveal- and I found out that their women’s team trained in Clayton…which is quite a distance for a native Brunswick-ian to travel three times a week, even for soccer.
What do you feel are the main benefits of playing at MUSC?
We’re an accepting club with a reputation for being good sports. When you join MUSC, you’re not just a player but part of our club community, and we all work together to make our club a social, inviting and supportive place.
If you could give one reason to join MUSC what would it be?
We’re all just really good friends.
Has there been a favourite season at MUSC, if so why?
This is such a tricky one so I’m going to say the season of 2013 – where it all began. I was welcomed to this club with open arms and was part of a spritely State 3 team who didn’t win too much but went to the pub a lot, did Tough Mudder together and choreographed some dances.
What about your current involvement in the soccer club?
I joined the committee in 2017 and have since taken on role as Secretary for the women’s division, which also means I am on the Board that oversees the whole club. As Secretary, I spend a lot of time on spreadsheets and sending emails – it’s really just a lot of administration and helping Clare, our Vice President organise things.
We’re all just players who are doing our best to keep our club running, we haven’t got heaps of time or experience so things don’t always go to plan – but hopefully that’s not too obvious!
As a player run club, if everyone just showed up to play their game and left, we wouldn’t exist. That’s just an important reminder I would like to throw in there. While a handful of people are happy to do the organising and delegating, we rely on players to do their bit – like standing at the pavilion bar, sweeping the changerooms or putting up the nets.
Has there been a standout coach at MUSC and the best player you have played alongside at MUSC?
Every coach I’ve had deserves a shout-out for their contribution the club – Kiwi Chas, Rash and Fancy – who always wore a suit to our games. Generally, it’s harder to find experienced coaches for lower women’s divisions like State 3 and 4 so I really appreciate all the people who have just volunteered and given it a go.
This season, I am very fortunate to have Adam as my coach in State 3. The guy has never coached before but has a natural talent for it. He constantly impresses me with his enthusiasm, professionalism and his ability to coach women. He also often bribes us with homemade brownies, banana bread and cheesecake.
As for players, don’t make me choose! There are too many amazing women who I have had the honour of playing with. Some have even had babies and come back to play just as well as they ever did.
Do you have any particularly memorable experiences relating to your sports activities?
In 2017, I captained our VicSoccer team during the season and to Victory in the Women’s Invitation Cup! The game was won on penalties and it was the most high-pressure game of my life, but so worth it in the end.
Besides sports, do you have any other hobbies or passions?
I really like tending to plants in my tiny garden and writing, which I probably don’t do enough of now that I am a few years into full time work.
What has been your most memorable goal at your time at MUSC?
Ah, to remember a goal I have to go a long way back to my year as striker in 2014. I don’t think I’ve really scored much since I returned to my more comfortable position of defender. There was a game in Werribee where I scored a hat-trick, so that was pretty darn memorable and probably unlikely to ever happen again!
I can imagine, hat-trick hero … Thanks for sharing your experiences that you have had at MUSC and I hope there are many more successful seasons to come!