Humans of MUSC: Nicolette Ciccarelli

Today, we’re speaking with Cicc, VPL defensive stalwart and team manager, and MUSC’s sponsorship lead! Read on to learn how she started playing for MUSC, what she feels sets MUSC apart from other clubs, and the best goal she’s saved at MUSC (did you know she moonlights as a GK?)!

Hi, Cicc! Can you introduce yourself, please:

Hello, I’m Nicolette Ciccarelli but you may know me as ‘Cicc’ (pronounced ‘Chich’). Not to be confused with my brother Marco who also plays at the club and has the same nickname (albeit admittedly and sadly for me, he is the OG Cicc). I’ve played soccer for 18 years and have been at MUSC since 2020, primarily in the Victorian Premier League (VPL) Women’s squad.

The Ciccarelli Family – so much talent in one photo! Lulu included!

What about your current involvement in the soccer club?

At the moment the bulk of my work at the club involves helping out in the sponsorships committee. It has been a tough process and one that is new for me but it has been a rewarding process to be able to secure some funds for the VPL squad and the broader club.

I also assist in the team management space – I think this season I am already up to about 7 Google Spreadsheets for the VPL team alone!

We SO appreciate all the help and time that you volunteer – loving all the new sponsors this year! Why did you choose to play at the Melbourne University Soccer Club?

I played for Melbourne Uni in the Uni Games tournament between 2017-2019 and built relationships with a number of people who played for MUSC. They also always spoke so highly of the club and their experiences here that I figured I just had to see it for myself – turns out they were onto something 😊 My brother aka ‘male Cicc’ has also been at the club since 2013.

UniMelb’s Uni Games team (Cicc is bottom row second from left)

What do you feel are the main benefits of playing at MUSC?

The main benefit for me as a VPL player is that MUSC values its VPL players as people first before their skill level. Almost every other club in our league pays their players and only has the goal of promotion in mind, which means the playing experience and overall enjoyment isn’t as great. It is a great reflection of the club and its values to be able to stay competitive in VPL without paying players.

In a broader sense, the fact that the club has so many teams and really tries to provide something for everyone that wants to get involved. Whether it be a skill level thing such as beginner coaches or soccer players, or people who feel as though they don’t necessarily conform to societal norms (gender, sexuality, race, beliefs etc.), it’s great that the club can provide such a welcoming and safe environment that in turn attracts the right kinds of people

VPL team huddle at Princes Park

Has there been a favourite season at MUSC, and if so, why?

I know I’m probably jumping the gun EXTREMELY early here, but I’m going to have to go with this season in 2024! After having been at the club for a couple of years, I’ve been able to make a lot of close friends who are now scattered throughout the various teams at the club. I’m super excited to watch them all play and cheer them on from the sidelines!

I’m also confident the extra work the VPL team has put in during the preseason alongside the efforts from the club behind the scenes puts us in good stead to be competitive this season.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on VPL this season! Has there been a standout coach at MUSC? (and) the best player you have played alongside at MUSC?

Maybe this is strange, but I see the coaching staff on the women’s side of the club as being one collective coaching group, and they’re all doing a great job and putting in the hours for their players, so a big shoutout to all of them. It was monumental of Shannon to put her hand up to help out the VPL squad over the last few years, often travelling from Geelong and doing the job without an assistant, which was very impressive.

I think the appointment of Laura Brady as a Coaching Coordinator this year will be able to bring the club to the next level and provide coaches with the support and knowledge they need. She has already made monumental strides in the VPL team’s preseason successes – thank you Laura!

The best player I’ve played with here at the club would have to be Elena Reid aka ‘Legs’. A true stalwart of the club and all-round great person, she makes playing in the midfield look easy, effortlessly dribbling around players that are earning $300 a game and putting a through ball in behind a CB that has played in the NPL for several seasons. The ball is never safer than when it is at her feet!

Elena “Legs” Reid – one of MUSC’s Team of the Decade Starting XI and consistent FV B&F Top 5!!

That’s not strange at all – it’s great insight into the women’s coaching dynamic at the club! And we have to agree that watching Legs play is always so entertaining. She’s such an asset to the VPL team! Do you have any quirky matchday rituals? 

In my 18 years of playing, I have never had any sort of a matchday ritual. Usually you’ll see me at Princes Park sipping my Up & Go (chocolate flavoured of course) as I head towards the changerooms, but other than that there is nothing in particular I would do to prepare for a match.

Chocolate is definitely the best flavour by far. Besides sports, do you have any other hobbies or passions?

If I’m not playing soccer, you’ll usually find me being extremely rowdy and obnoxious over the Carlton Football Club or hanging out with my dog Lulu.

Up the Baggers!!

Surely not a coincidence that Princes Park is home to two great clubs! What has been your most memorable goal during your time at MUSC?

As a CB, I have only scored 2-3 goals in my time here and neither were that memorable!

However, my most memorable goal saved would have to be when our GK got a red card for touching the ball with their hands just outside the box and I stepped into GK for the opponent’s freekick and I just happened to pull out the best save of my career, diving down low to the right. We went on to score a goal 10 minutes later and won the game 1-0, in the last game of the season. It also happened to be my birthday, so we got to go and hang out and have some cake in the pavilion afterwards. It was certainly one to remember!

Cicc in goals, showing her versatility as a player and ability to look good wearing fluoro green

So good! What is your secret talent that no one knows about?

I don’t have any secret talents. Sometimes I like to unexpectedly do a stepover under immense pressure in the last line of defence, but my past coaches would probably tell you that’s not actually a talent ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ha ha. What are you most excited about for this season?

As answered above, I’m most excited to watch my friends play this year. I would love to get down to some more matches and repay the support the VPL team have received from the sidelines over the last couple of seasons.

Thanks for chatting with us, Cicc, and for all your hard work in the sponsorship and team management space! Wishing you and the VPL team the best of luck in tonight’s catch-up round clash! Looking forward to cheering you all on this season!

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