Joey Peters is on a mission

Former Matilda Joey Peters is a woman on a mission - to make sure that kids find out that football is both fun and a great place to learn.


As attendees at Women Onside’s “Game Play Learn” webinar found out, Joey has built on her personal experiences, coach education and wide-ranging research to identify effective ways to engage children, let them play and enable them to learn.


Women Onside’s Coaching Convenor Julie Ryan said that having someone of Joey’s calibre focusing on young children is critical to the future of the game. “We need to find ways to keep kids playing football. We lose too many players each year - as coaches we have a responsibility to ensure children enjoy their experiences of football. Joey’s Game Play Learn philosophy focuses on this” she said. Julie also said that Women Onside loves to showcase the great work that women coaches are doing in Australia.


Some of the key points from the webinar included:

  • let them play - nurture the basic enjoyment of the game;

  • participation needs are often overlooked for performance outcomes - but performance flows from loving the game;

  • informal learning is just as important as formal learning;

  • 65% of kids participate in order to be with friends;

  • play teaches kids to take risks in their play.

Women Onside’s Chair, Maria Berry, said that the webinar was a great success. “We were pleased not just at the turnout for the event and the quality of Joey’s presentation but also with the high levels of engagement with the audience during the session. The chat was coming thick and fast with great questions and comments.” Maria said that the post-event feedback research showed really positive responses to the event with high ratings for both the content and presentation.


Julie’s reflections on the webinar


For me there’s nothing more important than the message of Play right now, especially when Covid has given us the opportunity to slow down from the rush and pressure of life to letting kids and even ourselves as adults, have that free time to be creative, express ourselves individually and connect with others and the world around us.


I hope people will value Play more, understanding that it’s a powerful way to learn. But it’s getting lost even in sport - although it’s always there if only we could see it. Kids need it, depend on it, so how can we provide more opportunities for them to experience it?


Joey’s reflections on the webinar


I really enjoyed the whole webinar experience with Women Onside, from the preparation to the event and after, such a collaborative effort to ensure we got the most out of our time. Catching up with former teammates and sharing my journey with them was a definite highlight. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact Women Onside will make in encouraging more women to go for it in the future.


Next steps


Joey welcomes further interaction with coaches, game leaders and parents so feel free to contact her through her website or on Facebook. Joey believes that by valuing the football behaviours and outcomes, rather than being wrapped up in verbal instructions, coaches can entrust kids to assess risk and work out their own capabilities.


For more information about Game Play Learn’s philosophy and processes you can go to the GAME PLAY LEARN website.


Joey recommends that you can check out these other links to interesting related areas:

If you missed the live webinar or want to go over it again you can catch it at the Women Onside Youtube channel.


About Joey Peters

Joey is a Matildas legend, having been capped 110 times. Joey played for Australia at three FIFA Women’s World Cups in 1999, 2003, 2007 and was an Olympian at the 2004 Athens Games. Joey is an Asian Cup finalist and played in professional leagues in the USA, Brazil and Sweden.

Joey was the winner of the Julie Dolan Medal in the 2002/03 Women’s National League season and was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 2010.


Joey is a mum and also an SBS Football analyst. After retiring from playing professional football in 2009, Joey has continued her passion for football in the coaching space with experience in grassroots to professional learning environments attaining AFC/FFA Advanced Coaching Licences C, B and A.


Joey has now developed her own coaching methodology GAME PLAY LEARN which ‘hides learning in FUN’ and provides dynamic, motivating learning environments aimed at inspiring and nurturing players.