Community News


Jo Powell on the big screen at Accor Stadium being presented to the huge crowd present, to watch the Matilda’s play China.

Grafton’s Jo Powell presented with Australia cap in front of a packed house at ACCOR Stadium

Congratulations to Jo Powell from Grafton, who received her Australia cap before the Matildas’ Olympic sendoff match against China at ACCOR Stadium on Monday of last week.
Jo played for the Matildas from 1996 to 2000, during an era when women’s football was finding its footing as an international sport. Jo and her teammates helped pave the way for what we know as the Matildas today—sporting icons who now pack-out stadiums.
Jo and her former Matildas teammates were formally presented with their caps and acknowledged for their contributions to women’s football in front of a packed house at ACCOR Stadium.
North Coast Football caught up with Jo, who shared some of her football moments that started and finished on the North Coast.
“I started my playing days with South Services Gunners Soccer Clubfrom under 6s. When I was 17, I played for Tucabia so I could play with my brother. I started a women’s team with the then South Services Devils when I left school. I then played with them when I started driving to Newcastle in 1996 to play for NNSWITC.”
Jo made the decision to relocate to avoid the long and costly drives from Grafton to Newcastle. “I relocated to Newcastle the following year to make life easier. I got my first call-up to the Matildas in ’96 but didn’t receive my official cap until ’99. I retired from representative football in 2000 and moved back to Grafton, where I played for the Gunners with my brother.”
Unfortunately, injury struck, and Jo tore an ACL. After recovering, she joined Corindi Red Rock Breakers FC. 
“I played at Corindi for a few years and then returned to the women’s services team for a couple of seasons (as there were no other women’s teams in Grafton).”
During this period, the former Matilda immersed herself in community football. 
“At this stage, I started coaching my nephew’s team at Westlawn Tigers Football Club and coached them from U6s to U16s. I then transitioned to Westlawn women’s when we got a team up and running. I coached and played for a number of years with the girls and their moms that I had coached in my nephew’s team.”