Mullumbimby football player and current Palm Beach SC women’s defender Kiri Dale is New York bound after she played her final game for the club in Sunday’s 9–0 win against Souths United FC Women in the NPL Queensland Women’s event.
The 18-year-old is joining the football program at Iona College, which plays in the top tier of US college football.
Dale said she would love to continue playing in Australia, but she was attracted by the chance to continue her football development while studying criminology and criminal justice.
‘The level of their Division 1 competition, the college facilities, coaching staff, post-college opportunities and the actual scholarship package the US offers are too good to turn down,’ said Dale.
With the college competition producing many of the US squad that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year, Dale hopes her experiences over the next few years will allow her to step up into professional football.
Dale credits her Palm Beach SC coach Gary French with helping to secure the scholarship from Iona College.
The Mullumbimby junior had trialled with several Brisbane-based NPL women’s clubs but was attracted to Sharks by the team spirit and quality coaching provided French and his staff.
‘Gary is brilliant as he knows exactly how I play and what positions best suits me,’ said Dale. ‘He has helped improve my game by pushing me at training and working on my technical skills.’
Playing left back, Kiri scored two goals in 19 appearances this season, signing off by setting up goals for Lauren Brown and Sachiko Tatsuoka in the win against Souths.
Dale leaves with the club having secured a finals berth and still a chance for the premiership should table-topping The Gap FC Women and Eastern Suburbs FC Women stumble in the final two rounds.