Soccer: W-League honour named for Perth soccer veteran


Bull Creek resident Penny Hoath with the soccer ball she was presented after being named MVP of the Black Swans first match at the World Masters Games.
Bull Creek resident Penny Hoath with the soccer ball she was presented after being named MVP of the Black Swans first match at the World Masters Games.

PERTH soccer veteran Penny Hoath has been immortalised for more than 30 years of service to the game, both on and off the field, with a prestigious W-League award now named in her honour.

Perth Glory’s Samantha Kerr was the first ever recipient of the Penny Tanner (Hoath’s maiden name) Media MVP Award, bestowed upon the most valuable player in the women’s national competition as voted by the media.

Fittingly, Hoath was out of the country representing WA at the World Masters Games in Auckland when she received a phone call informing her of the decision to rename the award.

“It was totally unexpected; I thought they were kidding me,” Hoath said.

“I’ve been playing soccer and volunteering in the media for 30 years and I guess they must think I’ve done an ok job of it.”

After switching from hockey to soccer in high school Hoath debuted for WA as a 17-year-old and has represented her state in both outdoor soccer and futsal ever since.

Highlights include vice captaining the Australian Universities team in 1993 and training under Matildas coach Tom Sermanni in the mid 1990s.

A 2014 silver medal at the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast evidences her longevity, and just last year she was named first division best and fairest for local club Melville City.

In addition to her playing career, Hoath was a regular contributor to Radio Fremantle’s Saturday Morning Soccer Show from 1987 until 2005 when she took over as host of the segment, now named the World Football Programme.

The Bull Creek resident has just returned from helping the WA Black Swans Over 40s team to a quarter final appearance at the World Masters Games.

“We finished the round-robin stage undefeated and on top of our group but then lost to a team of native Canadian Indians on penalties in the first knockout game,” Hoath said.

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