By Joshua Martin
The Gap Football Club has a proud 25-year history competing in women’s football in Brisbane, resulting in tremendous success on and off the field.
The milestone will be commemorated on October 6 when the Gap FC’s NPL team take on the Brisbane Roar’s W-League side in a friendly match at Walton Bridge Reserve.
When people look at sporting clubs and attempt to measure their success they generally look at trophies and premierships. The Gap have had a lot of end of season glory, in fact they’re going for their third NPL Premiership in a row this weekend against Peninsula Power, but long-time NPL Coach Rob Askew says it’s a culture of fostering remarkable people that has set the club apart from the rest.
“We have always looked for people who are respectful, committed, selfless, ambitious and competitive,” Askew said. “I have certainly had the pleasure of working with some truly remarkable people who never cease to amaze me. Having these kind of people means you have people who are there for the right reasons and want to be successful. I think that is a major factor behind our period of domination.”
Perhaps there is no one more fitting than Rob to talk about the history of women’s football at The Gap as he was a part of the original group including Sue Tehan, Jenny Verhoevan, Debbie Gillick, and Michelle Peile who approached The Gap Pasttime Club with the proposal for a women’s football team.
Their wish was granted and in 1993 a team including several 30-something mums, high school students and a few mother-daughter combinations competed in Brisbane’s Division 5.
The team won the grand final that year 1-0 against Jimboomba, and with a desire to reach the top, the club entered a team in the first Brisbane Women’s Premier League competition in 1997.
The club’s history from its inception to the premier league reads like that of Manchester United in the English Premier League under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Gap was the only club to play in every season of the Premier League and it has competed in every season of the PlayStation 4 NPL QLD since it began in 2015.
List of titles
- 2004 Premier League Premiership
- 2007 Championship
- 2008 Championships
- 2011 Elaine Watson Cup
- 2012 treble of Premiership, Elaine Watson Cup and Grand Final win
- 2013 double of Elaine Watson Cup and Grand Final win
- 2014 treble of Elaine Watson Cup, Premiership and Grand Final. Moreover, Football Brisbane deemed TGFC appropriate to host the Brisbane Women’s Premier League and South East Queensland Premier League Grand Finals in 2014
- 2015 PlayStation 4 NPL QLD Premiers and Champions
- 2016 PlayStation 4 NPL QLD Premiers and Champions
The success of the club would not be the same without the strong junior system which integrates with the seniors through coaching and mentoring.
The first Gap all female juniors team played for the under 14s in 1996 and by 2005 there were teams from under 12s to 16s, social teams, reserve grade and the premier league side.
Rob Askew hopes to see a large turnout of club stalwarts at the anniversary match on October 6.
“When we played Peninsula a few weeks back it was great to see a lot of old faces there to support us,” he said. “We have worked hard over 25 years to be a club that players feel they belong to.”
He is calling on Football Brisbane and Football Queensland to consider how it caters to former players as he believes the lack of a reserve grade leaves a hole in the women’s game.
“Sadly, without a reserve grade either in the NPL or most likely the BWPL that (club patronage) will be harder to maintain in the future. This structure means we cannot cater for our members, and for them to play football at an appropriate level means they will need to leave their club.”
The club has produced Socceroos, W-league players and coaches but most importantly many strong leaders in our community.