Hall of Fame: Andrea Martin

Andrea Martin

Born in 1959, Andrea ‘Andy’ Martin was a pioneering member of the all-conquering Greensborough team that won ten consecutive Victorian Women’s Soccer Association (VWSA) League Championships. A towering defender with a powerful shot, she was one of the ground-breaking stars of Women’s football that first took the fields in an organised manner in 1974.

Her debut for Victoria in the inaugural Australian Women’s Soccer Association (AWSA) Championships commenced an unparalleled twenty-year representative career. While records are incomplete for this period, Martin is likely the most capped individual, male or female, for Victoria at a senior level.

Arriving in Melbourne via Essex, Andy Martin and her family migrated to Australia as “ten-pound tourists” via the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. She first struck a ball in competitive anger as an eager 14-year-old and rose to prominence as a tall, imposing defender who ruled the defensive line. Often called upon for set play kicks, corners and penalties, she established herself as one of the elite players in Victoria during the inaugural VWSA season in 1974.

Playing for Greensborough at the heart of defence at the tender age of 15, she impressed enough to gain state honours and would represent Victoria at the AWSA National Championships at the conclusion of the League season.

Andy Martin was a key figure in the first of Greensborough’s League Championship wins.

Come the following year, she would help steer Greensborough to its maiden Championship (the first of an incredible ten consecutive wins between 1975 and 1984) and was selected in the Australian All-Star team at the National Championships, an honour she would collect again in 1976 as Victoria finished runners-up in Melbourne for the first time. Martin missed the Nationals in 1980 due to injury but would appear in every other edition of the tournament throughout the 1980s as Women’s football began to expand and grow.

Her consistency and unquestioned ability led to national honours, firstly in 1983 as Australia toured Hawaii in March. Martin played in all six matches which were played over a period of eight days, helping the team to four wins and a draw against various club teams. She also played in every match of the 1986 Oceania Cup, scoring Australia’s solitary goal in the final against Taiwan. Martin’s performances for Australia led to Football Australia naming her in the team of the decade (1979-1989) in 2013.

As much as her national career brought high praise, it is Martin’s consistency at the highest level for Victoria which delivered her greatest honours.

Father and daughter: Albert and Andy Martin comparing honours.

She was an integral member of Victoria’s inaugural National Championship win in Alice Springs in 1987, a feat repeated in Canberra in 1989. After a two-year absence, it was no surprise that Victoria’s third National crown in five years coincided with Martin’s return to the squad in 1992, the year she was awarded the McQuarrie-Rocco Award as the most valuable state team player. Her final appearance for Victoria fittingly came in Melbourne in 1994 at the age of 35, astonishingly 20 years after her representative debut.

Post Greensborough’s demise in 1986, Martin continued her club career with Nunawading City, Box Hill, Monash University, Heidelberg United and Doncaster Rovers, before work commitments saw her relocate to Darwin, where she played with Hellenic. Her undoubted class culminated in representative honours for Northern Territory in 1995 and 1996, aged 37.

Martin continued to play well into the turn of the century, moving to Queensland where she kitted up for Brisbane-based clubs Beenleigh, Bethania and Souths United. Her knowledge and experience led to coaching, and she attained her Junior, Youth and AFC licences within a six-year period, continuing to play at a local level as she approached 50. Her coaching continues to this day, having worked with junior Queensland representative teams and NPL club Souths United, she returned to Bethania where she continues to influence aspiring Matildas at a community football level.

A physical presence, Andy Martin was a standout performer in every team she played.

Her standing in Victoria though is unparalleled. The Jones-Martin Award was partly named in her honour, awarded to the most valuable youth state team player. The award sits alongside the Hoar-Melvin (most valuable junior state team player) and Jane Oakley awards (best National Training Centre player) as testament to the pioneers of Women’s football in Victoria.

Theresa Jones (now Deas), Betty Hoar, Janette Melvin and Jane Oakley are all esteemed members of the Football Victoria Hall of Fame.

It seems only fitting, that Andrea Martin joins such illustrious company.

Watch Andrea Martin's FV Hall of Fame Series episode on YouTube

A snapshot of Andrea Martin’s playing career

Playing record: 

  • 1974-84: Greensborough (over 150 league/cup appearances)
  • 1985-87 – Nunawading City
  • 1988 – Monash University
  • 1989-90 – Box Hill
  • 1991-94 – Heidelberg United
  • 1995 – Doncaster Rovers

Representative record:

  • Australia 1983-86: 10 appearances 1 goal
  • Victoria 1974-94: 18 National Championships
  • Northern Territory 1995-96: 2 National Championships

Personal honours:

  • Australian All-Star team (1975, 76)
  • Australian Sports Medal 2000
  • VWSA League Champions x10 (1975, 76, 77, 78, 79, 1980, 81, 82, 83, 84)
  • VWSA Cup Winners x8 (1975, 76, 78, 79, 1980, 81, 82, 83)
  • VWSA inaugurated the Jones-Martin Award in 1990 for the most valuable Youth Team Member in honour of Theresa Jones (Deas) and Andrea Martin.
  • Football Australia Team of the Decade (1979-89)