Deborah Nichols

Deborah (Debbie) Nichols has made a long and significant contribution to the women’s game and is a very well respected member of the Victorian football community. Born in Hanover in the then West Germany, a young Debbie began her football journey at school in England, aged 9, and migrated to Australia in 1975 with her family.

Deb Nichols
A Matilda before they were Matildas, Debbie Nichols in Australian colours.

Nichols began her senior playing career in Victoria with Springvale at the tender age of 12 then moved on to Dandenong North, Dandenong, Berwick City and finally, Cranbourne Comets. She was soon selected for the Victorian State squad and remained an integral part of the squad for over 20 years, winning national titles in 1987 and 1989. Nichols assumed the role of Player-Manager in her final years.

Deb Nichols
Deb Nichols (circled) with the all-conquering Berwick City. Source: The Grassroots Football Project.

Selected to represent Australia in 1988, Nichols made her debut against Brazil in the pilot World Cup and was again selected in 1989 earning 12 caps in total, 9 of which were A-internationals.

Deb Nichols Australia
With the Australian National Team that participated in the 1989 OFC Women's Nations Cup. Source: The Grassroots Football Project.

While Nichols' success on the pitch was noteworthy, her coaching career has proven just as successful, having twice been voted Women's Premier League Coach of the Year by her peers. Nichols was Head Coach with Cranbourne/Casey Comets for 15 years before moving to Sandringham as Assistant Coach, then as Head Coach until 2015. Nichols was also an Assistant Coach with Victoria Vision in the former Women’s National Soccer League, the precursor to the W-League.

Nichols was appointed to a junior development role with Southern United in the National Premier Leagues Victoria in 2016, where she is noted for her strong commitment and development of young players.