Theresa Deas (nee Jones)

Theresa Jones was born in Wales in 1963, her family migrating to Australia when she was 10 years old. She began her football career in 1975 with Dandenong City playing against teams such as Doveton, Greensborough, Green Gully and Pegasus (Clayton), immediately falling in love with the sport. She moved to Dandenong North, then Waverley City under the coaching of Margaret Roy. The team then moved en masse to Berwick City and then to Cranbourne Comets. Coached by Debbie Nichols, they became one of the most successful teams in the Women’s Premier League.

Theresa Jones
Theresa Jones, in her prime for Cranbourne Comets.

As a young child Theresa dreamed of playing for her adopted country. She was selected in the Victorian state team as a 14-year-old reserve and became the Number 1 keeper at 15, representing Victoria for almost two decades. She was a member of the National Youth women’s team that won the Dana Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament in Denmark in the 1980’s. Her hard work and dedication ultimately resulted in selection into the Australian National team where she made her debut in 1980 and played for the green-and-gold throughout much of the decade, featuring in 18 internationals.

Matildas 1988
Theresa Jones (second row, first player on the left) with the Australian Women's National Team in 1988. Source: Moya Dodd, via Football Australia.

After a decorated playing career, Theresa was tireless in her efforts to promote and assist the growth of Women’s football in Victoria. She managed the Victorian State teams for 5 years and fulfilled the same role with the Australian National team in 1990. She served as a Director of the Victorian Women’s Soccer Association for three years and was a Development Officer until 1999, before the organisation ultimately amalgamated with the Victorian Soccer Federation. She continued on as Development and Project Officer for a another four years and was a valued member of the Football Victoria Women’s Standing Committee.

Theresa Deas Awards
Hall of Famer, Theresa Deas with her Football Australia and Football Victoria Hall of Fame awards.

Theresa promoted football throughout the state, with an unwavering desire to bridge the gap between schools and clubs. She forged a wonderful relationship with schools and clubs, educating and promoting football for girls and women and helping create an unprecedented growth in female participation throughout Victoria. Her influence resulted in the creation of clinics for female goalkeepers and an enhanced awareness of the need for female specific courses in all fields of football.

Theresa was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and inducted into the Football Australia Hall of Fame in 2003.