Christie Cox-Haines ready to give back to soccer as part of the Football Tasmania board

LAWYER BY DAY: Christie Cox-Haines has joined the Football Tasmania board. Picture: Brodie Weeding
LAWYER BY DAY: Christie Cox-Haines has joined the Football Tasmania board. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Having lived and breathed soccer pretty much her entire life, the opportunity to be part of the Football Tasmania board is one Christie Cox-Haines just couldn't pass up.

Cox-Haines, who joined the board as a director earlier this month, brings with her not only her close ties to the game on the North-West Coast, but her knowledge of life as a player, considering she has returned to the pitch this year for Ulverstone's Northern Championship women's team in what is her 10th year at senior level.

Her timing could also not be any better, considering not only soccer's strength in the state [as the number one participation sport] and the region in recent times, but the looming impact the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will have, specifically when it comes to female participation.

"I just saw it as an opportunity that couldn't be missed, especially being from the North-West Coast,'' said Cox-Haines, who was part of Ulverstone's undefeated Women's Super League championship winning side in 2018.

"While I will be representing the whole of Tasmania, it is nice regionally to be able to be close to this area and have an understanding of this area and how soccer plays out in this region.

"It just so happens it is a good time in my life as I have an 11-month old baby [Elsie] and she is old enough for me to start branching out and I've started back at work [as a family lawyer at Rae and Partners in Devonport] and this is the other thing that I think I've got time for and something I'd really like to put my time into it.

"It would also be really nice to be able to give back to Football Tasmania after being a player and a member of a club since the age of 14.

"With soccer being so strong on the North-West Coast at the moment, it is quite timely as well, and I know the wants and needs of the players, as I have that firsthand experience of how my team goes, personally I am on the pitch and still involved in the club."

But to have that extra involvement with the sport with Australia and New Zealand gearing up to host the 2023 World Cup has added another layer of excitement for Cox-Haines.

The chance for Tasmania, with the the potential for matches at Launceston's UTAS Stadium, and the Coast, via a potential training base at Valley Road, to be part of it was the cherry on top for the 30-year-old.

"It is going to be huge for everyone,'' she said.

"Just to have that exposure for Australia and Tasmania and the proximity for travel for such a big event and seeing soccer played at the highest level is just very, very exciting

"Hopefully it can increase exposure for soccer, and being the women's world cup it is going to have a lot of interest for young girls who might be looking at what sport they can join, which would increase numbers, interest and exposure.

ON THE PITCH: Christie Cox-Haines in action for Ulverstone in the Women's Super League in 2018. Picture: Paula Reimer

ON THE PITCH: Christie Cox-Haines in action for Ulverstone in the Women's Super League in 2018. Picture: Paula Reimer

"Whether that [the cup] is in Tasmania or just Australia it will still be excellent, but hopefully we can get some games down here and it is in the works and something Football Tasmania is looking at and working towards."

Cox-Haines very much comes form a soccer family, with siblings Cedric, Cosmo, Will and Chloe all playing for Ulverstone at some stage during their time in the game.

Her mum was also a coach at junior level, in another sign of how deep the family's involvement in the sport has been.

She started her journey at the age of 14 in the NTJSA program in the North of the state before moving to the Coast and Ulverstone in 2007 and its Northern Championship women's competition.

She moved to Hobart in 2010 for study and had three years away from soccer before playing for University from 2013 in the Southern Championship women's competition, before returning to Ulverstone in 2016 where she played Northern Championship and Women's Super League.

Chloe and Christie Cox-Haines in 2014.

Chloe and Christie Cox-Haines in 2014.

She had last year off the pitch while pregnant with Elsie before returning this season to the Northern Championship team.

"I will probably get more out of it [being on the board] in the initial stages than I can give back, as it will be about listening and learning to start off with and then from there moving up and once I get a better grasp of it and I can then start to give back,'' she said.

"I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to be involved I see it as a way to give back to the soccer community.

"As I now have Elsie, I would not be able to play soccer or join the board without the support and encouragement of my partner, Daniel Clark, and Elsie's grandparents, aunties and uncles. I'm blessed to have a supportive and loving family here on the North West Coast."

While I will be representing the whole of Tasmania, it is nice regionally to be able to be close to this area and have an understanding of this area and how soccer plays out in this region.

Christie Cox-Haines

She believed her skills as lawyer would come in handy, saying her "experience and skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and communication will be useful in undertaking my role as a director of Football Tasmania".

Upon announcing her addition to the board Football Tasmania president Bob Gordon said: "as a current player and a person with strong professional skills she will add significant value to both our organisation as well as to the sport more broadly".

Cox-Haines is the first member of the board from the North-West Coast since Andrew Groves in 2017.

This story Christie Cox-Haines on board and ready to give back to soccer first appeared on The Advocate.