Newcastle Jets defender Hannah Brewer’s 100th Westfield W-League appearance last weekend was a milestone made all the more significant by the incredible off-field achievements she’s made along the way.
While juggling her Westfield W-league responsibilities, Brewer has also been carrying out her international duty and university study, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Special Education.
She hopes these achievements serve as an inspiration to younger players who are faced with the same challenges.
“Part of the reason why I always wanted to reach 100 games was to prove to people, especially the younger players, that even if you can’t make it as an out and out professional footballer, you can still play W-league and juggle work and study commitments and still make something of yourself in your footballing career,” Brewer told w-league.com.au.
Brewer’s work ethic is inspired by her brother Tom who has cerebral palsy and competes in Judo at a national level.
“He’s certainly my inspiration,” Brewer said.
“When things get tough, I do always reflect on what he’s been through and how he tends to overcome it and that pushes me and gets me through the challenges that I face.”
Making her debut at just 16 years of age in the inaugural Westfield W-League season, Brewer went on to play for a number of teams in the league, having stints at Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Canberra United, racking up an impressive number of appearances along the way.
But she returned to the Jets last season and wasted no time in cementing her position as a key player in the backline, and now has her 100th Westfield W-League cap to show for it.
“Obviously [it’s] a milestone I’m super happy about – it’s taken me 12 years to reach it,” Brewer said.
“A lot of sacrifices and obviously a lot of dedication has gone into it and I see it as a reward for all of that.”
“It’s not a club that everyone has the pleasure of being a part of. I think that's what makes this all the more special because it’s back with the club I started with.”
The Jets are currently faced with a challenge of their own – to get their season back on track after failing to secure a win from their first three games.
However ,Brewer is confident in the ability of the squad going forward.
“We have taken a lot from our first three games,” she said.
“The positives we can take is that we’ve only lost games by one goal.
“That shows we’ve been in it right up until the end of the game and it also shows we’re quite strong defensively across the park.”
“We have a young group of girls and it’s just decision making in the end.
“We’ve got (into) good positions and the thing that lets us down is, unfortunately, our final pass or our final decision and that comes with confidence and that comes with experience.”
She added: “‘I love watching the young girls flourish and grow as footballers and I love being there to help them with that and help them achieve something that I have and something that I know is not easy.”
The Jets come up against Perth Glory this weekend in what could be a defining moment as they look to notch their first win of the season.
Playing against the side currently occupying the bottom spot in the Westfield W-League table, Brewer has the chance to start her journey into her next hundred Westfield W-League games on the right foot with a much-needed victory with the Jets.
“It’s a big game for us,” Brewer said.
“We want to come away with the three points.
“There’s no doubt about that and I think we’re more than capable.”
Saturday, 7 December 2019
Kick-off: 10.15pm AEDT
Venue: Dorrien Gardens
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports