Q&A with German football star and Newcastle Jet Ariane Hingst

Dual Women’s World Cup, quadruple European Championship, and triple Olympic bronze medal-winning German football superstar Ariane Hingst will play her first match for an Australian football team this weekend. Girls FC put your questions to the talented and witty Hingst ahead of her Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League debut.

Dual Women-s World Cup (WWC), quadruple European Championship, and triple Olympic bronze medal-winning German football superstar Ariane Hingst will play her first match for an Australian football team this weekend. Girls FC put your questions to the talented and witty Hingst ahead of her Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League debut.

Are you sharing a house with Lisa De Vanna and Melissa Barbieri? If so, how-s it going? Have you cooked up a feast for them?

I-m sharing my apartment with Bubs and I think we could say we are a good combo. But De Vanna already came around and cooked for us. Lux :)

How did you get into football?

Well, ever since I was little I was obsessed with kicking the ball. My half-brother played as well with my stepdad as a coach, and I would follow to watch him play. One day when I was seven I said to my parents: I want to play football!

You-ve been playing professionally for about 17 years now and have won plenty of awards during that time. Any thoughts on your career?

I am happy to have been able to play on the highest level for such a long time, having great experiences, travelling the world, meeting interesting people. Ever since I was little all I wanted to do was play football, so you can say it was a dream come true and I am super thankful about that!

We heard a rumour De Vanna had something to do with your signing with Newcastle. Can you tell us how?

I met De Vanna at the WWC when both of us went out of the tournament. I told her about my dream to come and play in Australia. So she was the first contact.

If our records are correct, you-ve won two WWCs, three European Championships, and three bronze Olympic medals. Any room left in the trophy cabinet?

Actually it has been four Europeans [woops, Girls FC-s bad]. And yes, there is definitely room left: Westfield W-League Championship 2012!

Do any of our players speak German? If not, are there any quirky Australian phrases that have confused you yet?

My teammates already know how to say bye (Tschüss). And there will be more words to follow. Well, no specific phrases, but the Aussies definitely have a…let-s call it an ‘interesting- way of speaking. So I struggled a bit initially. Some examples: airfare, scout, and even water! Normal words that every person knows but not if you talk in the Aussie language :)

How does it feel to be Germany-s third most capped player?

I-m not the type of person who cares about statistics. I am super happy to have played for Germany so many times and felt honoured to represent my country. That is so much more important than on which position I am ranked in specific statistics.

Have you done any cheesy (but awesome) touristy things since you-ve been here? Hugged any koalas?

Sorry to disappoint you, but nothing like that so far. I do hope to ‘meet- a koala but I won-t hug one. I respect nature too much and think it-s great to look at those animals, but they are not pets.

What was it like to play in front of your home crowd during the WWC? Did you have family and friends in the crowd?

It def was one of the greatest experiences ever. You enter the pitch and feel goosebumps all over your body. People just came to cheer for you. That was amazing. My mum was at all of our WWC matches and other family and friends came to watch some of the games.

You knew that the 2011 Women-s World Cup (WWC) was going to be your last. Did it hurt that little bit more to go out before the final?

It was definitely the most painful moment in my long career and I can tell you that I fell into a deep hole after the WWC. It took a long time for me to realise that my international career is over now, but I don-t regret my decision.

How did you celebrate/let off some steam after the WWC?

Obviously after 2011 I didn-t celebrate. But after 2003 and 2007 I was having a great time with my teammates and later at home with my friends as well. But won-t give you too many details… :)

Do any others from FFC Frankfurt want to play in the Westfield W-League? Tell Garefrekes to play for Sydney. (@katshearts)

I was talking with some of my national teammates about playing in Australia a couple of years ago, so there might be high chances that more Germans will follow. Especially now that I am here and can talk about the league and life in Australia. Don-t know yet if Garefrekes could be one of them.

What do you enjoy about training?

I simply love playing the game. Of course, there have also been days in my long career where I felt like ‘gosh, do I really have to go out on that field now and train?- That-s normal. But training always gives you the opportunity to work on your skills. It makes you a better player and you can learn so much from your coach and teammates.

What advice would you give to young girls about achieving their football dreams? (Kylie Bourke)

Believe in yourself, work hard, and never forget about enjoying the game and having fun when playing.

What is your Ariane nickname?

Most people call me ‘Ari-.

We-ve heard some of the Australian footballers call you ‘Berlin-. Is this a new name or one that you-ve picked up here?

It was Bubs who invented that ‘nickname-, and it-s prolly cause Berlin is my hometown.

What are your dreams and goals for the season?

First of all I am really excited to play in the Westfield W-League since everything is new and I don-t know what to expect. Everyone is saying that Newcastle will be the team to beat. I want to prove that people are right about that since I do believe we have a great team with a good mix of experienced players and young talents, plus really good coaches as well. And on Jan 28th I want to read the headline: Westfield W-League champions 2012 Newcastle Jets.

What made you come across the world to play in Australia, when you could no doubt earn far more playing in Germany?

I am not playing for the money, never did (obviously I am thankful that I was able to earn some money as well, but it was always more for the love of the game). Ever since I was in Australia for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney it was a dream for me to come back. And to be able to combine it with playing football is the best thing ever.

I am interested in learning about a different culture, getting to know about the Australian way of life, and seeing as much of the country as possible. Oh, and don-t forget about scuba diving. I brought my gear here as well :)

But most importantly, I am here to play football. I want to learn from the Aussies and on the other hand share some of my experience as well.

How are you enjoying living in beautiful Newcastle?

It-s great. I love it. I call it ‘10-minute Newie-, since that is the distance from where I live to everywhere :)

What-s the best training to do!? :)

That really is a hard question to answer. One of my favourite and most fun trainings would look like this: warm up, play 6 : 3, do a shooting drill, and finish with a game 4+4 : 4+4.

Are there just as many people interested in women's football in Germany as in Australia? Or are there more?

Well, after just two-and-a-half weeks here in Australia and not having played a game yet, I wouldn-t dare to judge the interest in women-s football in Australia. But I can tell you that in Germany the interest is big. Football is the number one women-s sport in Germany. Most of the national players are recognised on the streets, especially after the WWC. I think the interest for the Bundesliga could still be higher, but at top games it-s up to 3500 spectators, which I think isn-t too bad.

Have you seen any koalas or kangaroos yet?

I saw them in 2000 when playing in the Olympics. Right next to our training field in Canberra there were a lot of kangaroos and we went on a tour somewhere I don-t remember to search for some koalas—after hours of staring into the trees we were lucky to finally see one.

We know you have a wicked sense of humour. Have you pulled any practical jokes on your teammates here or back in Germany?

Who told you that (wicked sense of humour)?! No, I-m not really the type to do pranks. But I am the type to always have ‘ein Spruch auf den Lippen- (don-t know how to translate that in English). I am always good for a laugh.

Many greetings from Germany (Aritella rules ?). We'd like to know if she'd like to stay in Oz for more than just one year or if we can expect her home soon.

The season runs until end of Jan, my visa runs until mid of March. You-ll never know what the future brings…The only thing I know for sure is that I won-t be playing in the Bundesliga again.