Q&A with Perth Glory's Tanya Oxtoby

Perth Glory captain Tanya Oxtoby has signed with Doncaster Rovers Belles for the 2012 FAWSL season. Girls FC found out a little more about Oxtoby's new team and OS plans ...

Perth Glory captain Tanya Oxtoby has signed with Doncaster Rovers Belles for the 2012 FAWSL season. Girls FC found out a little more about Oxtoby's new team and OS plans ...

First up, congrats on signing with Doncaster Rovers Belles (DRB). Can you tell us how it came about/how you made the decision to sign with them?

Well it definitely wasn-t something I was searching for. I had been asked two times previously to play overseas, but the timing was never right for me personally, so I have always declined. This time everything just fell into place, and it felt like my last chance to experience competitive football outside Australia, so I jumped at it.

For fans not familiar with DRB, what do they need to know?

Donny, from what I have experienced so far is a very grounded club that has a youth focus, with some more experienced players also in the squad creating a fantastic team environment. It-s possibly the best team spirit and group-focused mentality that I have experienced in football so far, and it is a fantastic club to be a part of. Everyone here has made me feel so welcome, apart from teasing me about my accent!

You-re joining Katie Holtham, who played for Perth on loan in the Westfield W-League. Was she the player who inspired you to sign with DRB?

Inspired is a strong word, haha! She is definitely the main reason behind me signing for the club. She pretty much had me signed up for the club before I even knew they were interested in me. Obviously being the captain of her club and me being the captain of mine, we have similar views and football principles with regards to what we want from our teams, which has meant we have a lot of mutual respect for one another on the pitch. It-s also nice to have a familiar face around the place when you-re trying to settle into a new team and place to call home.

A couple of other Westfield W-League players are playing in the FAWSL, including normally Perth-based teammate Collette McCallum. Did she have any advice for you? How will you feel playing against her?

Unfortunately Collette and I haven't spoken about our respective signings. We both made our individual decisions without what each other was planning. It will be different playing against her after years of being on the same team; however, I-m sure we will catch up after the game for a long-overdue gossip session.

You have dual English-Australian citizenship. Can you tell us a little about that? Have you been to the UK before?

I-m lucky in a sense that I have a very diverse family background. My mother is Aboriginal and my father is English, which allows me dual citizenship. I-m privileged to have lived and identified as an Aboriginal woman all my life. While I have been to the UK once before for a brief holiday, this will be the first time I will get to experience my dad-s culture and background, which is exciting.

You have Indigenous Australian heritage. Correct me if I-m wrong, but might you be the first Indigenous Australian to play in the UK? If so, thoughts?

If that is the case (not sure I will take your word for it) it-s definitely something that I-m very honoured to have achieved, and something I will look back on when I finish my career with great pride. Its also something that I will draw on when working as a positive role model with the Aboriginal kids when I return home, that dreams can come true if you work hard enough.

You-ll be in the UK during the Olympics. How will you be spending that time?

The entire nation is buzzing with the pending Olympics; however, I may be returning home with the Olympic break just to catch up with family and friends and celebrate a belated 30th birthday with all!

The UK is an incredible place and it happens to be extremely close to lots of other incredible places. Any travel plans for while you-re there?

There are many places on my to do to list, including Paris, Venice, and Prague (and many more to come). I have no doubt I will squeeze these in while I-m here—only after my football and study commitments, of course!

What are you most excited about with the DRB stint?

The opportunity to challenge myself with a new team and new teammates, and to also learn and absorb as much football-wise as I can to take back to Perth Glory. I-m very lucky that I have a lot of great people around me here providing me with a number of great learning opportunities, both in a coaching and administrative capacity. So that also something I-m excited about, especially in my role at Football West as Manager of Women-s and Indigenous football.

What are you least excited about with the DRB stint?

The cold weather isn-t the nicest. I miss the Australian sun!

The FAWSL are really active social media-wise, as are you. What would you like to see from us while you-re away? How can fans in Australia best follow along and cheer you on?

I-m on twitter (@toxtoby) and also the Perth Glory Women-s Twitter account (@PerthGloryWomen) will be following all of the overseas players and reposting their tweets, which is the best way to follow what I-m up to (which is not always a good thing, haha!). But any questions followers may have or words of encouragement are always greatly appreciated when you-re so far from home! Updates will also be on the FAWSL and DRB websites!

Excellent. We'll follow along. Best of luck for the season!