Westfield W-League: who is Julie Dolan?

Every year, the Julie Dolan Medal is presented to the best player in the Westfield W-League.

Last season, Sam Kerr won the prestigious prize.

But who is the woman whose name has been put to this sought-after honour?


Julie Dolan is recognised as a pioneer of women's football in Australia and is true footballing royalty.

She started playing at the age of 14 and became Australia's inaugural captain at just 16, leading the team out against New Zealand in 1979.

Australia played only occasionally throughout the 1980’s but despite limited opportunities, Dolan played 34 matches for Australia across a 14-year career, including 18 full internationals.

A commanding central midfielder, she played in the World Invitational Tournament twice, the first Oceania Cup in 1983 and the first Women's World Cup in China in 1988.


Dolan was named International Federation of Football History and Statistics Oceania Player of the Century.

She was also inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame and has received the Queen Elizabeth II Australian Sports Medal.


In 1988, the Australian Women's Soccer Association created the Julie Dolan Medal for the best female footballer of the year.

Winners include current Westfield Matildas Lisa De Vanna, Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Butt, Emily van Egmond and current holder Sam Kerr.

In 2016, football became the first major Australian sport to jointly name its prestigious awards event in honour of both a legendary female and male player – the Dolan Warren Awards – with Dolan honoured alongside national men's icon Johnny Warren.


Julie Dolan is the football technical director at the International Football School on the Central Coast of New South Wales.