RAYMOND Terrace junior and former Matildas skipper Alison Forman, who took up the game at 15 to get a few days off school, was inducted into the Football Federation Australia Hall of Fame yesterday.
The 43-year-old joined retired Socceroo Scott Chipperfield and long-serving administrator Alan Vessey in the select group.
Forman enjoyed a stellar 13-year international career, representing the Matildas 77 times between 1989 and 2002 and captaining the side at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The midfielder, who scored seven international goals, also started in all of Australia’s games at the 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cups and the Sydney Games.
She is now a leading administrator for one of the world’s largest international youth football tournaments, the Dana Cup in Denmark.
Forman was a trailblazer for Australian professional female players, forging a career with Danish club Fortuna Hjorring from 1992 to 2005.
She won three Danish championships with Fortuna Hjorring and was named the Dutch league’s player of the year in 1996-97. She also played with the Northern NSW Pride in the Australian women’s league until 2005.
She joins fellow Hunter products Cheryl Salisbury and Joanne Peters in the Hall of Fame.
Chipperfield, 36, earned 68 international caps over 12 years and was a member of the team that downed Uruguay in 2005 qualifying and ended Australia’s 32-year World Cup drought.
In all, the left winger played in two World Cups, retiring from international football after the 2010 campaign.
He was a key member of the Wollongong side that claimed back-to-back National Soccer League titles from 2000-01 and the 2001 Oceania club championship.
He then left for Swiss club Basel, where he won seven league titles and tasted regular Champions League action.
Vessey contributed to football administration from the grass roots to the national body during a 34-year career, including the organisation of a FIFA Under-19 World Cup and the 2000 Olympic tournament.
Meanwhile, new FFA boss David Gallop looked like a man with the weight of the world off his shoulders at the Hall of Fame function.
In fact, former NRL boss Gallop is enjoying his ‘‘crash course’’ in football so much that he cheekily admitted he should have done it years ago.
The same week the NRL reeled from another off-field controversy and renewed player boycott threats, Gallop must have felt a world away as he congratulated Hall of Fame inductees in Brisbane.
‘‘I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has welcomed me into football in the few weeks I have been in the job,’’ Gallop said. ‘‘I have been very humbled by the number of people who have approached me and wished me success.
‘‘I am having a brilliant time. Should have done it years ago.’’ with AAP