Trading the parks of Newcastle for the stadiums of Europe...
Tessa Tamplin, who spent her youth football developing through the ranks of the Newcastle Jets academy, has shown that the leap to playing amongst Europe’s best is achievable through sheer determination and hard work.
The former A-Leagues Women’s star now plies her trade for Servette in the topflight of Switzerland and is looking to cement her place in the starting XI ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash with heavyweights Juventus next week.
Tamplin is the first female footballer from the A-League Women’s side to play in Europe. She joined the emerging Jets side at the age of 11 and spent the duration of her junior career at the club.
“I literally spent more of my time at Jets then I did at school,” Tamplin said.
“That place has been my home for so long and so many years that it has taught me almost everything.”
A-League Women’s coach, Ash Wilson, is someone who came to know Tessa extremely well over the years, and was on board first-hand to not only witness Tessa’s rise, but also play an active role in her incredible development.
Wilson’s pride for the young gun, is clear.
“It has been rewarding to be part of her journey,” Wilson said.
“She he is a fantastic example of what hard work and perseverance can achieve and the pathways that exist for young academy players who put in the effort.
“Tessa developed through the academy, training with both girls’ and boys’ teams, moving up through the age groups until she made her first-grade debut at 16.
“Her physical capabilities such as speed and endurance really saw her excel as a fullback”.
The Newcastle local, who spent the best part of a decade with the Jets, noted her environment, and those around her, has major contributors to help shape her into the footballer she has become, and continues to be.
“The girls around me gave me so much,” Tamplin said.
“Role models such as Tara Andrews, Cass Davis, Gema Simon and Hannah Brewer showed me kindness, leadership and strength and I just hope that my career gives hope and desire to some of the other girls coming through to never give up on their dreams.”
Now playing in some of the most prolific leagues in the world, Tessa’s game has continued to improve, and she is continuously pushing for a spot in the starting side.
It’s a competitive fight, but once she’s all in for.
“Playing in Europe has been great,” she said.
“The game itself is faster and a higher quality, however I do believe the Australian league is following the right steps to be brilliant.
“The Champions League is something I never thought I would be able to achieve, and it’s been absolutely unbelievable.”
Although her short-term goal is fighting for a starting spot, Tamplin made a point that she isn’t losing sight of her long-term aspirations.
“In the long term, I am working towards hopefully playing on day in England, and the dream would be to play in the World Cup or Olympics as well.”
Tamplin’s journey is only just beginning and at only 20 years of age, she is set to have an extremely promising career ahead of her.
Whether she is turning out for Servette or the green and gold of Australia, Tessa will always be a Jet, and we’ll always be proud of her.