W-LEAGUE: Get to know Rhali Dobson

Number 10 for the Jets is tenacious attacker Rhali Dobson.

Hailing from Wauchope in Mid North New South Wales, Dobson began playing football for her local team at the age of five.

Her hometown and local club remains one of her greatest supporters.

“The ongoing support from Wauchope is very special to me and on the tough days and games it keeps me going,” Dobson said.

“They have backed me from the get go.”

Dobson proved a natural to the game and by the age of 14 was selected for the Australian under-17 team and at just 16 years of age she earned her first Westfield W-League contract with the Newcastle Jets.

Despite having a niggling injury, Dobson went on to play the entire season with the Jets.  

“In all honestly, I should have never played that season. I was not ready physically – I was recovering from a fractured tibia,” she explained.

But Dobson “was determined to not let a leg fracture get in my way of playing at a high level and doing Wauchope and myself proud”.

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Dobson spent the next two years commuting to Newcastle to play for the Jets as she continued to complete her high school studies in Wauchope.

Following the completion of her HSC, Dobson relocated to Newcastle in 2011 to pursue a degree in Occupational Therapy, of which she graduated from last year. It was not long after moving to Newcastle that the opportunity to play football presented itself within the Herald Women’s Premier League (WPL).

A strong 2013 season in the WPL in which she became the competition’s leading scorer helped propel her back into the Jets squad for the sixth consecutive year and earned her a dream call-up to the Westfield Matildas in 2014.

“My overall [career] highlight would be in 2014 – my senior debut with the Matildas against Brazil and winning.” 

“I would have never have achieved this without the help of my former coach, Pete McGuiness.”

“I got my Australian Matildas Cap and played some of the best soccer of my Jets career between 2013/14 and 2014/15,” she said.  

“I love playing for the Jets because of the supporters and the local community.”

“I would not be at this Club if it was not for them adopting me as one of their own and continuously supporting me as one of their primary players.”

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Coach Craig Deans said he and Dobson “spoke at the end of last year and this year about her performance”, adding that “Rhali was keen to do better and I was eager to find ways of improving her play”.

“Last year she started well, but got injured. Although there are limited spots in attack this season, Rhali has come back strong and proved this by getting a goal - which will be good for her confidence.”  

When Dobson isn’t playing football, or training for the Jets she is working in her chosen field as an occupational therapist. However, when Dobson does have a spare five minutes in her very busy schedule, she enjoys a bit of down time, which includes reading books and spending quality time with her long-term partner.