Australian sport has many examples of families of elite athletes, from the Campbell sisters in the pool to Mark and Sarah Blicavs in AFL and Basketball.
The growing profile and professionalism of football has seen increasing examples of brothers, sisters, fathers and daughters enjoying careers and success with the round ball.
Emily & Gary van Egmond
The van Egmonds have been a presence in Australian football since Gary represented the country as a midfielder in the 1988 Olympics. Since then he has coached in the A-League for Newcastle and as an assistant coach to the Matildas up until 2019.
Currently, in charge of the Young Socceroo’s under 20 team, Gary van Egmond is responsible for the next generation and he played a part in Emily becoming one of the Matildas best players.
“I’m obviously very fortunate to have dad in the family with the experience that he has and how high of a level he's coached at. He's not going to lie to me if I have a bad game, he's always going to be truthful and honest and that's what I want -- I'd never want him to sugar-coat me because he's my dad,” said Emily to the Huffington Post in 2017.
One one of Australia’s most skilled and versatile midfielders, Emily currently splits her time between Melbourne City in the W-League and Orlando Pride in the NWSL, she has had a globe-trotting career, spanning FFC Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg in Germany, Fortuna Hjørring in Denmark and Chicago Red Stars in the U.S.A since debuting in the W-league in 2009 aged just 16 and making a name for herself at Canberra and Newcastle.
Emily enjoys having “one-up” on her father, telling the matildas.com.au prior the 2016 Olympics, “Me and Dad always used to have a bit of a joke that I was the only one who has been to a World Cup and he was the only one who has gone to (an Olympic) Games”.
Creative and composed with and capable of spectacular goals, Emily van Egmond also has a passing ability that allows her to control the play from deep midfield and provide a killer assist around goal.
Willing to sacrifice her game for the team she has been deployed in front of the defence although her best position is undoubtedly behind the strikers. She was unleashed in her favoured role in the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers with brilliant results scoring a hattrick against Thailand and a stunning last-minute equaliser against China.
In some football families, a father who played in Europe and has 20 years worth of management roles would be the star, but most football families don’t have somebody who can do the things Emily van Egmond can:
Emily and Gary training during COVID isolation