BREAKING new ground is Falcons 2000 Soccer Club’s Sheeny Whadcoat, who recently became the first women’s player to reach 200 senior games for the club.

Not only is reaching 200 games an outstanding achievement alone, but she was also just the second person in the club’s history to reach that feat, joining current men’s senior player Joe Auciello.

It’s been a long time coming for the Falcons senior women’s coach, who began her soccer journey in Under 8s with her brothers, before moving to Falcons for Under 12s.

As she grew up, Falcons became her home, playing the majority of her juniors at the Morwell-based club. Home doesn’t even begin to describe Falcons to Whadcoat, who has been with the club ever since joining as a junior, spending more than half her life there.

Whadcoat began to play in the senior women’s side in the early-to-mid 2010s, while also playing with the boys in the Under 16s competition.

As the boys competition became more competitive, as the senior women’s needed more numbers, Whadcoat opted to stay with the women’s team fulltime and has never swayed from her decision.

Her 200th senior women’s game was played during this season’s LVSL Round 4 fixture against Fortuna, playing for the Italian Australian Cup, which saw Falcons as the winners.

Whadcoat is a well-known person at the club, boasting five club best-and-fairest awards, a league best-and-fairest, and serving as captain of the senior women’s for a long period of time, to which she said: “I couldn’t even tell you how many years”.

“More than half of my senior life, I’ve been the senior women’s captain,” she said to put a timeframe on her tenure.

Playing isn’t her only forte, as she also coaches the senior women’s and has previously been a coach for junior girls, spending around five years in that role at the club too.

“The reason for that was because I never got to play in a junior girls competition when I was growing up, so I wanted to make sure that there was the pathway for those junior girls to feed them into our senior competition,” Whadcoat said.

When putting her hand up for the senior women’s coaching role, Whadcoat believed there was a demand for senior female leadership, to which she snatched at the opportunity.

“We needed to fill the gap, and I felt like I was that person to take that on. But also, we don’t want to leave out the male perspective for the game because that’s also important,” she said.

When she was appointed, Whadcoat broke ground in the perspective that she was the first female coach at the club when taking on the senior women’s role. There had been other female leaders previously, but none had coached.

On joining the 200-club, Whadcoat describes it as a privilege.

“It is a privilege to be that kind of role model at the club, because we do have a lot of junior girls that are coming through,” she said.

Whadcoat is involved with the club’s ‘Game Changer’ initiative, which looks at improving female participation rates. A goal that is being looked into constantly, which appears to be a driving force for her.

Whadcoat’s 200th senior game could’ve been sooner if it wasn’t for an unfortunate ACL injury in the 2022 season. She injured herself in the opening game of the season, returning for the final game of the year, where Falcons fittingly sealed the women’s championship.

To get to where she is now, Whadcoat puts her hard work down to making sure there is a pathway for girls to play the game.

“The thing I hate the most to see is girls that are so talented at this sport leave because either there is no accessibility or no team to play for, whether that’s junior or senior women’s,” she said.

Whadcoat wants to leave a legacy for women in the sport, whether that’s just at Falcons or on a bigger stage.

She hopes to make it to a few more milestones in the future, and at just 27 years of age, she can assure everyone that she has plenty in the tank.

“It’s a very family friendly club, we’re known as the club of choice and I want to make sure that there is still valid reasons for people to keep choosing the club,” Whadcoat said when asked what has kept her at Falcons all these years.

To double down on the occasion, a player Whadcoat has spent a lot of time playing with, Danica Di Ciero, is also set to play her 200th senior women’s match later this season.

“She’s been with me the whole time. That’s been a big journey for her as well,” Whadcoat said.