Amy Arundale - American Made
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
On the surface, Amy Arundale’s story looks like a tale about a soccer player who ended up becoming quite a talented and impressive footballer.
And while this is true, it is far from the whole story.
At first glance everything seems ordinary; she goes to trainings and games days and represents her team, the Magpies.
However, there is one major difference when compared to our other player features, and that is because Amy is doing all of this over 17 thousand kilometres away from where we are based here in Adelaide.
And that is because Amy is one of many female footballers that are playing Australia’s game in the United States.
“I have been playing since July of 2016."
"I started playing for the Philadelphia Hawks (was one of the first women) and then this year, since I moved to New York City, now I play for the New York Magpies. I also played for the USAFL Liberty in 2017.”
But who knew that football had such a following internationally?
“As for women’s footy over here, it is growing incredibly fast!”
“Since I have started playing there are teams that have gone from just a couple girls to full squads, the competition at the national level has stepped up a lot, and everyone has eyes on the AFLW!"
"Dani Marshall just got signed by the Bulldogs, so she’s kinda blazing a trial, which is super exciting!”
While it is somewhat reassuring to know that we aren’t the only country on earth that enjoys footy; the fact that American female footballers have their sights set on the AFLW is extraordinary to say the least.
And hopefully many more will make the journey over.
But just how did Amy end up playing Australia’s game?
“So, my best friends and I went to uni together. Jay studied abroad in Melbourne and started playing for the Philly Hawks when he got back to the states.”
“In 2016, the Hawks decided to start a women’s team, so Jay recruited Erica and me. We played a couple Ausball games, didn’t really get a sense for footy and were hesitant to train with the guys.”
“Then we did a clinic with the women’s teams on the East Coast and fell in love with it! After the clinic we started training with the guys and on our own and loved it ever since!”
Everything we have mentioned sounds so familiar, that it is easy to forget that it all happened half-way around the world.
And we know what you’re thinking; how did she go with learning everything to do with footy?
“Skills weren’t too bad, had some really good coaching early on. A few Aussies and experienced Americans who helped me out! Rules took a bit but helped just watching and playing to figure it out!”
Which is fair enough because even we get confused nowadays with some of the rule-changes.
However, these is a reason that we chose her out of thousands to feature, and that reason is because she is simply a very good player.
And that is because her accolades include, winning the Most Improved award in 2017 and being Leading Goalkicker in 2018.
Likewise, the “Hawks were runners up at USAFL Nationals in 2016 (playing with Boston, Montreal, Des Moines) and 2018 (playing with Columbus), and won in 2017 (playing with Portland)”.
And finally, “the USAFL Liberty won 3 of 5 games on our Australian tour” where she “won the Brianna Theison Spirit of the Liberty Award”.
Which she did also finish overall third for the Best and Fairest for that tour, but the Brianna Theison Spirit of the Liberty Award is more “for being a leader/having team spirit” which is arguably just as good as the Best and Fairest.
But the most impressive achievement came very recently when she made the USAFL Freedom team;
“Which is something I have been aiming for since I made the Liberty in 2017.”
And for those who don’t know, the USAFL Freedom compete at an international level against other nations in the International Cup.
Which is the equivalent of our All-Australian team except they play football whereas we play international rules and only against Ireland.
So, as always with an interesting and successful career; there are of course people she would like to thank for helping her along the way;
“Erica and Jay Sacci are responsible for getting me into footy- so I definitely have to thank them! They have also been my biggest supporters!”
“I also owe a lot to T (Christina) Licata, who is the NY Magpies head coach. She and Jon Loring have been my primary footy coaches, so I owe a lot to them with regards to my learning and development!”
So, what exactly is next?
Well from the perspective of Aussie rules in the United States;
“I think footy in the US is growing. Each year there are more women registered with the USAFL and the level competition is getting stronger and stronger.”
“The USAFL Liberty (the developmental national team) beat Australian teams in the greater Melbourne area in 2017. Since then, there were more women trying out for the national team program than ever (>100 women at the first tryout), and the most competitive selection process to date.”
“Since footy fits a competitive niche in the US, I think it's only going to grow as more and more women learn about it and it gains visibility!”
And as for what is next for Amy Arundale, well it is safe to say that our American friend will continue to kick goals and hopefully, we get to witness her play on Australian soil in the not so distant future.
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None of these photographs are owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and have been personally shot.