Chantal Gaudio - A Young Leader
"I would tell them to persist and give it the best crack you can because we are a part of the influential change that is women’s football. And to take criticism as motivation because the start of this sport is something special."
What is one of the best qualities to see in a young footballer?
Most people would say something along the lines of passion, dedication or even loyalty.
Just having one of these qualities can see a player develop into something special; however, for those players that possess all three, well they usually end up becoming leaders.
And as for the Glenelg youngster and Brighton product that is Chantal Gaudio, well she is a prime example of this as she has spent majority of her football career in leadership positions.
And as you are about to hear, she holds the three main qualities of passion, dedication and loyalty.
Coming from a soccer background, it isn’t very difficult to see the passion Chantal holds for footy; especially when considering what motivated her to play the sport to begin with.
“The reason I wanted to start football is because I wanted to be a part of that very change that was females playing football.”
“I think the AFLW has opened so many doors for females and the prejudices that was females ‘playing a man’s sport’ when I first started playing every person on my team was ridiculed for the playing a sport we love."
"And now we are celebrated for our achievements and I am incredibly proud to be a part of that change.”
“I love the game for everything it is, but I most definitely love how it has created a platform for females to excel in a game that has been traditionally a man’s sport. Football brings us together, what’s not to love!”
And it is this same passion that has seen her continually develop over the past four years; three of which were spent with her home club Brighton.
“Being a part of Brighton has been incredible I have been lucky enough to be involved in the club and in a leadership role.”
“The club had offered me so many opportunities and I couldn’t be more thankful for the staff and coaching team they have. They offer a very personal approach and it goes a long way.”
And as mentioned earlier, she also holds a spot in Glenelg’s U17s side, a spot she earned when she was just 14 years of age.
“Playing with Glenelg is an unreal experience for the first time in football I experienced true professionalism from the club they were clean and polished from the coaches and staff right through to the players.”
“It is an incredible team to be a part of the dedication the coaches put in pays off with a devoted team. I have also made fantastic friends from the club because it is such a welcoming environment.”
While this ruck rover certainly has the passion; the high level of dedication she has for her sport has also seen her experience a great deal of success over the past four years.
For starters, her earliest accolade came back in 2017 when she finished runner-up to the Brighton Bombers U14s Best and Fairest.
And the following year saw her claim Brighton’s U16s Best and Fairest.
And in case that wasn’t enough, 2019 saw her claim Brighton’s U16s Leadership Award and finish third “in the U16’s division three medal count for the 2019 Best and Fairest” with 12 votes.
However, arguably one of the most intriguing achievements Chantal has had involves her school, where she has not only been Captain for two years but it also seems that good things come in pairs at Seaview High School; as she has also been in two Premierships and claimed two Best and Fairests as well.
“I would honestly put it down to our coach’s Leigh Charlesworth and Jake Somerton their goal is to make professional athletes from the program they run at school as well as teaching us about sports science.”
“They have created so many opportunities for us and I am so thankful, they honestly started my football career.”
While this all adds up to show just how much Chantal is capable of achieving, there is still one other impressive aspect of her career that we hinted at the beginning of this article.
And this is the fact that, despite only playing three seasons at Brighton, she has actually been “the proud captain for Brighton for 3 years running”.
Which is truly amazing to say the least but keeping in mind how much she has done and the qualities she holds, it isn’t much of a surprise.
“I absolutely love it being a leader is always something I have dreamt of. I endeavour to make a change in female football and being in a leadership role is the perfect platform to start that dream.”
“Making change is important and football is the perfect place to do so being able to stand up and make a speech or have a team rely on you and look for guidance is such an empowering moment.”
“As well as that my team had a tragic loss in the community and seeing everyone together was something special.”
And it is this same strong sense of passion as a leader; that has given her many cherished memories and moments already.
“My favourite memory was being the person at the beginning of every match that my team look at for a speech or leadership the feeling is unreal every time so that would be one.”
“As well as being the leading goal scorer this season; there has been a lot of exhilarating moments but the biggest one would be the opportunity to play for a club like Glenelg.”
And for a sense of what she is a like as a leader, consider the following example.
“The semi-final against Broadview this year we were down about five goals with ten minutes to go and I scored three goals within in about seven minutes and we only just lost but it was just a moment of hope and it was amazing from just coming off making a speech at quarter time it was honestly just exhilarating.”
And this goes to show that she is not only a leader that leads from the front; but she is also respectful and gracious enough to acknowledge her team’s hard work despite the end result.
But just as there are people that would thank her for her leadership and guidance; there are some people that she would like to thank for theirs.
Including “Trev Rhea and Aaron Kerr from Brighton, they have been absolutely incredible at helping me achieve my goals and push me to be the best leader and player I can be.”
“As well as Lexie Edwards and Chelsea Packer for constantly pushing me outside of my comfort zone at Glenelg.”
So, with an impressive career already and a great sense of leadership and pride; what is next for this young leader?
"I would love to make the Crows Academy this year and make the Glenelg league team. But also, just to be the best leader and player I can be."
But it is like we said earlier, any player that holds a level of loyalty, dedication or passion has the potential to become something special.
And at the end of the day, the fact that Chantal holds all these three and has already proved that she is a great leader, means that the sky is pretty much the limit.
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