Morning Star Staff
Diane Neudorf loves soccer so much that when she’s not participating in two leagues, she’s practising four or five times a week, or dropping in for soccer Saturdays.
Dedicated is how she describes herself as she’s fundraising to participate in the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver this August and the World Masters in New Zealand in April, 2017.
Neudorf, 33, doesn’t shy away from being the centre of attention.
“If the ball comes to me I go at it,” she said,
Off the field, she joked about using a megaphone so people would listen.
Neudorf, a care-aid in the midst of starting her own business, plays in both the women’s Masters division with Courtesy Motors Sistas and Division 2 with OTC Sistas.
Having Neudorf on the team for the past three years has been a pleasure for coach Kerry Zubot of Courtesy Motors.
“Her speed is fantastic and her determination, she’s determined all the time,” he said.
“She’s been one of those players that supports everybody. We don’t want to lose her because we have a really good, strong player.”
Coach Zubot is supportive of Neudorf’s decision to compete in the Masters Games.
“I put a Facebook (post) saying ‘Team Canada will be looking for a player.’
“Every weekend she’s out practising… she really works on her game.”
Said Neudorf: “I train pretty much four to five days a week out of my own. I take it out to the tennis court (to learn control of the ball),”
Playing in the Masters league has taught Neudorf patience.
“I do have to check myself so I don’t get frustrated,” she said.
Her mother, Lisa Jefferies, is Diane’s No. 1 fan.
“I’ve never missed a game except for this (Americas Masters),” said Jefferies.
Jefferies will be unable to travel to see Neudorf play in the Masters World series.
As a single mother, Neudorf has been able to balance her soccer and life.
“My folks are phenomenal… my daughter is a soccer nut as well.”
Christine Thrift, 10, has her mother’s charisma.
“She’s got a wicked boot.”
Neudorf plays every position.
“My main position is forward or striker but I also play goal,” she said.
Neudorf started playing soccer around eight or nine years old.
She remembers her father taking her out and shooting ball after ball into the net.
She’s looking forward to playing in Vancouver.
“You get to play with an array of talent,” she said.
Neudorf finds inspiration from the Canadian women’s national soccer team and watches the Whitecaps when she gets the chance.
She’s placed in the 35-40 age range as an ex-pro player and will be selected by one of 10 upper-level teams
Her favourite moments during a game are “connecting the ball (with) that sweet spot on your foot (so the ball becomes) a bullet,” and helping her teammates score.
“Because a lot of the team has not scored goals yet it’s just a blast… its a celebration for them and it’s a celebration for everyone,” she said.
To help Neudorf with travel and accommodations, go to gofundme.com/225kp8p6 or search “Diane Neudorf” from the GoFundMe homepage. The Americas Masters soccer will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1.
As of June 24, Neudorf had raised $350 of $7,000.